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09Aug2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closes Down And May Do So Again Tomorrow, WTI Settles In The Mid 49 Handle And The US Dollar Slides Fractionally

Written by Gary

US stock markets closed mostly lower (SPY +0.00% flat), DOW down 37 points and US stocks finished with the largest one-day dip in a month.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street falls on ramp-up of U.S. tension with North Korea

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were on track for their biggest one-day dip in a month on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump's "fire and fury" warning to North Korea escalated global uncertainty.

Amazon sued by transgender woman, husband for workplace harassment

(Reuters) - A transgender woman and her husband sued Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday, accusing the company of subjecting them to severe harassment and physical threats when they both worked at the retailer's warehouse in Kentucky.

U.S. payments firm Vantiv clinches $10 billion deal to buy Worldpay

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. credit card processing company Vantiv secured a deal to buy British-based rival Worldpay for 8 billion pounds ($10.4 billion) on Wednesday in a bid to create a $29 billion global payments powerhouse.

Altice weighing takeover offer for Charter: sources

(Reuters) - Netherlands-based telecom conglomerate Altice NV and its U.S. cable unit are in the early stages of working on an offer to buy Charter Communications Inc , sources told Reuters on Wednesday, in a move that would build more scale in the United States.

U.S. push for freer NAFTA e-commerce meets growing resistance

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A U.S. proposal for Mexico and Canada to vastly raise the value of online purchases that can be imported duty-free from stores like Amazon.com and eBay is emerging as a flashpoint in an upcoming renegotiation of the NAFTA trade deal.

Google's firing of memo writer strikes nerve in Silicon Valley

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A Silicon Valley culture war pitting liberal-leaning tech firms against a small conservative cohort took on new intensity on Tuesday after Google fired a male engineer for a memo that decried the company's commitment to hiring women.

Sky investor Odey says Fox bid is losing appeal

LONDON (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Crispin Odey is considering withdrawing his support for Twenty-First Century Fox's attempt to take over Sky , saying the 11.7 billion-pound ($15.20 billion) offer undervalues the British pay TV broadcaster.

Disney's stock dips as streaming push unnerves some investors

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's shares fell 5 percent on Wednesday to their lowest in eight months as investors doubted whether the world's biggest entertainment company can succeed with its plan to launch its own streaming services rather than rely on Netflix Inc to reach online viewers.

In tough retail landscape, Payless emerges as rare bankruptcy survivor

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Payless ShoeSource is set to emerge from bankruptcy as soon as Wednesday, one of the largest retail chains to do so, and is banking on a strategy focused primarily on bricks-and-mortar sales at a time when e-commerce is casting an ever-growing footprint on retail sales.

"Under Any Analysis, It's Insanity": What War With North Korea Could Look Like

Now that the possibility of a war between the US and North Korea seems just one harshly worded tweet away, and the window of opportunity for a diplomatic solution, as well as for the US stopping Kim Jong-Un from obtaining a nuclear-armed ICBM closing fast, analysts have started to analyze President Trump's military options, what a war between the US and North Korea would look like, and what the global economic consequences would be. Needless to say, this is a challenging exercise due to the countless possible scenario, event permutations and outcomes, not least because China and Russia may also be sucked in, leading to a true world war.

"Realistically, war has to be avoided," said John Delury, an assistant professor of international studies at Yonsei University in South Korea. "When you run any analysis, it's insanity."

Insanity or not, as Capital Economics writes in a May 17 note, while the most important impact of a full-scale conflict on the Korean peninsula "would be a massive loss of life" but added that there would also be significant economic consequences. While we focus on the latter below, first here are some big picture observations courtesy of Bloomberg, including an analysis of whether all out war can be avoided:



Can't the U.S. try a surgical strike?

It probably wouldn't work well enough. North Korea's missiles and nuclear facilities are dispersed and hidden throughout the country's mountainous terrain. Failing to hit them all would leave some 10 ...

This Cryptocurrency Website Is Selling For More Money Than Facebook's

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

What's money worth if interest rates are negative?

Interest rates, after all, are the "price" of money.

When we borrow money from a bank and pay interest on the loan, it means that the money we're borrowing has value. That -capital- has value.

Negative interest rates, on the other hand, suggest that capital is totally worthless.

This isn't a philosophical exercise. These are the times we're living in.

Despite a few tiny increases, interest rates worldwide are still near the lowest levels they've been in 5,000 years of human history.

Bankrupt governments across Europe who are already in debt up to their eyeballs have issued trillions of euros worth of new debt with negative yields.

And there have even been famous cases (also in Europe) in which bank depositors have had to PAY interest, while borrowers were BEING PAID to take out a mortgage.

Capitalism is defined by capital.

How does capitalism function when the cost of capital goes negative?

How does price discovery take place in a market where people (and governments) are literally being paid to borrow money?

I'm asking these questions because I honestly don't know the answers.

Something is fundamentally broken in the market today.

Stripping capital of its value causes people to do stupid things.

How else could anyone explain that Argentina, a country in perpetual crisis that has defaulted on its debt eight times in the past century, sold billions ...

There Has Never, Ever, Been This Many Trades Betting On VIX

Not only are short volatility bets at their peak...

The number of VIX futures contracts outstanding has never been higher...

As Bloomberg notes, the gauge of U.S. stock turbulence has more than 660,000 contracts outstanding, surpassing every previous high.

While the measure is heading for a second day of gains, its slump this year has led to a surge of bets on where volatility will go.

All of which builds on the Morgan Stanley concerns at what the market will do if "VIX goes bananas."

Watchdog Files Complaint Against DNC For Colluding With Ukraine During The Election

As liberal media outlets continue to claim that Trump Jr. violated campaign laws by 'seeking an in-kind contribution from a foreign national in the form of opposition research', the conservative group, Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT), is now turning that allegation on the DNC over its collusion with Ukrainian officials.

Somewhat ironically, as reports say that Paul Manafort's home was raided and numerous documents seized, The Hill reports, a watchdog group will file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday alleging that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) violated federal law by soliciting opposition research on the Trump campaign from a foreign government.

The conservative group Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT), launched in 2014 by former U.S. attorney Matthew Whitaker, will allege that political operative Alexandra Chalupa, in her capacity as a DNC consultant, improperly sought intelligence on President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, from Ukrainian officials.

"Federal law and Commission regulations prohibit any person from knowingly soliciting, accepting or receiving contributions or donations of money or other things of value from a foreign national," the complaint reads.

FACT alleges that Chalupa violated the ban by "knowingly soliciting" a "valuable in-kind contribution in the form of opposition research and information on a Trump campaign official from a foreign national on beh ...

Chipotle Is a Recipe for Trouble

To justify its high stock price, Chipotle needs to keep growing like crazy while simultaneously regaining customers' trust. That will be difficult to pull off

A Reason to Cheer at OPEC

Crude stockpiles are down, yes, but what may really please oil exporters is the oil futures curve.

The Latest Victim of Falling Drug Prices

As promised, the Food and Drug Administration is bringing in more competition to the drug business. That means more pain for generic drug manufacturers.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President boasts, without evidence, of improved U.S. nuclear arsenal

A day after threatening North Korea with "fire and fury," President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted about what he said was an improved U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The Sniff Test: Wolverine's stock swings lower after downbeat outlook to analysts offsets upbeat earnings release

Wolverine World Wide share swing from a gain of over 12% to a decline of nearly 7% after the company got on its post-earnings conference call and gave analysts a third-quarter outlook that was below expectations.

The Ratings Game: Fossil's struggles with wearables sends shares plummeting 25%

Fossil's shares tanked after second-quarter earnings showing that the company's wearables business still hasn't taken off.

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To contact me with questions, comments or constructive criticism is always encouraged and appreciated:

gary@econintersect.com

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