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11Aug2017 Market Update: Wall Street Trading Sideways, DOW Up 46 Points, WTI Crude Remains In The Mid 48 Handle And Crack Pot Kim Still Babbling

Written by Gary

US stock markets were fractionally higher in early afternoon trading today as investors traded gold for stocks (SPY +0.2%). Baker Hughes Rig Count down five and US consumer prices rose slightly.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed today. The Bovespa is up 0.66% while the S&P 500 gains 0.27%. The IPC is off 0.33%.

Baker Hughes Rig Count: U.S. -5 to 949 rigs

U.S. Rig Count is down 5 rigs from last week to 949, with oil rigs up 3 to 768 and gas rigs down 8 to 181.

U.S. Rig Count is up 468 rigs from last year's count of 481, with oil rigs up 372, gas rigs up 98, and miscellaneous rigs down 2 to 0.

The U.S. Offshore Rig Count is up 1 rig from last week to 18 and up 1 rig year over year.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Snap shares hit record low as user growth miss unnerves investors

(Reuters) - Snap Inc's shares fell more than 14 percent to hit a record low on Friday morning after messaging app Snapchat's daily active user growth missed expectations for the second quarter in a row.

Wall Street higher but on track for deep weekly losses

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were modestly higher in late morning trading on Friday as investors cautiously dipped back into riskier assets, after a three-day losing streak on concerns over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia favours New York for Aramco listing despite risks - sources

DUBAI/RIYADH/LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia favours New York for the main foreign listing of state oil giant Aramco, even though some financial and legal advisers have recommended London as a less problematic and risky option, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

U.S. economic expansion to last another two years or more: Reuters poll

BENGALURU (Reuters) - The U.S. economic expansion will last at least another two years, according to a majority of economists polled by Reuters who also forecast growth will not accelerate the way the Trump administration has predicted.

Modest rise in U.S. consumer prices may delay Fed rate hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in July as higher food costs were partly offset by falling prices for a range of other goods, suggesting benign inflation that could persuade a cautious Federal Reserve to delay raising interest rates until December.

Amazon looks to new food technology for home delivery

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is exploring a technology first developed for the U.S. military to produce tasty prepared meals that do not need refrigeration, as it looks for new ways to muscle into the $700 billion U.S. grocery business.

Cash-strapped SoundCloud receives new funding; CEO to step aside

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - SoundCloud has received a "substantial" new round of investment, the company said on Friday, insulating the popular online music streaming service from potentially running out of cash later this year, after laying off 40 percent of its staff in July.

JP Morgan Asset Management says will absorb research costs due to MiFID-II

LONDON (Reuters) - JP Morgan Asset Management said on Friday that it will absorb the cost of paying brokers for investment research rather than pass it on to its clients when new European regulation comes in next year.

Nvidia shares fall as investors fret over data center growth

(Reuters) - Nvidia Corp's high-flying stock fell 6 percent on Friday as second-quarter sales in its fast-growing data center and autonomous driving businesses failed to live up to Wall Street's lofty expectations.

Mainstream Media's "Rural Resentment" Myth Is Misplaced

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

Rural America continues to be a topic of political conversation. For many journalists and pundits, this focus comes out of a belief that rural America is the primary driver behind Donald Trump's political base. "Rural Resentment," for example, is the title of an article last week at Slate which, in its own words "discussed how rural dwellers see city folk."

That's all well and good, but the rural population in the United States is only a small and shrinking part of the coalition that put Donald Trump in the White House. Moreover, the rural population today, according to Census Data and the Kaiser Family Foundation, comprises only 14 percent of the US population nationwide.

That is, only 14 percent of Americans live outside a metropolitan area. 86 percent of the population is connected to a metropolitan area, its economy, and its amenities.

metropolitan2.png

Moreover,

Saxo Hikes Inverse VIX ETF Margins To 40%

Last Saturday, we reported that with VIX at 9, Interactive Brokers surprised many when announced it would raise volatility margins anticipating a VIX shock. This is what the brokerage said:

VIX has established new all-time lows over the course of the past month. The price dynamics of that product are such that it can have very large relative price increases over a very short period of time base on news and other market factors. In recognition of the special risk of sudden, large increases in market volatility, that is inherent in Volatility Products such as VIX, Interactive Brokers will put into place greater margin requirements for Volatility Products after expiration processing on Saturday, 19 August.

IB was also surprisingly clear in what it anticipated

IB's margin policy will be to consider market outcome scenarios under which VIX might rise to a price of 18 (even when it is currently priced much lower) and under which the other Volatility Products could rise to proportionately similar degrees.

As we summarized, "In other words, IB is starting to prepare for the day that the VIX doubles from current levels." Less than a week later, Interactive Brokers was proven right when VIX hit 17, nearly hitting its bogey. We also pointed out something else:

Of course, since volatility is the "fulcrum security" of today's reflexive market nature - does a surge in the VIX send stocks lower, or does a market crash lead to a VIX surge? - the very fac ...

Guam Issues "Preparing For An Imminent Missile Threat" Guide: "Do Not Look At The Fireball"

Guam Homeland Security issued a new fact sheet Friday, which the agency says will help residents prepare for an imminent missile threat.

The information was released following this week's threat by North Korea to launch a missile attack against Guam. The advice includes tips such as:

"Do not look at the flash or fireball - It can blind you" and

"Take cover behind anything that might offer protection."

"Lie flat on the ground and cover your head. If the explosion is some distance away, it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit," the sheet states.

During a press conference at Adelup late Friday afternoon, USA Today reports that Gov. Eddie Calvo told reporters that the threat level remains the same and that the island is "safe and sound."

"There are no changes," Calvo said.

"Everyone should continue to live their lives."

While the governor said there's no imminent threat to the island, he said families should still be prepared any situation, including inc ...

Baltimore School With Zero Students Proficient In Math Has Highest Graduation Rate

Via StockBoardAsset.com,

Baltimore's community is absolutely stunned after 'Project Baltimore', an investigative reporting initiative, which was launched in March 2017, by Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. asked this question: How can a high school with zero students proficient in math, have one of the highest graduation rates in Baltimore City?

Project Baltimore is investigating Northwood Appold Community Academy II, or NACA II, after teachers "contacted us saying grades are being changed so students can graduate". The school is located in East Baltimore City, Maryland where nearly 1/3 of African Americans have zero net wealth.

The identities of the teachers who contacted Project Baltimore have been masked because they fear retaliation.

Per Project Baltimore:

NACA II is a Baltimore City high school that has its troubles. According to district data analyzed by Project Baltimore, attendance rates are down since 2013, while chronic absenteeism has nearly quadrupled and suspensions have more than doubled.

Yet, the school reports an 87 percent graduation ...

The Price Still Isn't Right for Consumers

Low inflation is a gift to consumers, but not enough of one to get them to meaningfully boost their spending.

Restoration Hardware's Wild Ride to Nowhere

The motto for Restoration Hardware-owner RH is: "Where less is more and minimal is magnified." The same awkward phrase applies to RH's stock

The Price of Censorship for China's Internet Giants

By blocking foreign competition, China's censorship regime has groomed the country's internet firms into some of the world's biggest companies. Now Big Brother is turning against the behemoths.

Next Avenue: Your mom was right: Getting some fresh air can make you healthier, here's now

Being out in nature — or even living close to it — can have a significant, positive impact on your health.

This Goldman Sachs chart predicts college tuition will start rising faster

There's been a dip in the number of high school graduates, but that is expected to reverse soon.

How not to be a jerk on vacation

Some friendly advice for travelers as anti-tourism marches spread across Europe.

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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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