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15Aug2017 Market Update: Wall Street Flat In Early Afternoon Trading, Trump's Rally Showing Signs Of Weakening, Delinquencies Jumped In Mortgage, Auto And Credit Card Debt

Written by Gary

US stock markets opened higher as expected then sea-sawed and presently in the red (SPY -0.1%). Americans' debt level notched another record high, a drop in consumer discretionary and energy shares offset gains in financials.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed today. The Bovespa is up 0.75% while the IPC gains 0.22%. The S&P 500 is off 0.08%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Americans' debt level notches a new record high

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans' debt level notched another record high in the second quarter, after having earlier in the year surpassed its pre-crisis peak, on the back of modest rises in mortgage, auto and credit card debt, where delinquencies jumped.

Wall Street little changed as retail, energy stocks weigh

(Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed in late morning trading on Tuesday as a drop in consumer discretionary and energy shares offset gains in financials.

Strong U.S. retail sales bolster third quarter growth outlook

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest increase in seven months in July as consumers boosted purchases of motor vehicles and raised discretionary spending, suggesting the economy continued to gain momentum early in the third quarter.

Uber settles U.S. allegations over privacy, security: FTC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators said on Tuesday that Uber Technologies Inc agreed to do more to protect the privacy of customer and driver data in settling allegations that the ride-hailing company had made deceptive privacy and data security claims.

Three CEOs resign from Trump council over Charlottesville

(Reuters) - The chief executives of Intel Corp, Merck & Co Inc and Under Armour Inc resigned from U.S. President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday, following Trump's initially tepid response to weekend violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

AIG shops $2 billion death benefits portfolio: sources

(Reuters) - American International Group Inc wants to sell a $2 billion portfolio of life insurance policies that would pay out when sick or elderly customers die, two people familiar with the matter said.

NAFTA negotiators aim for 'ambitious' first round of talks: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the United States are aiming for an ambitious first round of trade talks, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday, as the countries try to fast-track a deal to modernize the pact by early next year.

China says it will defend interests if U.S. harms trade ties

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will take action to defend its interests if the United States damages trade ties, the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday, after U.S. President Donald Trump authorized an inquiry into China's alleged theft of intellectual property.

Amazon opens 'Instant Pickup' points in U.S. brick-and-mortar push

BERKELEY, Ca (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is rolling out pickup points in the United States where shoppers can retrieve items immediately after ordering them, shortening delivery times from hours to minutes, the company said on Tuesday.

The Fed Issues A Warning, As Household Credit Hits A New Record High

After we first reported last week that US credit card debt hit a new all time high with both student and auto loans rising to fresh records with every new report...

... it won't come as a surprise that according to the just released latest quarterly household debt and credit report by the NY Fed, Americans' debt rose to a new record high in the second quarter on the back of an increase in every form of debt: from mortgage, to auto, student and credit card debt. Aggregate household debt increased for the 12th consecutive quarter, and are now $164 billion higher than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion set in Q3, 2008. As of June 30, 2017, total household indebtedness was $12.84 trillion, or 69% of US GDP: a $114 billion (0.9%) increase from the first quarter of 2017 and up $552 billion from a year ago. Overall household debt is now 15.1% above the Q2 2013 trough.

Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, increased again during the first quarter to $8.69 trillion, an increase of $64 billion from the first quarter of 2017. Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) were roughly flat, and now stand at $452 billion. Non-housing bal ...

Silicon Valley Tightens Its Grip On Free Speech

Authored by Edmund Kozak via Lifezette.com,

Alliance between progressives and tech is killing the unfettered exchange of ideas...

Political totalitarianism is coming to America, and it is being ushered in not by government thugs in jackboots but by progressive activists and their allies in Silicon Valley.

In a chilling oped published in The New York Times on July 14, Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, argued that so-called "hate speech" is the same thing as physical violence because it may possibly cause emotionally fragile individuals stress — and should be made illegal.

Thankfully, the First Amendment prohibits the federal government from following such advice, but online companies are taking it upon themselves to stamp-out so-called "hate speech," strangling free speech and the free exchange of ideas in the process.

A number of troubling actions by internet companies — Google most prominent among them — are making it increasingly clear that some in Silicon Valley have proclaimed themselves defenders of the progressive, politically correct faith, and that those firms will silence any and all heretics who challenge those beliefs.

"Silicon Valley lives in a politically regressive, exclusive bubble. They are not aware of their own biases in how they talk, have a lim ...

How to Get Saudi Women Rights, and Make Your Neighbor Paint his House

Via The Daily Bell

If you get government wrong, you get everything wrong.

New York City has a lot of wealth. There is infrastructure, skyscrapers, smart people, transportation, and so on.

But what would happen if North Korea took over the city tomorrow? Would all that wealth simply remain in place? Would everyone just go on with their lives?

Of course not. People would flee in droves, the city would crumble.

Tom Bell says that 44% of the wealth in the world is the rule of law. Clearly, there are plenty of gripes to be had with the governments of

This Is The Most Equity-Bullish Chart We've Seen Yet

How expensive are US equities versus their peers around the world? Compared to bonds? Commodities? Are there fundamental risks we can identify?

In the following presentation, Cantillon Consulting's Sean Corrigan answers all of the above and details what opportunities for better asset allocation might lie ahead...

Howver, deep in the presentation is an intriguing little chart.

As Sean Corrigan explains, if we superimpose the pattern of US Stock-to-Corporate Bond relative value from World War I to the end of World War II on the post-Berlin Wall data, we get a near-perfect overlap with the Crash of '29 corresponding to the Tech bust and the '37 slump to the Great Financial Crisis.

Were the somewhat spooky parallels to continue, 2020 would usher in a two-decade, 13% CAR stock outperformance over corporate bonds as enjoyed during the 50s and 60s.

Which, as Corrigan concludes, would be something to behold... and is probably the most bullish equity market analog we have seen yet.

...

Consumers Keep Spending, but Not in Stores

Solid retail sales at the national level aren't turning into gains for store-based retailers as Amazon and other online merchants continue to grab share in most categories.

What's the Best Kind of Deal for Fiat Chrysler?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles seems more likely to be broken up than sold to a Chinese company—and even a breakup is no sure bet.

How to Fight a Giant Like Alibaba? Lots of Friends

JD.com, China's No. 2 online e-commerce player, has lined up formidable friends in its fight against bigger rival Alibaba.

June 2017 Headline Business Sales Improved?

Written by Steven Hansen

Econintersect's analysis of final business sales data (retail plus wholesale plus manufacturing) shows unadjusted sales slowed relative to last month whilst inventories grew. This is in contrast to the headlines which showed sales improved and inventories grew.

Maria Sharapova gets wild card into the U.S. Open

Plus: Prize money at the tournament will be over $50 million — the most ever in the history of tennis.

The Technical Indicator: Bull trend intact, S&P 500 absorbs mid-August plunge

The S&P 500's bull trend is technically intact in the wake of the most aggressive market downturn since May. Still, the market technicals have softened, on the margin, and the prevailing backdrop is not one-size-fits-all, writes Michael Ashbaugh.

Key Words: Mooch vs. milk: Which has a longer shelf life?

Like the job of a baseball manager, the position Anthony Scaramucci briefly held as communications director in the Trump White House is the sort of proposition, he told Stephen Colbert on Monday, in which each day on the job brings you one day closer to your firing.

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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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