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15Aug2017 Market Close: Wall Street's Bullish Investors Falling Behind The Bears, DOW Closes Up 5 Points, US Crude And Dollar Little Changed

Written by Gary

US stock markets closed mostly flat and they were headed for a steep selloff towards the close (SPY -0.01%). The DOW couldn't keep the late afternoon session highs while the $RUT slipped -0.8 percent.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

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 steady; economic data offsets retailer results

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were flat late Tuesday afternoon as declines in Home Depot and other retailers following results offset upbeat U.S. retail sales data.

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 data privacy

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] has agreed to two decades of audits after U.S. regulators found the ride-services company failed to protect the personal information of drivers and passengers and deceived the public about efforts to prevent snooping by its employees.

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.

Blackstone ends talks for NSO Group stake that prompted protest: sources

(Reuters) - Blackstone Group has pulled out of discussions to buy part of Israeli mobile surveillance software maker NSO Group, according to people familiar with the talks that had been criticized by digital privacy activists.

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.

This Picture Of Mike Pence 'Triggered' An Entire Campus Of California Private College Kids

When McKenzie Deutsch posted a picture of herself posing with the Vice President of the United States at the White House she probably didn't expect to set off a mass 'triggering' event at her ritzy Southern California private institution of higher indoctrination, Scripps College, but that's exactly what happened.

According to the Daily Caller, Deutsch, a rising junior at Scripps, was an intern this summer in the office of U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and was excited by the opportunity to meet the Vice President. So, after snapping the pic below she posted it to Facebook with the caption: "The places you'll go, the things you'll see, the people you'll meet... What a day it was in DC!"

Pence

Of course, it wasn't long before Deutsch was effectively tried and convicted of a hate crime by her peers at the ritzy, $70,000-per-year college.

"I don't know if you understand that Pence want me and the people I love to be erased by any means possible. I don't know how to express to you how it feels to see a fellow Scrippsie in this photo with someone who has shown himself so willing to commit institutional violence," one angry student wrote under Deutsch's photo with Pence.

"Posing next to someone who is a direct threat to LGBT+ groups and other marginalized communities and posting this photo with a ...

Speculative Positioning Is Back To Extremes

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

In this past weekend's missive I wrote:

"So...Should I "Buy The F*$(@!# NOKO?"

My best guess currently is - probably. But not yet."

"In our portfolios, we will wait for confirmation the current sell-off has abated before adding additional risk exposure to portfolios. In recent years, such market tantrums have been very short-lived and have provided opportunistic entry points for increasing equity related exposure. However, EVERY TIME is DIFFERENT, so it is always important to NEVER ASSUME the outcome will be the same as the last. That is how you wind up losing a lot of money.

As shown in the chart above, with the market on a very short-term sell signal, and still very overbought, it will likely prove prudent to remain patient and see if the markets can regain more solid footing next week."

Let me update that analysis.

On Monday, the market surged out of the gate as headlines suggested that "geopolitical risk" had subs ...

CBO Blames Trump: Sees 20% Surge In 2018 Obamacare Premiums If Subsidies Removed

At the request of Nancy Pelosi, the Congressional Budget Office has just released a study intended to better understand the potential economic impacts that would result from the cancellation of taxpayer funded Obamacare subsidies (a.k.a. "cost-sharing reductions" or "CSRs"). The report is entitled "The Effects of Terminating Payments for Cost-Sharing Reductions," and, among other things finds that cutting CSRs would cause a 20% spike in Obamacare premiums in 2018 and result in a $194 billion increase in the deficit from 2017 through 2026.

Here are the highlights:

- The fraction of people living in areas with no insurers offering nongroup plans would be greater during the next two years and about the same starting in 2020;

- Gross premiums for silver plans offered through the marketplaces would be 20 percent higher in 2018 and 25 percent higher by 2020—boosting the amount of premium tax credits according to the statutory formula;

- Most people would pay net premiums (after accounting for premium tax credits) for nongroup insurance throughout the next decade that were similar to or less than what they would pay otherwise—although the share of people facing slight increases would be higher during the next two years;

- Federal deficits would increase by $6 billion in 2018, $21 billion in 2020, and $26 billion in 2026; and ? The number of people uninsured would be slightly higher in 2018 but slightly lower starting in 2020.

Or, put more simply...if Trump decides to cut taxpayer-funded subsidies for a completely failed Obama-era piece of legislation then all future premium hikes are his fault

China's $9 Trillion Shadow Banking System Shrinks For The First Time In 9 Months

On the surface, the latest Chinese credit data reported overnight by the PBOC was not particularly memorable: new loans tumbled from the near record 1.540TN Yuan in June to only 825.5BN in July, just above the 820BN expected, while Total Social Financing also declined substantially from June's 1.78TN to 1.22TN, also beating the 1TN estimate. While both July prints were a steep drop from June - reflected in Monday's miss in retail sales, industrial production and capex - they were a significant increase from the year ago numbers. At the same M2 dropped to a new record low, sliding from June's 9.4% to 9.2% in July, missing expectations of a modest rebound to 9.5%.

And while there are more details on the various constituent components below, there was one remarkable aspect to last night's number: for the first time in 9 months China's $9 trillion Shadow Banking Industry - defined as the sum of Trust Loans, Entrusted Loans and Undiscounted Bank Loans - contracted. These three key components combined resulted in a 64BN yuan drain in credit from China's economy, the first negative print since October, seen by analysts as more evidence that Beijing's campaign to contain shadow banking and quash risks to the financial system, is starting to bear fruit.

At the same time, conventional forms of crediting enjoyed a surge, with net corporate bond issuance jumping as non-financial corporations opt for cheaper sources o ...

Seeking the Next Safe Haven

When the world looks stormy, investors first reaction is to flock to the safety of American assets. But what will they do when the U.S. is where the tempest is brewing?

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.

Market Extra: Head of one of the most successful hedge funds says we're 'nowhere near an overheated' stock market

Billionaire David Tepper thinks comparing this current stock-market environment with the overheated markets of 1999 is ridiculous.

The FTC orders Uber to better protect customer privacy

The ride-sharing company has agreed to 20 years of privacy and security audits.

Stop spending thousands of dollars on back pain surgery and treatments that don't work

A $100 billion industry has little evidence supporting its effectiveness, says investigative journalist Cathryn Jakobson Ramin.

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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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