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16Aug2017 Market Commentary: Wall Street Opens Higher, But Is Expected To Post Negative Numbers Before The Session Ends, WTI Crude Slips From Near 48 Handle

Written by Gary

US stock market's opened higher this morning (SPY +0.2%) ahead of the minutes on the Fed's policy meeting. The US dollar also has held on to big gains, but remains volatile.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are broadly higher today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is up 1.16% while Germany's DAX is up 0.86% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.59%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Dollar holds firm before Fed minutes, stocks rise

LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar held on to big gains on Wednesday before minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting, while European shares followed Asian stocks higher.

As NAFTA talks begin, Trump's 'America First' agenda looms large

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the United States, Canada and Mexico kick off negotiations on Wednesday to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, the biggest uncertainty is whether a deal can pass President Donald Trump's "America First" test.

Trump, in tweet, hits Amazon over taxes, jobs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized on Twitter over taxes and jobs and accused the global retailer, without offering evidence, of hurting U.S. localities and causing job losses.

Exclusive: China's Belt and Road acquisitions surge despite outbound capital crackdown

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies in countries that are part of the Belt and Road initiative are soaring, even as Beijing cracks down on China's acquisitive conglomerates to restrict capital outflows.

Fiat Chrysler joins BMW-Intel self-driving car alliance

SAN FRANCISCO/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler will join an alliance led by BMW to develop self-driving cars, intensifying a race by carmakers and technology companies to develop "robotaxis" which can be called up via smartphone and paid for by the minute.

Futures higher ahead of Fed minutes

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Wednesday ahead of the minutes on the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting, which will offer clues on the future path of interest rate hikes.

Air Berlin CEO blames delays to new airport for insolvency

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Air Berlin's chief executive blamed long delays in the opening of a new Berlin airport for the German airline's insolvency in an interview published by Germany's Die Zeit.

Uber sorry for Philippines 'misunderstanding', but suspension stands

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine transport regulator stood by its one-month suspension of Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] on Wednesday, despite its apology for a "misunderstanding" in failing to heed a directive to stop accepting new driver applications.

Walnut whipped out as Nestle introduces nut-free fondants

LONDON (Reuters) - Nestle risked an outbreak of consumer mockery on Wednesday by launching new versions of its popular Walnut Whip candies lacking the nutty ingredient after which they are named.

India Bans Gold Exports "Without A Valid Reason"

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In addition to its crackdown on cash, India stepped up its attack on gold. The aim is to cut down on gold imports. India does that in a roundabout way, by cracking down on exports.


Bloomberg reports India Bans Gold Exports Above 22 Carats to Plug Trade Loopholes.

India has banned the export of gold products with purity above 22 carats with immediate effect, a move that the industry sees as a way of curbing irregularities in the trade.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade issued a notice limiting shipments of jewelry, coins and medallions to 22 carats or below, without giving a reason.

"The move may be to reduce round-tripping of jewelry and coins, wherein a trader can import the gold coins or jewelry at a lower import tax because of trade agreements with some countries and re-export the same stock without any value addition," said Ketan Shroff, joint secretary of the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd. The exporters would benefit from not paying the 10 percent import tax currently levied on most inbound shipments of gold, he said.

Indian imports are said to have more than doubled last month from a year ago partly due to a jump in pu ...

Embattled Trump Praises Kim Jong Un For "Very Wise Decision"

After a fiery press conference yesterday that seemingly did more damage than good, President Trump seems desperate to change the topic this morning. Having attacked Amazon earlier over Twitter, the President just tweeted the following message thanking Kim Jong Un for a "very wise and well reasoned decision" saying the "alternative would have been catastrophic."

"Kim Jong Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision. The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!"

Kim Jong Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision. The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017

Seems we've come a long way since the "fire and fury" promised last week.

.@POTUS: "North Korea best not make any more threats to the U.S. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 8, 2017

So, with a nuclear showdown with North Korea moved to the back burner for now, what other fireworks will we get from Trump Tower today? More advisory council resignations perhaps?

US, Japan Hold Joint Air Drills Over Korean Peninsula As China, North Korea Fume

Since unlike Donald Trump he does not have access to twitter, we can only assume that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is probably fuming this morning after US and Japanese fighter jets conducted joint "air maneuvers" southwest of the Korean peninsula, according to Reuters. The exercises threaten to reignite tensions between the US and the North after Kim Jong Un reportedly told his generals on Tuesday to shelve a plan to strike Guam with an ICBM.

The exercises were held a day after Kim said that he would put plans to attack the US island territory on hold, but that his generals would closely monitor the "Yankees" for any signs of hostility. The exercises involved two US Airforce B-1B Lancers, and two Japanese F-15 jet fighters, according to Reuters. The North, as its state-run news agency has stated repeatedly in the past, typically interprets military exercises as tantamount to an act of war.

"The exercise in the East China Sea involved two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flying from Andersen Air Force Base on the Pacific island of Guam and two Japanese F-15 jet fighters, Japan's Air Self Defense Force said in a news release. 'The exercise is meant to improve interoperability and bolster combat skills,' it said. The U.S. planes, which were designed to carry nuclear bombs but were later upgraded to carry conventional weapons, have flown several sorties in East Asia over the past several weeks. In addition to air drills with Japanese fig ...

Frontrunning: August 16

White House braces for fallout from Trump remarks (Reuters)

Trump Drags GOP Onto Dangerous Ground, This Time Over Race (BBG)

Trump Gives White Supremacists an Unequivocal Boost (NYT)

Trump orders faster permitting on infrastructure projects (Reuters)

Trump's U.S. Senate Pick Advances in Alabama Republican Race (BBG)

Uber Shareholders Fight for Control as Leadership Vacuum Weighs (WSJ)

The Most Over-Hyped U.S. Trade Deal Is About to Get a Makeover (BBG)

CEOs Walk Trump Tightrope Into New Era of Corporate Politics (BBG)

Trump's Loyal Sidekick on North Korea: Japan's Shinzo Abe (WSJ)

House tax chairman confident on reform, others less so (Reuters)

Confederate Statues In Baltimore Taken Down Overnight (CBS)

UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hems ...

This Auto Lender Won't Pay Off

Subprime auto lender Credit Acceptance has run circles around short-sellers, but it shares are now looking expensive and vulnerable.

This Isn't An Advertisement: Time to Buy Shares in WPP

Ad agency giant WPP looks like the classic value investment: a high-quality company that has temporarily fallen on hard times.

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?

Economic Report: Housing starts stumble in July as new-home construction churns gradually higher

Builders started fewer new homes in July but such construction is still higher in 2017 than in the same period a year ago.

Why Amazon's seven-part bond deal is a bargain

Amazon sold $16 billion of bonds Tuesday to finance its planned $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, and CreditSights analysts said the deal is a buy.

The Margin: Is this Barack Obama tweet the most 'liked' in Twitter's history?

Former President Barack Obama is on his way to make history. This time in the Twitter universe, on the back of a message and photo that he posted on Aug. 13 in reaction to last weekend's violent, racially-charged protests in Charlottesville, Va.

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