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21Aug2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closed Mixed, DOW Up 29 Points, WTI Crude Slips To The Mid 47 Handle

Written by Gary

US stock markets closed mixed as the Nasdaq closed down, but flat while the DOW closed up fractionally (SPY +0.08%). Simmering tensions between the United States and NOKO are keeping investors on edge.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street flat as North Korea worries remain; energy a drag

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea kept investors on edge, while a drop in oil prices weighed on energy shares.

Sempra Energy to buy Oncor for $9.45 billion in blow to Berkshire

(Reuters) - Utility Sempra Energy said on Monday that it would buy Oncor for $9.45 billion in cash after majority owner Energy Future Holdings Corp abandoned a deal to sell the power transmission company to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

J&J ordered to pay $417 million in trial over talc cancer risks

(Reuters) - A California jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using the company's talc-based products like Johnson's Baby Powder for feminine hygiene.

China's Great Wall confirms interest in Fiat Chrysler

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - Great Wall Motor Co Ltd is interested in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), an official from the Chinese company said, confirming reports it is pursuing all or part of the owner of the Jeep and Ram truck brands.

Taiwan's Foxconn to build three ancillary facilities as part of Wisconsin LCD campus

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn on Monday said it plans to build three facilities in the U.S. state of Wisconsin for operation as early as next year, as part of a campus housing a $10 billion liquid crystal display (LCD) factory due for 2020.

U.S. funds get tougher on climate and diversity, but not CEO pay

BOSTON (Reuters) - Even as top U.S. asset managers BlackRock Inc and State Street Corp pressed companies on climate and diversity issues this year, they made few waves on another area of corporate governance: CEO pay.

Yahoo owes millions for busting NCAA tournament bracket deal: court

(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc owes a prize promoter $5.5 million for backing out of a contract to pay $1 billion for predicting every winner in the 2014 NCAA men's basketball tournament, and entering a similar contract with Quicken Loans Inc and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc , a court decided on Monday.

U.S. workers have low hopes for higher pay: Fed survey

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. workers see little hope for higher paychecks, and while they are increasingly searching for new jobs, they expect fewer offers to fall into their laps, according to a Federal Reserve survey published on Monday.

VW in no hurry to sell assets, investments more important

WOLFSBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Volkswagen is more focused on its multi-billion-euro shift towards electric vehicles and transport services than any potential sale of motorcycle brand Ducati or transmissions maker Renk, its head of strategy told Reuters.

Could The Tech Behind Bitcoin Help Stabilize Oil Prices?

Authored by Michael Kern via CryptInsider.com,

As the price of oil remains in the high-$40, low-$50 range, every cog in the oil industry is scrambling to reduce costs and streamline sales.

The oil industry has long been a leader in the adoption of different technologies. But, despite advancements made in recent years, even pushing breakeven costs to record lows, the industry is widely ignoring one of the most important developments of the century. Blockchain technology.

Blockchain tech - the "Buzzword of 2017" describing the "Internet in the 1990s" - is seeping into every major industry that it touches.

Finance

As we enter a whole new world in finance and technology, confidence and efficiencies in banking may be at an all-time low. Many financial institutions are scrambling to find solutions to reduce errors, speed up transactions, and provide greater transparency, which customers are demanding. This has led the financial sector toward the implementation of smart contracts and distributed ledgers. Blockchain is catching on so quickly, in fact, IBM expects 65 percent of major banks to be using blockchain technology in some fashion within the next 2 years.

Blockchain technology is already being used in bond transfers, remittances, fra ...

China Warns Of "Looming Trade War" With India In Retaliation To Anti-Dumping Duties

One of the more under-reported stories - at least among the Western press - are the growing tension between China and India. As reported over the weekend, in the latest escalation, Indian and Chinese soldiers, in addition to the ongoing tense military standoff over a contested road in Doklam, were involved in an altercation in the western Himalayas on Tuesday, further raising tensions between the two countries which are already locked in a two-month standoff in another part of the disputed border. A widely circulated clip on social media showed many soldiers from the two countries punching and kicking each other and throwing stones, a clash which luckily ended before it could devolve into something far more dangerous.

Meanwhile, in addition to a territorial dispute that has the potential to devolve into a shooting skirmish at any moment as thousands of troops have amassed on both sides of the border, a trade war also seems to be looming between India and China after New Delhi imposed anti-dumping duties on 93 Chinese products amidst a military standoff in Doklam area, India's First Post reported last week.

The Indian publication cites an article in China's state-owned Global Times, which urged Chinese firms to "reconsider the risks" of investing in India and warned New Delhi to be "prepared for the possible consequences for its ill-considered action." The article said that China "could easily retaliate" with restrictions on Indian pr ...

Christopher Columbus Statue Vandalized In Baltimore: "He's Central To The Narrative Of White Nationalism"

Baltimore's 225-year-old monument to Christopher Columbus, said to be the oldest in the country and the world dedicated to the explorer that is still standing, has been severely vandalized.

This morning the words on the statue - Sacred to the Memory of Chris. Columbus Oct. XII MDCC VIIIC - were unreadable, a hole smashed in the stone.

"Racism: Tear it down," one sign leaning on the monument base says.

"The future is racial and economic justice," said another sign that was lying in the grass.

As BaltimoreBrew reports, a video posted today shows someone smashing the inscription at the base of the 44-foot-tall obelisk located at the intersection of Harford Road and Walther Avenue, across from Herring Run Park.

In the video, one person smashes the monument with a sledge hammer as another holds a sign. An unidentified narrator explains why the action was being taken:

"Christopher Columbus symbolizes the initial invasion of European capitalism into the Western Hemisphere. Columbus initiated a centuries-old wave of terrorism, murder, genocide, rape, slavery, ecological degradation and capitalist exploitation of labor in the Americas. That Columbian wave of destruction continues on the backs of ...

Ron Paul Warns "50% Stock Market Plunge Conceivable... And It Won't Be Trump's Fault"

The former Republican Congressman from Texas believes escalating dysfunction in Washington will create even more pain for Wall Street.

Speaking on CNBC's Futures Now, Ron Paul warned:

"A 50 percent pullback is conceivable...I don't believe it's ten years off. I don't even believe it's a year off. "

Paul noted that there's a lot of chaos in Washington right now, with an "unpredictable president" and those who are inclined to "tear him apart" but if the market takes that big of a tumble, he doesn't see it as Trump's fault.

"It's all man-made. It's not the fault of Donald Trump in the last week.

If the market crashes tomorrow and we have a great depression, he didn't do it in six months.

It took more like six or ten years to cause all these problems that we're facing."

Paul previously argued Wall Street is overestimating the strength of the economy, and the Federal Reserve kept interest rates too low for too long.

He said the situation for stocks could turn ugly as soon as ...

Why Monetary Policy Isn't the Only Game in Town Anymore

The Jackson Hole gathering of central bankers has been an opportunity for policy makers to pledge extraordinary support for economies, in particular via quantitative easing. But this year looks different.

Virtual Reality's Real Sticker Shock

High-end virtual reality headsets are getting a little cheaper with price cuts by Oculus and now HTC. But compelling games still needed to make a sustainable business.

Smaller Firms Are Winning the Deals

Merger and acquisition activity is retreating, but some boutique investment banks are still raking in fees.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President thanks Jerry Falwell Jr. for defending Charlottesville comments

President Donald Trump on Monday thanked evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. for defending his response to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and was preparing to address the nation at 9 p.m. Eastern on Afghanistan. He also briefly watched the solar eclipse from a White House balcony.

What time is the $650 million Powerball drawing?

The drawing for this week's estimated $650 million Powerball jackpot will take place at 10.59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Tesla's junk bond issue is already trading underwater

Just one week after Tesla Inc.'s much-ballyhooed $1.8 billion bond issue and the notes are trading underwater, leading some to question the pricing of the deal.

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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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