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25Aug2017 Market Update: Wall Street Firms Lower And Sideways After Yellen Speech, DOW Up 68 Points And May Slide Further, Baker Hughes Rig Count: U.S. -6 To 940 Rigs, WTI Crude Remains Steady In The High 47 Handle

Written by Gary

US stock markets ease off morning session highs (SPY +0.4%) after Chairwoman Yellen offers no monetary policy clues in a speech at a closely watched central banker symposium in Wyoming.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed. The S&P 500 is higher by 0.35%, while the Bovespa is leading the IPC lower. They are down 0.30% and 0.12% respectively.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Yellen: Financial rules have made economy stronger, changes should be 'modest'

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (Reuters) - Reforms put in place after the 2007 to 2009 crisis have strengthened the financial system without impeding economic growth and any changes to these rules should remain modest, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday in her fullest defense yet of the regulations enacted after the Great Recession.

U.S., Mexico, Canada ink non-disclosure agreements for NAFTA talks

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The United States, Mexico and Canada signed non-disclosure agreements before the first round of negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico's Economy Ministry said on Friday.

Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee given five-year jail sentence for bribery

SEOUL (Reuters) - The billionaire head of South Korea's Samsung Group, Jay Y. Lee, was sentenced to five years in jail for bribery on Friday in a watershed for the country's decades-long economic order dominated by powerful, family-run conglomerates.

Philippines says will lift Uber suspension if hefty fine paid

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine transport regulator said on Friday it would lift a one-month suspension on Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] if it paid a penalty of 190 million pesos ($3.7 million), a fine nearly 20 times greater than Uber had offered to pay.

Without insurance, some vendors balk at stocking Sears' shelves

(Reuters) - U.S. department store operator Sears Holdings Corp is having trouble stocking shelves, as some vendors have fled while others are demanding stricter payment terms because of difficulties hedging against default risk.

Fiat Chrysler says will always evaluate deal inquiries

MILAN (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler (FCA) said on Friday it would evaluate any inquiries about potential transactions, but did not have anything to add to its previous comments on reported interest from China's Great Wall Motor in its Jeep brand.

Senator questions quick approval of Amazon's Whole Foods purchase

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Democratic senator on Friday questioned the Federal Trade Commission's quick approval of Inc's purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc this week, less than three months after the $13.7 billion deal was announced.

GM says small number of Chevy Bolts face battery issue

(Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Friday it had informed a small number of owners of its Chevrolet Bolt electric cars about a battery problem that could cause a loss of propulsion.

Wall Street up, despite tech drag, as Yellen skips monetary policy in speech

(Reuters) - A drop in tech stocks weighed on the Nasdaq on Friday and erased some gains in the S&P and Dow that came after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stayed mum on monetary policy and a key White House official said tax reforms were on the horizon.

Pat Buchanan Wonders..."What Still Unites Us?"

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via,

Decades ago, a debate over what kind of nation America is roiled the conservative movement.

Neocons claimed America was an "ideological nation" a "creedal nation," dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal."

Expropriating the biblical mandate, "Go forth and teach all nations!" they divinized democracy and made the conversion of mankind to the democratic faith their mission here on earth.

With his global crusade for democracy, George W. Bush bought into all this. Result: Ashes in our mouths and a series of foreign policy disasters, beginning with Afghanistan and Iraq.

Behind the Trumpian slogan "America First" lay a conviction that, with the Cold War over and the real ideological nation, the USSR, shattered into pieces along ethnic lines, it was time for America to come home.

Contra the neocons, traditionalists argued that, while America was uniquely great, the nation was united by faith, culture, language, history, heroes, holidays, mores, manners, customs and traditions. A common feature of Americans, black and white, was pride in belonging to a people that had achieved so much.

The insight attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville — "America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great" — was a belief shared by almost all.

What makes our future appear problematic is that what once united us now divides us. While Presidents Wilson and Truman declared us to be a "Christian nation," Christianity has been purged from our public life and sheds believers every decade. Atheism and agnosticism are growing rapidly, especially among the young.

US Crude Production Hits 25-Month Highs Despite Stabilization In Rig Count

While the US oil rig count has gone nowhere for the last 9 weeks (down 4 to 759 this week and with last week's drop the largest in 7 months), US crude production continues to rise, now at its highest since July 2015.


The US oil rig count continues to track the lagged WTI almost perfectly. This is the biggest 2-week rig count drop since May 2016.

Despite stabilization in rig counts, US crude production continues to trend higher, jumping to its highest since July 2015 last week...

Of course, price action has been dominated by Hurricane Harvey headlines...

Google To Refund "Fake Traffic" Advertising Revenue

One month ago, consumer products giant Procter & Gamble - one of the largest and most sophisticated advertisers in the world - launched a mini crisis in the online advertising space, when the company announced that it was scaling back its online advertising spend, stating that "digital ad spending was lower versus a high base period and due to current period choices to temporarily restrict spending in digital forums where our ads were not being placed according to our standards and specifications." The implications to this admission that online advertising was either being gamed by bots, or generally underperforming were significant, as it jeopardized the future revenue streams of two of the biggest companies in the world, Alphabet (aka Google) and Facebook, both almost entirely reliant on online advertising. How long before other anchor names decided to similarly cut back on their online ad spending?

So, one month later, in its first tacit admission that its ad network has few protections against "fake traffic" such as ever more sophisticated ad bots - and that P&G's criticism was spot on - the WSJ reports that Google will issue refunds to advertisers for ads bought through its platform that ran on sites with fake traffic "as the company develops a tool to give buyers more transparency about their purchases."

Hoping to avoid further spending cuts and outright contract losses - especially to arch rival Facebook, which has similarly admitted to having ad exposure problems on numerous occasions - in the past few weeks Google has informed hundreds of marketers and ad agency partners about the issue with invalid traffic, also known "ad fraud." According to the WSJ, the ads were bought using th ...

America's "Deep State First" Policy

Authored by Bonner & Partners' Bill Bonner, annotated by Acting-Man's Pater Tenebrarum,

Lighting a Candle

On Tuesday, Donald Trump, president of all the Americans, said his country would spend more blood and money trying to force the Afghans to do what it wants them to do, whatever that is.

If you are destined to stay on the Afghan plantation forever, might as well plant something. [PT]

And so... a darkness covered the land. From Sioux City to Savannah, a shadow passed between Earth and sun. Strange and fearful events were reported. A calf was born with two heads outside of Des Moines. Pomegranate trees flowered in Manhattan. An LGBTQQ+ person wondered WTF?

The people were so afraid.

Nowhere was the darkness deeper than in the nation's capital. There, no light shone. No flicker of awareness... observation... learning... or reflection appeared.

Hello, darkness.

Donald J. Trump had promised to light a candle. But it was nowhere to be seen. Five years ago, he said, "Ron Paul is right." The Afghanistan adventure was "wasting our money." It was a "total disaster," he added.

Trump Gets Yellow Light From Yellen on Bank Deregulation

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen defended strict bank regulation at Jackson Hole, but she opened the door to some changes

Buyout Funds Have Money to Burn, and That's a Problem

Private equity has a $600 billion problem. The problem is how to spend it on deals, because company valuations are very high and buyout volumes have slipped since 2015.

Samsung Will Soon Need a Leader Who Isn't in Jail

The tech behemoth has been doing fine in recent months. But the five-year prison sentence handed to its de facto leader should give investors pause.

Market Snapshot: Stock market trims gains after Yellen offers no policy clues

Stocks pare gains after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen offers no monetary policy clues in a speech at a closely watched central banker symposium in Wyoming.

Futures Movers: Gasoline retreats from 5-month high ahead of Hurricane Harvey

Gasoline futures retreat after touching their highest levels in more than five months on Friday, but still look set for their largest weekly gain in a month as traders mull over Hurricane Harvey's threat to refinery activity and energy production and demand in the Gulf of Mexico region.

Caroline Baum: The Trump bump is running on vapor

The stock market's big rally since November could be coming to an end as expectations for big things from the Trump administration fade, writes Caroline Baum.

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