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17Nov2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Flat, US Building Permits Come In Higher, WTI Crude Trades Higher In The 56 Handle

Written by Gary

US stock market index futures are pointing to a flat opening (SPY -0.05%) as World stocks claw back losses but set for second weekly fall.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed today. The DAX is up 0.06% while the CAC 40 gains 0.05%. The FTSE 100 is even.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Tesla's unfettered ambition to strain finances but investors unfazed

(Reuters) - Investors shrugged off any concern over Tesla Inc over-stretching its production and financial resources with the unveiling of new futuristic semi-trucks and a pricey sports car, pushing its shares up almost 4 percent on Friday.

World stocks claw back losses but set for second weekly fall

LONDON (Reuters) - World stocks clawed back more losses on Friday after spending much of the week in the red, helped by signs of progress in U.S. tax reform and strong corporate results, though many hurdles remain to secure passage of a tax cut deal.

Fork talk lifts bitcoin to all-time high near $8,000

LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin hit an all-time high just below $8,000 on Friday, on talk that a software upgrade whose suspension sent the cryptocurrency into a tailspin at the end of last week was, after all, going ahead within hours.

Analysts flee Wall Street with gallows humor as research changes loom

(Reuters) - Having covered financial stocks at big and small banks for more than two decades, David Hilder was accustomed to the ebb and flow of Wall Street job cuts and hiring sprees.

Wireless carriers on mute as Supreme Court hears big privacy case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider a major cellphone privacy case later this month, but leading players in the wireless industry that is at the center of the closely watched dispute are keeping their distance.

New $200,000 Tesla Roadster speeds in front of electric big-rig truck

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (Reuters) - Tesla Inc upstaged its own debut of an electric heavy duty truck on Thursday when a red Roadster pulled out of the big rig's trailer and Chief Executive Elon Musk said the new $200,000 sports car would be the fastest production car ever.

U.S. probes 415,000 Volkswagen vehicles for air bag problems

(Reuters) - The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it is opening an investigation into potential air bag failure in 415,000 Volkswagen vehicles after the German automaker issued a recall for the same issue in 2015.

Exclusive: Germany's top banks step up efforts to offload toxic shipping debt

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Top national lenders Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are stepping up efforts to offload distressed shipping loans, finance sources said, as the German banking system grapples with $100 billion in toxic debt from the sector.

Pass-through businesses to see cuts under tax plan: Steven Mnuchin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The majority of small businesses and non-corporate enterprises known as "pass-throughs" would see a significant tax cut under the Republican tax plan, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday.

Virtue Signaling On Tax Cuts

Authored by Gary Galles via The Mises Institute,

As happens every time any sort of tax change that can be demonized as "tax cuts for the rich" is proposed, the Trump administration's framework for tax reform has been met with "tax me more" virtue signaling.

The latest installment I have seen was "I'm a billionaire. Tax me more," in the October 6 Los Angeles Times. There billionaire Tom Steyer wrote,

"As a billionaire, I would profit substantially from the tax cuts proposed...

But I am strongly oppose to even one more penny in cuts for rich people and corporations," because it would "defund the critical public programs on which American families depend."

Unfortunately, such a signal of virtue is actually a signal of vice. Higher income earners already pay a vastly disproportionate share of the taxes used to fund government programs. Since those far higher taxes aren't paying for greater benefits, Steyer's position is essentially once of coerced charity--higher income people should be forced to pay more so that the government can give more to others, who didn't earn it—and if other rich people don't volunteer for higher taxes like I do, it is only because they are selfish (though one wonders why those who want ...

Turkey Withdraws Troops From NATO Drill Saying Erdogan's Name Was Used On "Enemy Chart"

Turkey has reportedly withdrawn its troops from a NATO military drill in Norway after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that his name and the picture of Turkish Republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk were used in an "enemy chart".

"There was an incident in Norway," Erdogan told ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party members in capital Ankara.

"They used an enemy chart in Norway. In that chart, there was my name and [Mustafa Kemal] Ataturk's picture."

The president said he was informed about the issue by Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik.

"They told me that they are withdrawing our 40 soldiers from there [Norway]," Erdogan said.

"I told them to do that immediately. There can be no alliance like that."

Ally or enemy? Perhaps Monday's trial of Reza Zarrab will shed more light on that question.

Congress Discloses Complete Number, Amount Of Harassment Settlements In Past 20 Years

While it's not surprising that 2007 - the year when spirits were high, housing prices had just hit a record and the financial bubble was about to burst but not yet- was a "swinging one" on the Hill, with a whopping 25 sexual harassment settlements, the most in the past 20 years, we wonder what happened in 2002 when only 10 settlements led to a near record $4 million in awards. This question was prompted by the first ever release of Congressional harassment records, unveiled yesterday for the first time by the Congressional Office of Compliance.

Below is the breakdown of settlement number by year since 1997...

... and the amount quietly paid out in settlement awards:

To be sure, the controversial and sensitive issue of Congressional harassments has taken center stage this week, with female lawmakers making fresh allegations of sexual harassment against unnamed members who are currently in office, and the unveiling of a new bill on Wednesday to change how sexual harassment complaints are reported and resolved. On Thursday, a former Playboy playmate shared her story of being groped and kissed without her consent by Sen. Al Franken in 2006.

And until yesterday, there was little specific data to help illuminate just how pervasive sexual haras ...

New Fed Chief Powell - A "Swamp Critter Extraordinaire"

New Fed Chief Powell - A "Swamp Critter Extraordinaire"

- Is the New Fed Chief Jeremy Powell a "Swamp Critter Extraordinaire"?
- Trump surrounding himself with elites disconnected from everyday society
- Realities of America's difficulties not recognised by US power makers
- Powell will likely continue to protect Wall Street over Main Street
- Savers should diversify to protect themselves from Fed's ponzi policies

Editor: Mark O'Byrne

Upbeat Moody's Misses the Mark on India

Moody's has upgraded India's sovereign debt for the first time in more than a decade. Investors should question the timing.

Applied Materials Tools Up for More Chip Demand

Even Applied Materials knows the party can't last forever. But the company doesn't see the bash ending anytime soon.

Why Wal-Mart Should Worry Amazon Investors

Wal-Mart still can learn a lot from Amazon, but it has the online retailer beat in one important category—profits.

The Wall Street Journal: How to find your passion in retirement

Trying to find a purpose or passion in retirement? Here's an approach that may help.

Next Avenue: This is the most important person to remember in your estate plan

Here are some of the key documents to complete as part of your estate planning, even before writing a will.

Bond Report: Treasury yields slightly higher ahead of housing starts data

Treasury yields showed little direction on Friday as investors waited for housing starts data that could set the tone for the rest of the trading session.

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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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