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14Feb2018 Midday Update: Wall Street Disregards Nasty Negative Opening To Seek Direction To The Green Side, Trading Is Sideways Just Above The Unchanged Line, Be Careful

Written by Gary

US stocks reversed course after a negative opening to trade marginally higher today (SPY +0.4%). A surprise drop in January retail sales, which shifted the focus from rising inflation to the prospect of stagflation.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are broadly higher today with shares in Brazil leading the region. The Bovespa is up 2.41% while Mexico's IPC is up 0.95% and U.S.'s S&P 500 is up 0.49%.

Traders Corner - Health of the Market

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

U.S. inflation firms broadly in January, puts spotlight on Fed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in January, with a measure of underlying inflation posting its biggest gain in a year, strengthening expectations the Federal Reserve will have to quicken the pace of interest rate increases this year.

Wall Street grinds out gains as investors digest mixed data

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks reversed course to trade marginally higher on Wednesday as investors digested stronger-than-expected inflation data and a surprise drop in January retail sales, which shifted the focus from rising inflation to the prospect of stagflation.

Campaigners to challenge 'fit and proper' ruling on Fox bid for Sky in court

LONDON (Reuters) - The decision by regulators that Twenty-First Century Fox would be a "fit and proper" owner of Sky will be challenged in court, campaign group Avaaz said on Wednesday.

Exclusive: Russia's En+ invites banks to pitch for $1 billion share sale - sources

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's En+ Group has invited international banks to pitch for the sale of $1 billion(721.60 million pounds) of shares in the company that manages the aluminum and hydropower businesses of Russian businessmen Oleg Deripaska, three sources said.

GE's chief communications officer Deirdre Latour to leave company

(Reuters) - General Electric Co said on Wednesday that its chief communications officer and senior adviser, Deirdre Latour, would be leaving the company in mid-March to pursue other opportunities.

Apple in talks for first order from Chinese chipmaker: Nikkei

(Reuters) - Apple Inc is in talks to buy storage chips from Yangtze Memory Technologies, a move that would mark the iPhone maker's first buy from a Chinese memory chipmaker, the Nikkei reported on Wednesday.

Sky investor Polygon says Fox offer undervalues broadcaster

LONDON (Reuters) - Hedge fund Polygon Global Partners, which is an investor in Sky , said the outcome of the English Premier League soccer rights auction supported its view that the takeover by Twenty-First Century Fox undervalues the British company.

U.S. regulator warns about Pratt engine shutdown risk on Airbus jets

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New engines made by Pratt & Whitney for the latest Airbus single-aisle jetliner, the A320neo, pose a potential shutdown risk, the U.S. aviation regulator said on Wednesday.

Higher wages, fuel prices turn up cost pressure on airlines

BERLIN (Reuters) - With inflation paramount in investors' minds at a time of rising wages and oil prices, the line separating winners and losers in the global airline industry this year looks likely to be drawn on how well they manage costs, especially on the labor side.

Mortgage Apps Tumble As Rates Spike To 4-Year Highs

A week ago we warned "this won't end well" as mortgage rates started to spike, and this week's mortgage application data suggests it is...

The average 30Y mortgage rate rose 7bps this week to 4.57% - the highest level since January 2014.

And applications are tumbling...

Will higher rates break housing market momentum?

It appears to be impacting the mortgage application pipeline as purchase applications plunged 5.9% MoM - the biggest drop since October and September (impacted by storms).

US Slaps China With Antidumping Duty On Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings

Another day, another escalation in the upcoming US-China trade war.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of imports of cast iron soil pipe fittings from China.

"Though politics plays no role in antidumping investigations, President Trump made it clear that we will vigorously enforce our trade laws and provide U.S. industry relief from unfair trade practices," said Secretary Ross. "Today's decision allows U.S. producers of cast iron soil pipe fittings to receive relief from the market-distorting effects of potential dumping while we continue our investigation."

The Commerce Department announced that it had determined that exporters from China have sold cast iron soil pipe fittings in the United States at 68.37 to 109.95 percent less than fair value.

As a result of today's decision, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of cast iron soil pipe fittings from China based on these preliminary rates.

The petitioner of the acti ...

US Treasury Yields Enter 'The Death Zone'

10Y Yield just tested 2.90%...

The death zone for stocks in the last two week...

But it's different today... so far as VIX's tumble is running the show.

VIX Crashes Back Below 20 After Futures Expiration

Spot VIX briefly spiked above 25 when hotflation sent markets into brief turmoil, but once the Feb VIX futures had expired, it was a one-way-street of VIX-selling euphoria...

And VIX is now back below 20...

And just as it has always been - as VIX collapses, so stocks are panic-bid...

Why Private Equity Risks Tripping on Its Own Success

The past decade has seen a flood of capital into hard-to-see, less liquid assets, transforming the scale and scope of the private-equity firms managing this money.

Does Private Equity Really Beat the Stock Market?

Private-equity returns are really hard to measure and come with big caveats. It helps to understand just exactly what sort of performance private-equity managers are selling.

The Next Big Number Keeping Markets on Edge

Throughout last year, investors worried about a phantom menace that could upset markets: higher U.S. inflation. They were wrong, to their own pleasant surprise. Now they could be right, which creates its own complications.

December 2017 Headline Business Sales Improved

Written by Steven Hansen

Econintersect's analysis of final business sales data (retail plus wholesale plus manufacturing) shows some slowing in the rate of growth.

Retail Sales Growth Declines In January 2018?

Written by Steven Hansen

Retail sales were down according to US Census headline data. The unadjusted rolling averages were little changed.

.

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. to block tax-law loophole on 'carried interest,' Mnuchin says

Treasury Secretary Stven Mnuchin said the government will act within two weeks to block a hedge-fund maneuver around part of the new tax law.

Key Words: Should we be worried that Lloyd Blankfein hasn't felt this good since 2006?

CNN's Christine Romans, in an interview airing on Wednesday, asked Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, "what could possibly go wrong" in this roaring economy? His answer should send shivers through the investor community.

Project Syndicate: Soros: Global dominance of Google, Facebook will be broken

The Internet monopolies are turning into a public menace, writes George Soros.

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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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