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What We Read Today 09 July 2017

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).


Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

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Topics today include:

  • The Nasdaq 100 just broke a historical win streak, here’s what could likely happen next

  • The oldest stock market indicator on Wall Street just flashed a buy signal

  • Find Out If Your Job Will Be Automated

  • Oil could hit $60 before year-end: Barron's, citing Citi analyst

  • GOP governors to party’s senators: Do no harm to health care

  • Mnuchin Dismisses Idea of 40 Percent Top Tax Rate for the Rich

  • Trump: US must work with Russia, move past election issues

  • Trump Says He Wants to Work ‘Constructively’ With Russia

  • GOP derides Trump's cyber security plan with Russia

  • Trump's voting commission has a secret agenda — and states are playing right into it

  • Goal of nation’s first opioid court: Keep users alive

  • FX weekly: consolidation time?

  • London's Grosvenor House Hotel Has a New Owner

  • Huge crowd rallies in Istanbul against Turkey's post-coup crackdown

  • U.S.-Russian ceasefire deal holding in southwest Syria

  • Iraqi leader celebrates in Mosul; pockets of fighting go on

  • Panic as vacancy tax implemented in Vancouver

  • Eugene Becomes a Category 3 Hurricane Off Mexico's Pacific Coast

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Oil could hit $60 before year-end: Barron's, citing Citi analyst (Reuters)  Accelerating world oil demand and reduced supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could push crude prices up to $60 a barrel before the end of the year, according to a report from Barron's.  The report cites research from Citigroup senior energy analyst Eric Lee, who previously called for a bear market in oil when the price was above $100. The decline in recent weeks to a low of just over $44 for Brent crude LCOc1, the international benchmark, has made Lee a short-term bull, Barron's notes.


  • GOP governors to party’s senators: Do no harm to health care (Associated Press)  The pressure is on Republican senators — from congressional leaders, conservative groups and impatient GOP voters — to fulfill a seven-year-old promise to scrap much of Democrat Barack Obama’s health care law. But back home, Republican governors who have experienced some of the upside of the law are warning their GOP senators to first, do no harm.

For these governors, the issue is less about delivering a triumph to President Donald Trump and more about not blowing a hole in state budgets and maintaining health care coverage for constituents. In the critical next few weeks, some governors are uniquely positioned to press home-state Republican senators who could deny Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the votes he needs to pass a Republican health care bill.

  • Mnuchin Dismisses Idea of 40 Percent Top Tax Rate for the Rich (Bloomberg)  The White House is “absolutely committed” to getting its tax overhaul proposal through Congress by the end of the year -- and that plan won’t include a 40% tax rate for the richest Americans, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.  The “objective” of the proposal is still that no one in the middle class will have a tax increase, Mnuchin said.  Mnuchin said further on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday:

 “We’re finalizing the details of the plan, so there’s certain issues that are still on the table.  Our plan is to have a full-blown release of the plan in the beginning of September, with being able to vote and getting this passed before the end of the year.” 

  • Trump: US must work with Russia, move past election issues (Associated Press)  President Donald Trump said Sunday that “it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia” after his lengthy meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany. But he is still avoiding the question of whether he accepts Putin’s denial that Russia was responsible for meddling in the 2016 election.  Speaking in a series of tweets the morning after returning from a world leaders’ summit in Germany, Trump said he “strongly pressed” Putin twice over Russian meddling during their meeting Friday.  Trump said that Putin “vehemently denied” the conclusions of American intelligence agencies that Russian hackers and propagandists tried to sway the election in Trump’s favor. But Trump would not say whether he believed Putin, tweeting only that he’s “already given my opinion”.  See also Trump Says He Wants to Work ‘Constructively’ With Russia (Bloomberg) and GOP derides Trump's cyber security plan with Russia (Reuters).

  • Trump's voting commission has a secret agenda — and states are playing right into it (Business Insider)  On June 28, Kris Kobach asked every state to turn over a huge amount of voter data to Donald Trump's "Election Integrity Commission." Kobach, vice chair of the commission, was seeking each voter's full name, address, birthdate, and political party, as well as the last four digits of every voter's Social Security number.  This article asserts that (1) the request violates U.S. law and (2) could be used to "identify" many thousands of voters as ollegal when they are fully qualified to vote.

Almost immediately, states began to refuse Kobach's request; at least 14 states will not comply at all, while 44 states will provide only some of the data. Kobach, a Republican who serves as Kansas' secretary of state, even conceded that his own state could not turn over all the requested information.

  • Goal of nation’s first opioid court: Keep users alive (Associated Press)  After three defendants fatally overdosed in a single week last year, it became clear that Buffalo’s ordinary drug treatment court was no match for the heroin and painkiller crisis.  Now the city is experimenting with the nation’s first opioid crisis intervention court, which can get users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days, requires them to check in with a judge every day for a month instead of once a week, and puts them on strict curfews. Administering justice takes a back seat to the overarching goal of simply keeping defendants alive.


The USD has spent most of this year on a weakening path as a result of weak data, fading Trump hopes and a related dovish repricing of the Fed. And while US data has finally started to improve in line with our expectations, the ECB has just gone through a hawkish regime shift, underpinning the pair. The year 2014 saw the ECB entering a QE regime, in 2015 it entered a QE+NIRP regime, in 2016 further NIRP moves was ruled out (in practice), and, now, in 2017 we’re on a taper track despite non-existent inflation pressures.

In contrast to moves since late 2016, the recent move higher in EUR/USD has occurred despite a hawkish steepening of the Fed Funds curve, as European fixed income markets have been in the driving seat.



  • Huge crowd rallies in Istanbul against Turkey's post-coup crackdown (Reuters)  Turkey's main opposition leader told a huge protest rally on Sunday that the country was living under dictatorship and pledged to keep challenging the crackdown launched by the authorities after last year's failed military coup.  Addressing hundreds of thousands of people waving Turkish flags and banners demanding justice, Kemal Kilicdaroglu said his 25-day march from Ankara to Istanbul - culminating in Sunday's rally in Istanbul - was the first stage of a long campaign.


  • U.S.-Russian ceasefire deal holding in southwest Syria (Reuters)  A U.S.-Russian-brokered ceasefire for southwest Syria held through the day, a monitor and rebels said on Sunday, in the first peacemaking effort of the war by the U.S. government under President Donald Trump.

The United States, Russia and Jordan reached the "de-escalation agreement", which appeared to give Trump a diplomatic achievement at his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Germany this week.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitoring group, said "calm was prevailing," with no air strikes or clashes in the southwest since the truce began at noon (0900 GMT) on Sunday.


  • Iraqi leader celebrates in Mosul; pockets of fighting go on (Associated Press)  Iraq's Prime Minister celebrated with Iraqi troops Sunday in Mosul after they drove Islamic State militants from some of their last strongholds in a nearly nine-month campaign, although heavy fighting by holdouts continued in parts of the Old City neighborhood.  Dressed in a black military uniform, a smiling al-Abadi walked amid the soldiers, at one point grabbing an Iraqi flag and briefly draping it on his shoulders. Other troops waved flags and pointed their weapons in the air nearby.  Pictured below:  Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi celebrating Sunday with Iraqi troops in Mosul


  • Panic as vacancy tax implemented in Vancouver (  Vancouver has a new tax, approved last November, created in an attempt to ease pressure on the rental housing market.  Under the new rules, homes that are not occupied for at least six months of the year are subject to a tax of one per cent of the property’s assessed value. The deadline to rent out empty dwellings was July 1.  Many are now thinking of either renting or selling their properties.  Others property owners are trying to find a family member or friend who can occupy it over the six month threshold.  Pictured below:  Vancouver high-rise buildings.


  • Eugene Becomes a Category 3 Hurricane Off Mexico's Pacific Coast (Bloomberg)  Hurricane Eugene has grown into a Category 3 storm in the Pacific Ocean off of Mexico, but forecasters say it's not expected to threaten land.  The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) Sunday morning while it was centered about 565 miles (910 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula.  (Images below are the first made of a major hurricane by NOAA's new GOES-16 satellite.)

The storm was moving toward the north-northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).

The center says Eugene is expected to stay well offshore before dissipating late in the coming week after moving over colder waters.

Other Scientific, Health, Political, Economics, and Business Items of Note - plus Miscellanea

  • The Nasdaq 100 just broke a historical win streak, here’s what could likely happen next (CNBC)  The Nasdaq 100 broke a historical win streak, and according to one technical analyst, investors may have to brace themselves for a possible correction.  Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now," Pension Partners' director of research, Charlie Bilello, pointed out that the Nasdaq 100 had been trading above its 50-day moving average for 138 consecutive trading days, which is the index's longest win streak above that trend line ever. But Bilello also mentioned that it didn't change the fact that "some signs of potential weakness" were creeping up in the market.  The Nasdaq 100 completed its 7th consecutive quarter of gains in June althoough for the month itself the index was down.

That’s what some economists believe will happen as robots and artificial intelligence increasingly become capable of performing human tasks. Researchers at the University of Oxford, for example, estimate * that nearly half of all U.S. jobs may be at risk in the coming decades, with lower-paid occupations among the most vulnerable.

Click for large image.

  • The so-called Dow Theory triggered a "buy" signal in the market Monday after the Dow Jones industrial and transportation averages hit record highs.

  • The theory states that major trends must be confirmed by both the transports and industrials indexes.


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