Saturday, July 23, 2016

Today's Headlines

  • S&P 500 Rally Streak Hits Fourth Week as Defensive Sway Weakens. The high-defense, low-volatility stock cabal whose leadership has defined the rally of 2016 is beginning to see its influence wane. For the first time in two months, it’s been technology and commodity stocks -- not utilities or household goods makers -- that have led the S&P 500 Index as it climbed in the 12 days since since earnings season began. Computer and software companies were the best group in the five days that just ended, too, powering the benchmark gauge for American equity to a record and its fourth straight weekly advance
  • Turkey Rejects Reference to Its Developments at G-20 Meeting. Turkey rejected any reference to its political developments in a Group of 20 communique being finalized at a gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors in China Saturday. The meeting coincides with a continuing crackdown by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government against political opponents in the aftermath of a coup attempt earlier this month. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters in Chengdu, China, that he would express great concern about developments in Turkey to Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, who is also attending the sessions.
  • Kuroda Says BOJ to Add Stimulus If Needed, Cites Heli-Money Ban. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated that the central bank is prepared to step up stimulus if needed, while noting again that so-called helicopter money is prohibited. “We have said we will check risks in the economy and prices and expand monetary stimulus if it’s needed to achieve our price stability target at the earliest time possible,” Kuroda told reporters on Saturday in Chengdu, China, where he’s attending a Group of 20 meeting. Speaking less than a week before the next BOJ policy decision, he said he would present an assessment of Japan’s economy and monetary policy to his counterparts.
  • Schaeuble Is Putting Financial Transaction Tax on Global Agenda. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday he’s putting efforts to tax financial transactions on the global agenda after attempts in Europe have stalled, even if results will only materialize after “years.” Speaking to reporters in Chengdu, China, on the sidelines of a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs, Schaeuble cited G-20 progress in efforts to curb tax avoidance, through the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting initiative, as encouragement for his plan. “Everybody agrees that it would be right to do this at a global level, but no one has tried,” Schaeuble said. “That’s why I’ve given it a go and said that this is something we should get under way as the next step in our fruitful cooperation” on tax matters.
  • Lagarde Seen Likely to Avoid Jail Time, Keep IMF Job Amid Trial. Christine Lagarde is likely to avoid jail time and keep her job as head of the International Monetary Fund after she was ordered to stand trial in France on charges that carry a potential prison term.
  • Oil Drops to Two-Month Low Amid Ample U.S. Supply, Rising Dollar. Futures fell 1.3 percent in New York. U.S. crude and gasoline supplies are at the highest seasonal levels in at least two decades, government data show. Record June demand of the fuel wasn’t enough to make a dent in stockpiles that ended the month at the highest since 1984 for this time of year, the American Petroleum Institute said. The summer driving season ends Sept. 5 on Labor Day. Oil also slipped as the dollar rose to a more than seven-week high.
  • Time to Short-Sell the Hamptons.
Wall Street Journal:
  • Had bullish commentary on (FB), (SWHC), (MTG), (RDN), (ESNT), (MDT), (CMCSA), (TJX), (ATVI), (AHS), (ANET) and (SPLK).
  • Had bearish commentary on (ESRX), (UNH) and (CVS).
Fox News:
  • Kerry: Air conditioners as big a threat as ISIS. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Vienna on Friday that air conditioners and refrigerators are as big of a threat to life as the threat of terrorism posed by groups like the Islamic State. The Washington Examiner reported that Kerry was in Vienna to amend the 1987 Montreal Protocol that would phase out hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, from basic household and commercial appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, and inhalers.
Zero Hedge:
Business Insider:
Washington Post:
  • Blast Kills at Least 80 During Peaceful Protest in Kabul. At least 80 people were killed and more than 230 wounded Saturday when attackers detonated explosives amid a huge crowd of peaceful protesters in the Afghan capital, most of them from the country’s Shiite ethnic Hazara minority, Afghan officials said. Spokesmen for the Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility for the attack at a traffic circle jammed with demonstrators, according to Afghan media. The group’s media office said two Islamic State fighters detonated suicide belts among the crowd, in two separate bombings
  • AP: Hacked emails show Democratic party hostility to Bernie Sanders. A cache of more than 19,000 emails from Democratic party officials, leaked in advance of Hillary Clinton's nomination at the party's convention next week in Philadelphia, details the acrimonious split between the Democratic National Committee and Clinton's former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders. Several emails posted by Wikileaks on its document disclosure website show DNC officials scoffing at Sanders and his supporters and in one instance, questioning his commitment to his Jewish religion. Some emails also show DNC and White House officials mulling whether to invite guests with controversial backgrounds to Democratic party events.
The Telegraph: 
  • The helicopters fly on for now, but one day they will crash. Prepare yourself for things to get a whole lot stranger. That whirring in the background is the sound of helicopters preparing to drop trillions of yen on the streets of Tokyo. The Bank of Japan meets next week to decide whether to lead the world ever deeper into an Alice in Wonderland world of experimental monetary policy.

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