Sunday, May 21, 2017

Today's Headlines

  • One Awful Day Ruins Week for S&P 500 as Trump Drama Gets Serious. The Trump trade had its first major test as investors sold down stocks at the fastest rate since before the election on Wednesday. It may not have broken the S&P 500’s momentum, but it certainly made a dent. Investors navigated a swarm of headlines from the White House. The biggest revelation, reports that President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation into ties between the administration and Russia, sent markets reeling as the S&P 500 posted its worst day since September. Yet stocks were quick to rebound with back-to-back advances that brought the weekly move in the benchmark gauge to just a 0.4 percent dip. The Dow Jones Industrial average also declined, erasing 92 points to end the five days at 20,804.84.
  • Merkel Seeks Push for Ukraine Cease-Fire Talks With Macron. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she and French President Emmanuel Macron will seek to revive talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine. Speaking alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during a meeting near Berlin, Merkel said Macron had backed the so-called Minsk peace process on Monday during the first visit to the German capital after his inauguration.
  • In Corruption-Hardened Brazil, Latest Revelations Still Shock. In the three years since Brazil’s sweeping corruption scandal exploded, there have been plenty of jaw-dropping moments. But even in a nation hardened by allegations of crooked politicians and businessmen on the take, the latest crisis has come as a shock. The details trickling out often seem to have come straight out of a best-selling political thriller. On Thursday, a Rio de Janeiro newspaper published photos allegedly showing a lawmaker and a senator’s relative handling bags of cash at restaurants and at the Sao Paulo headquarters of meat company JBS SA.
  • Saudis See All ‘On Board’ to Extend Oil Cuts for 9 Months. All producers agree to extend crude output cuts by nine months to help trim a supply glut, according to Saudi Arabia’s energy minister. The extension through the first quarter of 2018 will help producers reach their goal of trimming global stockpiles to a five-year average, Khalid Al-Falih said. OPEC and other global producers such as Russia had agreed to reduce production in the first six month of this year, and the decision to extend the cuts will be taken when they meet in Vienna at the end of the month, Al-Falih said.
  • JPMorgan's Dimon Signals Optimism on Economy, U.S. Rule Changes. (video) JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said he remains optimistic about the global economy and the prospects for regulatory reform under U.S. President Donald Trump. “Japan is growing more than it has grown in 15 years, Europe is doing well all things considered, America is chugging along,” Dimon said in an exclusive interview with Bloomberg TV on Saturday in Riyadh, where he attended a Saudi-U.S. CEO forum held to coincide with Trump’s visit to the kingdom. “Even the IMF, which is always warning about stuff, is saying the world will grow faster than expected.”
  • Why the Rout in Retail Shouldn't Be a Big Worry for U.S. Economy. A furious pace of store closings and bankruptcies has drummed up fears that U.S. retail is collapsing. Not so fast: Many indicators suggest that retail employment is unlikely to shrivel and the economy will withstand any shock from the sector’s rout. Granted, the industry’s current woes can’t be ignored. Retail sales account for almost half of consumer spending, which in turn makes up about 70 percent of the economy. Retailers employ 15.9 million people, or about one in every 10 U.S. workers, and positions at certain types of stores may become harder to find.
Wall Street Journal:
  • Had bullish commentary on (BBY), (HD), (BRK/A), (MRAM), (PI), (COST), (PRTY), (LOW), (GGP), (JWN) and (WMT).

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