Archive for the ‘Immediately available to public’ Category

“What Just Hit Us?” – Bay Area Rattled By Unusual Quake Swarm, Trains Delayed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following “strained” magma chamber concerns at Yellowstone, Bay Area residents have grown increasingly concerned this week as a swarm of well over 50 earthquakes has struck in recent days…

Culminating in at least 32 quakes in the last 24 hours as large as magnitude 3.6 which struck the East Bay town of Danville around 3pmET today.

“It’s been nuts. It wakes us up every night. We have a little dog, sleeps on the bed with us, and he freaks out all the time,” said Danville resident Christian Sommer.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains were impacted by the quakes with trains delayed.

“Looking in that general region, I’m counting 55 quakes just in the last week,” said Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist with the Geological Survey.

8 fault lines run through the bay.

Several more significant temblors then shook up Diablo area businesses at midday – the strongest being a 3.6.

“I was sitting at my desk when the first one hit,” said Danville resident Brenda Hammer. “And I thought something hit the building was my initial reaction. What just hit us?”

There was another swarm of quakes just three days ago on Tuesday.Some in the East Bay are busy retrofitting for a bigger quake.

This swarm comes just a few weeks after a 4.4 quake jolted much of Bay Area awake in January.





Iran Threatens To Abandon Nuclear Deal If Western Banks Don’t Start Doing Business

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Iran says it will withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal if big banks continue to avoid doing business with the Islamic republic, deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said on Thursday, speaking from London. 

The Islamic Republic agreed to restrict its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of crippling sanctions by the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. 

Following the deal, however, major banks have continued to avoid doing business with Iran for fear of violating remaining U.S. sanctions – which Iran says has hampered their efforts to rebuild foreign trade and attract investment.

Most of it is because of this atmosphere of uncertainty which President Trump has created around JCPOA, which prevents all big companies and banks to work with Iran, it’s a fact, and it’s a violation lead by the United States. -Abbas Araghchi

Compounding Iran’s woes are comments from President Trump, who told Europeans on January 12 that they must “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal” or he would re-impose the sanctions lifted by the Obama administration as part of the pact. Trump set a May 12 deadline to review fresh “waivers” on U.S. sanctions. 

The May 12 deadline represents an opportunity for Trump to pull the U.S. out of another international deal. He has already abandoned the Paris climate accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade deal. He wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, a 24-year-old trade pact with Canada and Mexico. -USA Today

Trump sees three major defects in the deal; its failure to address Iran’s ballistic missile program, the terms by which inspectors are allowed to visit suspected Iranian nuclear enrichment sites, and “sunset” clauses on Iran’s nuclear program which expire after 10 years. 

Araghchi contends that Trump’s interpretation of the sunset clause is incorrect, and that Trump’s continued trash-talking is in violation of the deal itself;

“There is no sunset clause in the JCPOA. Although the U.S. administration and Trump are talking about sunset clause and that JCPOA is just for 10 years, that is not true,” he said.

You know, every time President Trump makes a public statement against JCPOA saying it’s a bad deal, it’s the worst deal ever, I am going to fix it, I am going to change it, all these


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Berkshire Owns $100 Billion In T-Bills: More Than China And The UK

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A few months ago, we pointed out that Warren Buffett, the so-called “Oracle of Omaha” said during the 100-year anniversary celebration of Forbes magazine that the “Dow will be over a million” over the next 100 years and “that is not a ridiculous forecast”.

Of course, the second part of that statement was promptly ignored by the financial media, which churned out “shock and awe” headlines like “Warren Buffett Says The Dow Is Going Over One Million.”

Without context, this might appear to be an incredibly bullish call. But Dow one million 100 years from now would actually represent a deceleration in the Dow’s CAGR to 3.9% pre-tax, or closer to just 3% post-tax returns per year (assuming tax rates don’t trend toward 100% during the intervening period). A more optimistic prediction (at least based on past performance) would be for the Dow to hit 140,000,000 in 100 years.

DJIA

Well, we received another update on Buffett’s long-term thinking on Friday when the Wall Street Journal reported that Berkshire Hathaway is holding more than $100 billion in cash or cash-equivalents - i.e. Treasury bills – on its balance sheet.

The company is doing this at great expense to shareholders (referring to the opportunity cost that comes with avoiding higher-yielding assets) and Buffett – who is expected to release his widely read annual shareholder letter this weekend – has vowed to find a better place to park this cash. Because of this conservatism, Berkshire is now one of the largest holders of Treasury debt.

However, Buffett has been promising to find a home for the cash for a few years now – which makes one wonder whether this is part of a deliberate strategy…

Berkshire has used its mounting cash pile to become one of the world’s largest owners of U.S. Treasury bills after struggling to find big companies to buy in recent years.

It held $109 billion in cash as of Sept. 30, up from $86 billion at the end of 2016 and more than double what it had at the end of 2006. Nearly all of that was invested in short-term bills, according to Mr. Buffett.

Berkshire has an outsize presence in the $2 trillion market for Treasury bills, a type of government debt that matures in a year or less. It


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Wheel of Fortune

 

Wheel of Fortune

Only the left can break the cycle of wealth accumulation.

By George Monbiot, originally published on monbiot.com

This is my opening speech at the Intelligence Squared debate at the Emmanuel Centre, London, 21st February, with Roger Scruton, Stella Creasy and Kwasi Kwarteng: The Left Has Right on Its Side.  

I speak without notes, but this is the text I roughly memorised.

I should confess that sometimes the left drives me round the bend. The meetings, the posturing, the infighting: it can be infuriating. The old adage that the right looks for converts while the left looks for traitors is all too often true.

Despite this, I belong to the left and will never give up on it, because without it there is no solution to a predicament that every generation faces. This predicament is the escalating concentration of wealth and power that threatens to destroy democracy and eventually make life unlivable.

Wealth and power concentrate not because those we confront are wicked (though there are one or two). Their escalation, in the absence of a political movement to restrain it, is an intrinsic feature of complex human societies. It occurred even in the world’s first cities, in southern Mesopotamia.

A useful way of looking at this problem is the concept of patrimonial capital, popularised by Thomas Piketty*. Piketty showed that when the return on capital increases faster than the growth of economic output, inequality spirals, social mobility stalls and the enterprise economy is replaced by a rentier economy.

In other words, once you have money and property, you can use it to accumulate more money and property, taking an ever greater share of society’s wealth, through the harvesting of economic rent. By economic rent I mean charging people over the odds to use a non-reproducible resource over which you exercise exclusive control. Think, for example, of the ridiculous price we pay in the UK for train tickets, because the train companies have us over a barrel.

By this means, through no enterprise of their own, the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. This process has no natural limits. Eventually, as we’ve seen in the past, the very rich can…
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Trump Wants “Harshest” Import Tariffs: 24% On Steel, 10% On Aluminum

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Defying threats of retaliation from the Chinese, Bloomberg reports that President Trump is pushing for a global tariff of 24% on all steel imports, a decision that will anger nearly every industrial manufacturer based in the US, while at the same time helping revive the fortunes of US steel producers.

The rates were first proposed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last week.

The commerce department released reports on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s investigations into the impact on our national security from imports of steel mill products and from imports of wrought and unwrought aluminum. These investigations were carried out under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended. All classified and business confidential information in the reports was redacted before the release.

Specifically, the department, found that the quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports “threaten to impair the national security,” as defined by Section 232.

Ross

It also recommended several options, of which Trump now reportedly supports the stiffest.

On steel the options include: a global tariff of at least 24% on all steel imports from all nations; tariff of at least 53% on all steel imports from 12 nations with a quota by product for all steel products from all countries equal to 100% of their 2017 exports to U.S.; quota on all steel products from all nations equal to 63% of 2017 exports.

On aluminum the options include: tariff of at least 7.7% on all aluminum exports from all countries; 23.6% tariff on all products from key nations; quota on all imports from countries equal to maximum of 86.7% of 2017 exports.

Anticipating the administration's support, six free trade advocacy groups sent an open letter to Trump on Thursday urging him not to impose the steel and aluminum tariffs. They also said the national security argument advanced by the Commerce Department wasn't credible.

"The national security case to restrict steel and aluminum imports is thin and the toll such restrictions would take on the economy is considerable," the letter said, adding that a thorough assessment of America's suppliers, treaties and other agreements "makes clear that steel…
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Kraft Heinz Announces Retirement Of Warren Buffett From Board

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Just hours ahead of his widely anticipated annual letter, Kraft Heinz surprised the Berkshire faithful with news that Warren Buffett, 87, will retire from board following end of his term at the upcoming Kraft Heinz 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

According to the statement, "Buffett decided to retire from the Board as he decreases his travel commitments."

In his place, the board will nominate Alexandre Van Damme – board member of Anheuser-Busch Inbev and Restaurant Brands International as well as a director of DKMS – who will  to stand for election at 2018 Annual Meeting to fill Buffett’s vacancy.

Now will there be any more retirement surprises in just over 12 hours?

Full statement below.

Kraft Heinz Announces Retirement of Warren Buffett from Board of Directors

The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) (“Kraft Heinz”) announced today that Warren Buffett, will retire from the Company’s Board of Directors following the end of his term at the upcoming Kraft Heinz 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Mr. Buffett decided to retire from the Board as he decreases his travel commitments. The Company also announced that the Board of Directors intends to nominate Alexandre Van Damme to stand for election at the 2018 Annual Meeting to fill Mr. Buffett’s vacancy.

“It has been an honor to work with Warren for the past five years,” said Alex Behring, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “His many invaluable contributions to Kraft Heinz will have a lasting impact on the Company for years to come. The Board of Directors looks forward to his continued partnership as Chairman of our largest shareholder, Berkshire Hathaway. We are thrilled to add Alexandre’s expertise and perspective to Kraft Heinz, and believe that his executive experience and leadership will be extremely valuable to the Board, our leadership and company as a whole.”

Mr. Van Damme is, amongst others, a Board member of Anheuser-Busch Inbev and Restaurant Brands International as well as a director of DKMS, the largest bone marrow donor center in the world.





When Bonds & The Dollar Sink, The Only Thing That Can Save Stocks Is QE

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

In the last 45 years, there have been seven periods of persistent US dollar and Treasury bond weakness and as BofAML notes, during six of those periods, stocks have been pressured significantly lower.

This could be a problem, as it’s happening again… and stocks are beginning to wake up to it…

There has only been one period in history when falling dollar and bond prices did not lead to slumping stocks…

And that was when QE was expanded drastically in March 2009.

So – were this morning’s warnings from Dudley and Rosengren about the likelihood of more QE more prophetic than many suspect?





Weekend Reading: Tax Reform Doing Exactly What We Expected

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

Shortly after the Tax Cut/Reform bill was passed by Congress, I did some analysis discussing the various myths of how those “tax cuts,” since they were primarily focused on corporations, would actually turn out.

Well, just two months into 2018, we already have some answers.

Myth 1:  Tax cuts will lead to a huge ramp up in earnings.

The problem with the idea that tax cuts will result in a huge increase in bottom-line earnings, is that estimates got way ahead of reality.

For example, in October of 2017, the estimates for REPORTED earnings for Q4, 2017 and Q1, 2018 were $116.50 and $119.76 respectively. As of February 15th, the numbers are $106.84 and $112.61 or a difference of -$9.66 and -7.15 respectively. 

Wall Street ALWAYS over-estimates earnings and by about 33% on average. That overestimation provides a significant amount of headroom for Wall Street to be disappointed by year end, particularly once you factor in the “effective” tax rate that most companies actually pay.

But even if we give Wall Street the benefit of the doubt and assume their predictions will be correct for the first time in human history, stock prices have already priced in twice the rate of EPS growth.

It is quite likely that once again Wall Street is extrapolating the last few quarters of earnings growth ad infinitum and providing even more fodder for the market rally. It is also quite likely Wall Street will be proven wrong on earnings as so often has occurred in the past.

Myth 2: Corporations will use those tax cuts to hire employees and boost wages

As I discussed previously:

“The same is true for the myth that tax cuts lead to higher wages. Again, as with economic growth, there is no evidence that cutting taxes increases wage growth for average Americans. This is particularly the case currently as companies are sourcing every accounting gimmick, share repurchase or productivity increasing enhancement possible to increase profit growth.

Not surprisingly, our guess that corporations would utilize the benefits of “tax cuts” to boost bottom line earnings rather than increase wages has turned out to be true. As noted by Axios, in just the first two months of this year companies have already
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Bonds Break 7-Week Losing Streak As Fed Balance Sheet Tumbles Most In 6 Years

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A week of turmoiling up and down in rates and stocks… for not very much…

On the day we saw the same old pattern of gap up open, then weakness… but this time the latter half of the day saw buying, not selling…

The Dow and Small Caps managed to creep back into the green for the week as Nasdaq melted up to Wednesday’s highs this afternoon (as bond yields tumbled)…

The Dow bounced back to its 61.8% retracement zone.

S&P managed to get back above (and close above) its 50DMA…

Credit markets had a notably weak week, diverging dramatically from equity risk…

Treasury yields were mixed on the week with the belly outperforming (and lower) while 2Y and 30Y were both higher…

With the 2s10s curve flatter for the 2nd week in a row…

10Y Yields were up 7 weeks in a row ahead of this week but the 10Y closed below last Friday’s close of 2.8749% breaking the losing streak…

As Bloomberg notes, That’s quite an unusual situation. The last time it happened was in May 2008, and before that it was May 2004. An eight-week streak of higher yields would have been the longest since a nine-week surge ending on April 1, 1994. Here’s the S&P 500 during those nine weeks:

But we note that US stocks are now their ‘most expensive’ relative to bonds since 2008…

The Dollar Index limped lower for the second day (coincidentally since China has returned from its new year festivities, banned VIX, and bailed out Anbang)…but ended higher on the week (3rd weekly gain of the last 4 weeks)

NOTE how tight the range has been in the last 36 hours.

WTI bounced for the 2nd week in a row but dollar strength hit cooper and PMs…

NOTE that WTI/RBOB are back at somewhat key technical levels right before the XIV-driven collapse…

Bitcoin bounced back above $10,000 today – back to unchanged for February – but is marginally lower on the week (as the rest of the crypto space got hammered)…

Nasdaq and Bitcoin recoupled earlier today but this afternoon saw stocks higher and crypto slipped lower…

Is Bitcoin the leading indicator for The Dow?

Finally, You Are (Still) Here…

Bonus
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Treasury Yields Tumble After Art Cashin Warns “All Hell Will Break Loose” If 10Y Hits 3%

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

If there is one thing that should scare investors out of a crowded trade, its a warning from veteran Wall Street-er Art Cashin.

As a reminder, speculative investors have never been more one-way positioned short in Treasury yields…

And UBS’ Art Cashin warned during a CNBC interview yesterday that it could be a bad day for the markets once the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury hits 3 percent:

“That 3 percent level is both a target and a kind of resistance. Everybody knows it’s like touching the third rail,” 

“The assumption is once they do it, all hell will break loose. So we’ll wait and see.

The sharp moves seen Wednesday were probably due to “our friends, the long-lost ‘bond vigilantes,’” Cashin told “Squawk on the Street.”

“We’re going to need a couple weeks to see if the bond vigilantes really are back or not,” Cashin said.

“Or whether it was simply a fluke. But remembering what bond vigilantes look like, it certainly had fingerprints on them.

But for now, since Cashin’s warning, it seems more than a few investors have taken some short bond chips off the table as Treasury yields have tumbled…

As bond yields have finally caught up to the inflationary signals from copper/gold…





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

And America's Dirtiest Metropolis Is...

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Well, you guessed it, New York City of course - this dirty city has more pests and litter than any other large metropolis in the United States, according to newly compiled government data by the cleaning-services company Busy Bee.

The cleaning company ranked 40 large cities across the United States based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the American Housing Survey (AHS), and the U.S. Census Bureau to create an informative infographic to determine just how shitty America really is. Factors include litter, pests such as mice and cockroaches, population density, particulate matter a...



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Zero Hedge

And America's Dirtiest Metropolis Is...

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Well, you guessed it, New York City of course - this dirty city has more pests and litter than any other large metropolis in the United States, according to newly compiled government data by the cleaning-services company Busy Bee.

The cleaning company ranked 40 large cities across the United States based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the American Housing Survey (AHS), and the U.S. Census Bureau to create an informative infographic to determine just how shitty America really is. Factors include litter, pests such as mice and cockroaches, population density, particulate matter a...



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ValueWalk

Is College Really for All?

By The Foundation for Economic Education. Originally published at ValueWalk.

In the last two and a half generations, the number of students who go on to attend college, as a percentage of the population, has tripled. In 1959, about 20 percent of high school students went on to college. Since relatively few people were earning degrees, having one all but guaranteed getting a good, high-paying job. As a result, parents, high schools, and colleges began encouraging more and more high school students to go to college. Today, about 60 percent of high school students go on to college. But has the big push to get kids into college done anything to improve outcomes? Is the average $250,000 investment in a four-year degree at all worth it? If not, what alternatives exist? Join Antony Davies and James Harrigan as they talk about this and more on this week’s episode of Words and Num...



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Insider Scoop

Imperial Capital: MINDBODY Has The Keys To Success

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 7 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's After-Hours Session 50 Biggest Movers From Friday ...

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Digital Currencies

US Olympians Are Turning To Bitcoin To Offset Competition-Related Costs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As many college athletes know all too well, funding for more niche sports like - for example - luge is often lacking, and securing more often requires hours of fundraising by the team's boosters.

Which is why, ahead of the Winter Games in PyeongChang, some teams started getting creative. For instance, fundraisers for the US luge team have started accepting donations in bitcoin. Indeed, the team has raised several thousand dollars worth of bitcoin.

...



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Chart School

'Bull Trap' in Dow Jones Industrial Average

Courtesy of Declan.

Starting to see evidence that the February bounce in markets is fading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a 'bull trap' as it ducked below breakout support despite finishing above yesterday's close. Volume dropped as relative performance against tech indices took a marked step lower. Troubling times for the 'flight-to-safety' route.


The Semiconductor Index had looked like it was ready to mount a challenge of the January 'bull trap' but the last couple of days have seen a second attempt at a reversal ...

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Biotech

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

In this March 18, 2011 photo, Cassidy Hempel waved at hospital staff as she was being treated for a rare disorder. Her mother Chris, left, fought to gain permission for an experimental drug. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Morten Wendelbo, Texas A&M University and Timothy Callaghan, ...



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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

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Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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