France Is 'Fixed'? - Credit Risk Collapses Most In History

French credit risk has collapsed by almost 40% this morning - the most ever - as it appears investors are satisifed that 1) Macron will win the presidency, and 2) Centrist banker/Hollande-lackey Macron will solve all of France's problems. The so-called "le spread" also plunged from EU crisis highs, but does remain somewhat elevated from recent norms...

Why The Crude Rally Has Fizzled - Part 2

So, why is everyone so bullish? Many oil analysts take as a fait accompli that OPEC-led production cuts thus far are key to balancing the crude market. If this is the case, though, why hasn’t it happened yet?

China Threatens Retaliation To Trump's Steel "Protectionism"

"If the U.S. does take protectionist measures, then other countries are likely to take justifiable retaliatory actions against U.S. companies that have an advantage ... in fields such as finance and high-tech, leading to a tit-for-tat trade war that benefits no one," the official China Daily said in an editorial on Monday warning it would retaliate to any protectionism unleashed by the Trump administration.

Bomb Attack Hits Secretive US Base In Afghanistan As Mattis Makes Surprise Visit To Kabul

Taliban insurgents attacked a U.S.-operated base in Afghanistan's eastern province of Khost on Monday officials said, but gave few immediate details of an assault that coincided with a surprise visit to Kabul by U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis. The attackers detonated a car bomb at an entrance to Camp Chapman, a secretive facility manned by U.S. forces and private military contractors.

Frontrunning: April 24

  • French election relief sends Europe soaring (Reuters)
  • Gloves off as Le Pen and Macron pitch for final battle (Reuters)
  • French Runoff Creates Fresh Political Divisions (WSJ)
  • U.S. Government Shutdown May Hinge on Trump’s Demand for Mexico Wall (BBG)
  • Congress returns as Trump pressures Democrats ahead of funding deadline (Reuters)

A Delighted Wall Street Reacts To The French Election

With European stocks on fire, and US futures moving fast to recoup recent all time highs, it is no surprise that Wall Street is feeling particularly bullish this morning. Below is a sample of slleside analyst reaction to Sunday's outcome.

Euphoria Returns: European Stocks Soar, Dax Hits Record; S&P Futs Surge In "French Relief Rally"

Risk is definitely on this morning as European shares soar, led by French stocks a new record high in Germany's Dax, and S&P futures up 1.2% after a "French relief rally" in which the first round of the country’s presidential elections prompted investors to bet that establishment candidate Emmanuel Macron will win a runoff vote next month. Asian stocks also surged, expect for China, which suffered its biggest drop of the year, down 1.4%, ending the streak of losses no greater than 1% going back to December.

One Trader Is Surprised At Market Euphoria From A "Result That Was Everybody's Base Case"

"I guess it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. It truly unnerved the commentariat that the unpredictable seemed to be unpredictable. The second vote is apparently now knowable with certainty. Europe is saved. Populism is about to be vanquished. A strong euro is a good thing for the economy. And ECB President Draghi can begin normalizing rates. Presto chango. Not bad for a result that was everybody’s base case."

Le Pen, Macron Progress To Second Round As Establishment Parties Crash

With more numbers coming from the French Interior Ministry, as of 11:31 p.m. local time Macron's lead is growing to 23.61% as more city votes are counted, vs Le Pen 22.20%, with 41 Million votes counted, or 85.4% of the total. The gap is likely to expand as the final votes are tallied.

Caught On Tape: U.S. Security Contractors Open Fire On Somali Pirates

For years Somali pirates were able to easily board ships and hold their crew for ransom, at times even going so far as to torture or kill hostages until their demands were met. But, as the following video shows, it looks like the pirate business has gotten significantly more dangerous for maritime criminals who are often under-equipped and travelling in speed boats.

Ukraine, Korea, Syria, Iran... Falsifying History Is Uncle Sam's Way To War

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the International Arctic Forum this week on the real and present dangers from falsifying history. He said such deliberate distortion of history erodes international law and order, creating chaos and leading to further conflict. The Russian leader deplored the use of history as an «ideological weapon» to demonize others, and he said that without proper understanding of history we are bound to repeat mistakes of the past.

Chinese Stocks Are Plunging

Despite a liquidity injection and the rest of the world in 'risk-on' mode over the French election results, Chinese markets are tumbling... It seems the catalyst is further crackdowns on shadow-banking.