Fitch Downgrades Italy To BBB From BBB+

"Italy's persistent track record of fiscal slippage, back-loading of consolidation, weak economic growth, and resulting failure to bring down the very high level of general government debt has left it more exposed to potential adverse shocks. This is compounded by an increase in political risk, and ongoing weakness in the banking sector which has required planned public intervention in three banks since December."

When Low-Wage Workers Are Better Than Robots

Automation is not always the best course of action and, as cost effective as automation has proved in many areas of our life, we are finding a rise of businesses beginning to automate for reasons other than improved productivity or cost effectiveness.

Corporate Debt To EBITDA Hits All Time High

"When using the aggregated data, both gross and net corporate debt/EBITDA are at or near record leverage levels, well above prior cycle peaks." - Morgan Stanley

WTF Just Happened?

Just as VIX broke back above 15.00, The Dow and USDJPY suddenly air-pocketed seemingly out of nowhere... no news/fundamental catalyst as usual.

Rig Count Rise Continues To Lead US Crude Production To 20-Month Highs

With WTI prices back below $50, it appears stocks and NOPEC production are trumping any OPEC hype/hope and today's Baker Hughes' rig count merely adds to those concerns. For the 13th week in a row, the number of US oil rigs rose (up 5 to 688, the highest since April 2015).

Will Banks Allow Another Slew Of Oil Bankruptcies?

Last week, U.S. banks boosted the borrowing bases for several independent energy companies, lifting spirits in the industry. The move was taken as a sign that lenders are beginning to share in the optimism that oil and gas producers have been enjoying since the beginning of the year. However, while some banks seem to be sharing some of the optimism, others are more cautious.

It's Not Over - House Intel Panel Calls Comey, Clapper, Rogers, Brennan, & Yates To Testify On Russia

Just when you thought it was over - after Trump 'Tomahawks' Putin's pal Assad, and Tillerson trounces Lavrov - and the media had stopped the constant "Russia did it" narrative, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (which seems like as big an oxymoron as can occur) has called numerous current (and former) officials to testify once again on Russia's "active measures during the 2016 election."

F-18 Fighter Jet From Carl Vinson Carrier Crashes Off The Philippines

With the USS Carl Vinson finally on its way to North Korea after some initial "miscommunications" between the White House and the Pentagon, on Friday it suffered another embarrassing moment when a F-18 pilot was forced to eject during an attempted landing on the deck of the Vinson in the Celebes Sea, south of the Philippines, the US Navy said in a statement. The pilot was recovered safely.

Obama To Make First Public Statement Since Leaving White House

Ending a three-month period of silence since he left the White House on Jan. 20 - much of which was spent on vacation in Palm Springs, Calif., on a Caribbean island with English billionaire Richard Branson and at an exclusive resort in French Polynesia -  former president Barack Obama will make the first public appearance of his post-presidency on Monday when he speaks at an event in his hometown of Chicago, his office said.