WTI Crude Crashes Below $50 As Hedgies Lose Faith In OPEC

Oil is headed for its biggest weekly loss since early March as signs that OPEC will continue with output reductions are offset by growing U.S. production and inventory gluts. Having tried and failed to spark some momentum yesterday (via Saudi jawboning and Goldman confidence), WTI Crude just plunged below $50 for the first time since March.

Market Absurdity Squared: There Is Now An ETF ETF

A landmark event took place yesterday, one which, at least according to Bank of America, may signal that we have hit a top. After $2.9 trillion of inflows to passive funds, and $1.3 trillion redemptions from active funds past 10 years, an ETF ETF has launched.

Existing Home Sales Soar To 10-Year Highs

Following February's 3.9% drop, March existing home sales roared back (up 4.4% MoM - the fastest growth since Dec 2015) to the highest since Feb 2007 at 5.71 million SAAR. Inventories tumbled (for the 22nd month in a row) and prices rose (for the 61st month in a row) as affordability issues remain ignored (for now).

Two Manhattan Subway Trains Stuck In Tunnel After Power Loss

In a nightmare for New York commuters, two subway trains became stuck in a tunnel as power blackout caused delays and service disruptions on several lines during the Friday morning rush hour. According to CBS2, an E train got stuck about halfway through a tunnel at the Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street station. A D train was also stuck in the tunnel.

One Trader's Plan To Not Let The French Election Ruin His Weekend

It's another one of 'those' weekends again, but as Bloomberg's Mark Cudmore notes, anecdotally, FX traders are significantly less excited by the French presidential election than the commentariat (may exacerbate the reaction to any surprise, though it doesn’t increase its likelihood). With options activity at record highs, what should be the game plan for the weekend if you’re a European-based investor?

Frontrunning: April 21

  • Attack overshadows last campaign day in France (Reuters)
  • Paris Gunman Was Questioned by Police in February (WSJ)
  • French PM knocks Le Pen, Fillon stance on security after Paris shooting (Reuters)
  • Battle zone scenes at Paris Champs Elysees (Reuters)
  • In ‘Buy American’ Push, Trump Is Starting in a Hole (WSJ)

South Korea On Heightened Alert As North Prepares For Major Army Event

"Although North Korea attempted a missile launch but failed on April 16, considering the April 25 anniversary of the Korean People's Army, there are concerns that it can make another provocation again at any time," South Korea's acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn told top officials on Thursday.

European, US Stocks In Eerie Calm As French Vote Looms

Global markets were oddly calm on Friday, the last day of trading before the first round of France's closely fought presidential election, with European stocks posting modest declines ahead of Sunday's main event, Asian shares rising, and set for first weekly gain in the past month, while U.S. futures were unchanged.

U.S. Preparing Charges To Arrest Julian Assange

In a stunning new report, CNN has just revealed, according to anonymous sources at least, that US authorities have prepared charges and will seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for intelligence leaks dating all the way back to 2010.

40% Of Spanish Children Live In Poverty

Despite a resurging stock market and stabilized bond risk premia (cough Draghi cough), EurActiv reports the proportion of children living below the poverty line in Spain has increased by 9 percentage points between 2008 and 2014, to reach almost 40%.