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.