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Possible Epidemic? The Chikungunya Virus Is Starting To Spread In America

Cases of the chikungunya virus are appearing in the United States at a level that is far higher than anything health officials have seen in recent years, and now there are two confirmed cases of people that have not even traveled out of the country getting the virus. That means that the chikungunya virus is starting to spread in America, and once it starts spreading it is really hard to stop. Fortunately, the U.S. has not really been affected by this disease in recent years, but an epidemic has already been declared in Puerto Rico, and some experts are now saying that it is only a matter of time before we see one in the United States.



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MSFT/IBM Boomerang'd As Russia Retaliates, Prepares To Cease Imports Of US IT

With the German economy already suffering (and AMD cutting its outlook), it appears Putin's promise to ensure Obama's action will see retaliation are starting to weigh as much on the rest of the world as Western media suggest US sanctions are weighing on Russia. This time, after blocking foreign cars and Intel/AMD chips, Bloomberg reports the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, is drafting a bill to require government agencies and state-run enterprises to give preference to local providers of software and hardware. For some context, IBM, Microsoft, HP, Cisco, Oracle, and Germany’s SAP SE had combined revenue of 285 billion rubles ($8.1 billion) from Russia (with 77% coming from government and SOEs). “This all has to do with sanctions,” warned one Russian politician.



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MH17 Will Usher In A Completely New Kind Of War - One The US Cannot Win

Just like a century ago when waning British power invited a power struggle among rising nations, waning US power is creating conflict with Russia, China, etc. A century ago, they settled it on the battlefield. The great war brought brutal mass killings, bombings, heavy artillery, gassing, etc. And it changed warfare forever. This time around, the way we conduct war is different. Similarly, leaders are miscalculating, thinking that they can scare their opponents with warships and fighter jets. But modern warfare isn’t fought with boots on the ground. In 2014, cyberwar and economic war looms. And this type of war is something that will affect literally every person who is plugged in to the global financial system.



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Ron Paul: What The Press Isn't Reporting About The MH17 Disaster

Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said. President Obama held a press conference to claim – even before an investigation – that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, did the same at the UN Security Council – just one day after the crash! While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report.



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How RenTec Made More Than $34 Billion In Profits Since 1998: "Fictional Derivatives"

From 1998 to 2013, Barclays and Deutsche Bank sold 199 basket options to hedge funds which used them to conduct more than $100 billion in trades. The subcommittee focused on options involving two of the largest basket option users, Renaissance Technology Corp. LLC (“RenTec”) and George Weiss Associates. The hedge funds often exercised the options shortly after the one-year mark and claimed the trading profits were eligible for the lower income tax rate that applies to long-term capital gains on assets held for at least a year. RenTec claimed it could treat the trading profits as long term gains, even though it executed an average of 26 to 39 million trades per year and held many positions for mere seconds. Data provided by the participants indicates that basket options produced about $34 billion in trading profits for RenTec alone, and more than $1 billion in financing and trading fees for the two banks.



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Gaza Right Now: In Pictures

The death toll among Palestinians from the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip reached over 500 on Monday, Gaza health officials said, as the two sides counted their dead following the bloodiest day of fighting so far in the two-week campaign. CBS reports the officials said some 3,150 Palestinians had been wounded. The IDF just announced 7 Israeli soldiers were killed today, raising the Israeli death toll to 25 (including 2 civilians). A glance at the stunning images below beggars belief that world equity markets (and Israel's) are shrugging at this escalating violence. We assume they 'believe' in the power of John Kerry.



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Malaysian Airlines In Hot Water Again, This Time For Flying Above War-Torn Syria

Fool me once, shame on you; fly civilians over a war-zone twice, shame on Malaysian Airlines. In what is perhaps the most incredulous news of today (aside from Kerry's belief that he will make a difference in Gaza) is, as BNO reports, a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane flying from Kuala Lumpur to London flew over Syria on Sunday... The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other organizations have warned airlines for more than a year to avoid the entire country. “Information from the International Civil Aviation Organization and open source reports of surface-to-air missile firings,” the FAA said in a notice last year, describing the risk to civilian flights as “significant.” Of course, avoiding the world's ever-increasing warring nations is not easy - perhaps it is time to consider trans-polar travel...



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France Defies US, British Demands To Kill Mistral Sale To Putin... For Now

Moments ago it announced that while it is far "too late" to cancel the transaction of the first warship which will be delivered in October, regardless of how much farther European sanctions escalate, France would be willing to cancel the sale of the second Russian Mistral ship should sanctions be raised. Why? Because Russia still has not paid for said ship. Of course, keep in mind that this is the same France which was already punished to the tune of $9 billion a few weeks ago when the US slapped a record fine on BNP, and which resulted in a statement by none other than the head of the French central bank (issued on the US independence day) that the BNP case would merely encourage "diversification" away from the dollar. 



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Saxobank: "Be Warned" Of Delayed Market Reaction To "Escalation Of Global Turmoil"

The escalation of turmoil in the world is yet to play a role for the market, but be warned: everything economic has a delayed reaction of nine to twelve month – whenever there is an action there will be a reaction. If the present state of alertness continues through the summer you can bet on higher energy prices having a serious impact on not only world growth but also on markets. Simply put, Steen Jakobsen concludes, "prepare for less growth, less certainty and more geopolitical risk."



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Netflix Meets EPS, Beats On International Subs, Guides To Lower Q3 EPS And Domestic Subs

Moments ago Netflix reported Q2 Revenue and EPS which were precisely in line with Wall Street estimates, at $1.34 billion and $1.15 EPS. None of this mattered, because just like Amazon, nobody cares about where NFLX is now, everyone is much more focused on where it will be at some indefinite point in the future, with an emphasis on what many believe is virtually unlimited subscriber growth both in the US, but primarily, in the international market. Here is what NFLX reported to its subs growth.



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Oil Jumps As Stocks Dump-And-Pump But Close Lower

Equity prices tumbled early on - giving up all Friday's gains - before rampaging phoenix-like (thanks to an AUDJPY driven short squeeze) back to 'unch' after rumors of ceasefire discussions in Israel rolled around trading desks. Oil - it appears - was looking at the death-toll (and the fact that Hamas can only accept a deal that denies Israel's existence) and soared back towards $105 (its 2nd biggest day in over a month) notably divergent from stocks. The Russell 2000 was the laggard all day (ramped the most of the lows on the squeeze) and Trannies the leader. Since the MH17 headlines hit, the Nasdaq is the only index green, Treasury yields are -4bps, and oil up almost $4. The USD ended the day unch, 30Y Yield -2.5bps, gold, silver, and copper up modestly, and VIX up 0.5 vols at 12.7. Stocks closed on the weak side.



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Russia Touts South Stream Pipeline As Europe’s Gas Lifeline

Russia is mounting a major publicity campaign in Europe for its proposed South Stream gas pipeline in an apparent effort to reassure its EU customers that they can rely on Russian gas for the indefinite future.



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Krugman: CBO Doesn't Know How To Read Its Own Report

Paul Krugman reads the latest long-term forecast from the US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and he likes what he sees. Even though the chart below is the CBO’s projections for the growth of federal debt, described by CBO as "a path that would ultimately be unsustainable," Krugman nonetheless offers a rosy commentary...



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SSDD

In awfully familiar sense of deja vu, at 1300ET on the dot, "most shorted" stocks were ignited into a vertical short squeeze by a rampfest in AUDJPY... the only problem... credit markets are not playing along... Trannies are the best performers (almost back to unch) with Russell lagging (though ramping most aggressively).



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Russian Sanctions Leading To Economic Contraction... In Germany?

It is no secret that the gist of western thinking has been that sanctions against Russia would pressure its economy enough to force Putin to finally crawl to the negotiating table, tail between his legs, and beg for western forgiveness. Call it the law of unintended consequences striking once again, because while Russia's economy continues to hum along (if only for now, something that can't be said about Ukraine's) and has forced the Kremlin to seek a variety of deals with China to avoid western isolationism, one other country may have been crippled far faster than Russia: Germany.



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