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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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Goldman Managing Director Found Dead In Apparent Kite Surfing Accident

Police are still investigating the tragic death of 39-year-old Goldman Sachs Managing Director Nicholas Valtz this weekend. As Bloomberg reports, Valtz, a "novice kiteboarder," was found dead yesterday by family members who went searching for him after he didn’t return from a kiteboarding outing. While there is no accusation of suicide in this case, it sadly brings the number of young financial services executives deaths to 16 this year.



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Malaysia PM Announces MH17 Black Boxes Will Be Handed Over Shortly

Quelling some conspiracies - though we are sure more will come on 'tampering' - the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak issued a statement confirming it has reached an agreement on the MH17 investigation...

MALAYSIA SAYS BLACK BOXES TO BE HANDED OVER TO MALAYSIAN TEAM

Of course, this means the "credibility" of the latest YouTube clip from Ukraine, which "supposedly" revealed that the "rebels" were instructed by Moscow to hide the black boxes will be severly questioned, or would be if there was anyone out there still questioning anything in the relentless propaganda barrage. Actually scratch that: said clip will now promptly disappear from social networks, period.



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Is Yellen Being Misled By Employment Statistics?

The actual state of employment in the U.S. is likely far weaker than the economic statistics currently suggest. If this is indeed the case, it creates a potential for policy mistakes that could have negative consequences to both the economy and the financial markets.



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Governor Perry Deploys 1,000 National Guard To Border, Denies "Militarization Of The Border"

It appears Texas Governor Rick Perry has grown weary waiting on the President to dictate the next steps in the immigration debacle and taken things into his own hands. As The Monitor reports, an internal memo from another state official’s office said the governor planned to call about 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley - at a cost of about $12 million per month. State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa exclaimed, "all these politicians coming down to border, they don't care about solving the problem, they just want to make a political point." However, state officials were careful to point out that "this is not a militarization of the border." Nope, not all...



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China Sends Surveillance Ship To Hawaii In Retaliation To US Navy Build Up In Its Back Yard,

China has had enough with diplomacy. Shortly after China's president Xi Jinping warned that "a conflict between China and United States will definitely be a disaster for the two countries and the world" a seemingly tone-deaf US responded by unleashing even more military forces in China's back yard, and announcing it was developing new military tactics to deter China’s slow but steady territorial advances in the South China Sea, including more aggressive use of surveillance aircraft and naval operations near contested areas. The message was clear: pleasantries are great, but immediately halt any territorial ambitions which impact American allies in the region. Well, China responded, but not in the way that the US may have wanted. According to Bloomberg, China sent a surveillance vessel to waters off Hawaii even as the country participated for the first time in the world’s largest international naval exercise led by the U.S.



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Obama's Ukraine Update - Live Feed

The "proof" is flying back and forth from The US and Russia, with the disastrous MH17 crash polarizing the world's nations in a troubling (but BFTWWIII) manner. Following a weekend of European leaders getting behind The US, China has come out strongly supporting Russia who itself asked some awkward 'proof-laden' questions this morning. We leave it to President Obama to dictate exactly what we should all believe and just how bad things will get unless Russia gives up...



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Dow Drops Below 17,000; All Friday Gains Erased

"Retirement Off" It appears the 'proof' that markets were Teflon and could shrug off the worst spate of geopolitical concerns in years... is wrong. US equity markets have given up all the gains from Friday's knee-jerk massive short-squeeze fest... as Treasury yields have tumbled lower all day long...



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Market Manipulation Probe Escalates; UK Opens Criminal Investigation Into FX Rigging

Since we first exposed to the world that yet another market (foreign exchange) was manipulated by nefarious traders over a year ago, the grand total of prosecutions for market rigging is... zero. As Bloomberg notes, however, more than 25 FX traders have been fired, suspended, or put on leave in that same period. While regulators appear incapable of discovering the truth, the market manipulation probes just got serious..."The [UK] Serious Fraud Office has today opened a criminal investigation into allegations of fraudulent conduct in the foreign exchange market."



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As Bearish Russell 2000 Bets Hit 3 Year High, Here Is How Hedge Funds Are Doing In 2014

In its latest Hedge Fund Monitor, BofA's Ankur Singh finds that while hedge funds are willing to be the boats that rise with the central banks' liquidity tide, nobody is willing to fight the Fed in its latest admission that a subset of stocks, mostly those that make up the Russell 2000 index, "appear to be overpriced." As a result, BofA reports that "Specs increased Russell short position to a three year high. MAA and technicals suggest we may have further increase in Russell short positions." So how are various hedge fund strategies doing? Here is the full breakdown.



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They Call Them Junk Bonds For A Reason...

They call them ‘junk bonds’ for a reason. They now constitute an offence against linguistic decency: ‘high yield’ no longer even is. “By sacrificing quality an investor can obtain a higher income return from his bonds. Long experience has demonstrated that the ordinary investor is wiser to keep away from such high- yield bonds. While, taken as a whole, they may work out somewhat better in terms of overall return than the first-quality issues, they expose the owner to too many individual risks of untoward developments, ranging from disquieting price declines to actual default.” - Ben Graham, ‘The Intelligent Investor’.



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