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S&P Hits All-Time Record High As Russell "Death Cross" Looms

For the first time since July 2011's plunge, and with almost half its components already in bear market, the Russell 2000 looks set to experience a 'death cross' in the next few days (50-day moving average crossing below the 200-day). But don't look at that - the S&P 500 and Dow hit new record highs (despite market internals slumping) today ahead of the BABA IPO to keep the dream alive just a little longer ahead of tomorrow's quad-witching malarkey. Today's action was dominated by dismal housing data (demolishing yesterday's exuberance in homebuilders), Poroshenko's "Ukraine invasion" headlines, and hopes ahead of BABA and Scottish votes. USD down on the day, commodities down, bonds unch, stocks... UP.



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Yesterday's Late-Day Buying Panic In Stocks Was The Biggest In 3 Years

Judging by the most liquid US equity market instrument - e-Mini S&P 500 futures - market participants have not been as exuberant buyers of stocks in three years. With AAII bulls at extremes vs bears, it seems this is anything but the most-hated rally of all time!



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When It Comes To Net Worth, This Is The Main Difference Between China And The US

Ever wonder why for the US, it is all about reflating the stock market bubble in order to boost the "wealth effect", if only for a small portion of the population? Or, for that matter, why in China where the Shanghai Composite has gone absolutely nowhere since the Lehman crash (and certainly isn't up some 200% unlike the liquidity-supercharged S&P 500), it is all about preserving the sanctity of the housing bubble? Then the following chart should make it all clear.



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White House Explains Where Your $1.3 Billion Went In Ukraine

Just minutes after Poroshenko's fearmongering speech to US Congress (and in the face of a collapsing Ukraine economy), The White House has released its "fact sheet" to explain exactly how committed (aside from the lethal aid demands - which may or may not be happening as we noted here) to supprting Ukraine the US taxpayer is... On top of guaranteeing $1 billion of Ukraine's debt, a further $291 million in 'assistance' has been flooded in... here's what for...



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238 Years Of The (Dis)United Kingdom

As the World anxiously awaits the results of today's Scottish Referendum for independence from The United Kingdom, we thought a little context on just how many 'nations' have left over the last 238 years...



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Lurking Beneath The Taper: More Trouble In Repo Land

Since we are now in the middle of the final month of a quarter, checking repo stats shows what we have come to expect of a fragile liquidity system. Once again, repo fails spiked sharply. The problem for “markets” is that repo is a primary liquidity conduit indicating significant and persistent degradation under, again, very benign conditions. There is no doubt that QE is the primary culprit here and that its removal is not “allowing” a healing process to begin but instead revealing the damage. With the Fed’s reverse repo program having no impact whatsoever, it just adds to the weight of evidence that policymakers don’t really know what they are doing and are just making it up as they go.



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Household Net Worth Hits Record $81.5 Trillion In Q2 Driven By Stock Market Surge

When earlier today, the Fed released its latest Z.1 (Flow of Funds report) for the second quarter, there were few surprises: thanks to the relentless liquidity injections by global central banks (charter here) resulting in record stock market levels, total household net worth rose once more, increasing by $1.4 billion in the quarter (up from a downward revised $1.2 billion in the previous quarter) to a record $81.5 billion. This was the result of a $95.4 trillion in total assets, offset by $13.9 trillion in liabilities, mostly mortgage debt of $9.4 trillion, as well as some $3.2 trillion in consumer credit.



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El-Erian: Investors Are Overlooking 6 Major Sources Of Global Uncertainty

This has been an unusual year for the global economy, characterized by a series of unanticipated economic, geopolitical, and market shifts – and the final quarter is likely to be no different. How these shifts ultimately play out will have a major impact on the effectiveness of government policies – and much more. In the next few months, the buoyant optimism pervading financial markets may prove to be justified. Unfortunately, it is more likely that investors’ outlook is excessively rosy.



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What's Wrong With This Chart?

Presented with little comment...



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IMF Admits QE Encourages Excessive Risk-Taking; Warns "Sharp Downside Risks Are Rising"

With the Fed unleashing its bubble-watchers last week, on the heels of warnings from the Central Bankers' Central Bank (BIS), The IMF has decided it is time to chirp in. As Mises' David Howden notes, after promoting QE for years (see here and here), the IMF is finally coming to realize what has been apparent for years now to almost everyone who doesn’t work for the Fed or the IMF: that low interest rates encourage risky decisions.The IMF warns, "financial market indicators suggested investor bets funded with borrowed money looked 'excessive' and that markets could quickly deflate if there were surprises in U.S. monetary policy or the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East."



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The Chart Alibaba's Underwriters Would Prefer You Didn't See

While the excitement is palpable on business TV, tomorrow's unleashing of Alibaba on US publicly traded markets could be less than exuberant. Judging by the performance of the last five largest US IPOs, Bloomberg notes that on average they fell 17% in the first year. Still we are sure, those who buy at the open tomorrow will be smart enough to know when to get out (hint: right before everyone else).



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More Than Just Gas: Is This Natural Resource The Reason For The Ukraine Civil War?

While the most important commodity for Europe is gas, whose supply Russia largely controls on the margin, for Ukraine the one commodity, located deep within the perimeter of the raging civil war, and which it desperately needs to regain access to to stop its economic collapse, is the following.



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A "True Normal" Is Still A Distant Dream

Reflecting on the farce that was the FOMC statement and press conference yesterday, Bloomberg's Richard Breslow jabs that it appears Janet Yellen's 'splaining can be summed up, "we can’t know what considerable time means because we’re told it’s a very nuanced concept." In other words, we are just not smart enough, leave it to the PhDs in the room. Even Goldman was struggling to find the dovish side reflecting that market movements were more driven by positioning than anything new policy-wise. As Breslow sums up so eloquently, "a 'true normal' balance sheet remains a very distant dream, perhaps end of decade, and who knows if they’ll ever get back there."



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Poroshenko Tells US Congress "Russia Has Invaded Ukraine, Need Lethal Aid" - Live Feed

In a passionate speech to a joint meeting of Congress, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko dropped some tape-bombs:

  • *POROSHENKO SAYS RUSSIA `HAS NOW INVADED UKRAINE'
  • *POROSHENKO SAYS UKRAINE `URGENTLY' NEEDS LETHAL AID
  • *POROSHENKO WARNS RUSSIANS WILL NEXT CROSS EUROPEAN BORDER

Supported by rounds of applause by US politicians, Poroshenko called for the US solidarity and to lead the offensive against Russia as they "fan the flames of war." Stocks dipped (but recovered) though PMs are higher still.



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ISIS Posts Video Of British Hostage To "Dispel Manipulated Truths" Of The Western Media

In an unusual turn of events, ISIS has released a 'news' video - absent gruesome beheadings and threats - that features ISIS captive UK report John Cantlie explaining, calmly, how "there are two sides to the story," in Iraq and Syria and attempting to "dispel the manipulated truths" of the Western media... "think you're getting the whole picture.. as history repeats itself yet again."



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