- Fed expected to push ahead with rate hike plan (Reuters)
- Upbeat earnings lift European stocks ahead of Fed (Reuters)
- Chevron to Cut 1,500 Jobs (Rigzone)
- Can Windows 10 Revive PC Sales? (WSJ)
- U.S. Junk-Bond Buyers Left in Dark as Private Deals Become Norm (BBG)
- Jeb Bush Drawing Big Bucks From GOP Establishment (WSJ)
- Myriad of Greek Risks Means Money Managers in No Hurry to Return (BBG)
- Gas production at Gazprom set to hit post-Soviet low (FT)
On a day when market participants will care about only one thing - how hawkish (or dovish) the FOMC sounds at 2:00 pm (no Yellen press conference today) - Chinese stocks provided the usual dramatic sideshow and traded unchanged or modestly negative for most of the day despite the latest $100 billion injection, the close of trading on Wednesday was a mirror image of what happened in the last hour on Monday, as various Chinese "plunge-protection" mechanism went into a furious buying frenzy and government-backed funds rushed to buy anything that trades in the last 60 minutes of trading in what may be the most glaring example of banging the close yet.
The minimum wage is not what is commonly referred, as is being proven again as parts of the US experiment directly with this boundary. In New York, fast food workers have been given a $15 per hour minimum wage which is being celebrated by the same fast food workers who will bear the brunt of the experimentation. Some of them will be happy with the results, but there will be clear losers – the full wrath of redistribution is usually unseen which is why it persists.
The U.S. E&P industry is really good at spending other people’s money to increase production. It doesn’t matter if there is a market for the oil and gas. As long as the capital keeps flowing, they will do what they do best. Don’t be distracted by the noisy chatter about savings through efficiency or re-fracking. Just look at the income statements and balance sheets from first quarter and it’s pretty clear that most companies are hemorrhaging cash at these prices. The U.S. rig count increased by 19 this week as oil prices dropped below $48 per barrel – the latest sign that the E&P industry is out of touch with reality.
For the first half an hour after China opened, things looked bleak: after opening down 5%, the Shanghai Composite staged a quick relief rally, then tumbled again. And then, just around 10pm Eastern, we saw a coordinated central bank intervention stepping in to give the flailing PBOC a helping hand, driven by the BOJ but also involving NY Fed members, that sent the USDJPY soaring which in turn dragged ES and most risk assets up with it. And while Shanghai did end up closing down -1.7%, with Shenzhen 2.2% lower at the close, the final outcome was far better than what could have been, with the result being that S&P futures have gone back to doing their thing, and have wiped out all of yesterday's losses in the levitating, zero volume, overnight session which has long become a favorite setting for central banks buying E-Minis.
The Chinese stock market crash has hit the world’s largest auto-market hard. For now, China is a dream turned sour for the Michigan-based Ford and General Motors and Germany’s Volkswagen. The risks are enormous and will become greater with time.
If the Fed is concerned that a rate hike cycle might exacerbate the supposed drag on the economy exerted by the strengthening dollar and that tightening when the rest of the world is immersed in competitive devaluation could create FX headwinds for US exports, then why not nominate a currency strategist to the Fed board to weigh in on the subject? Well, as it turns out, that’s precisely what the Obama administration did on Monday.
We love reading quotes from Hussman in 2000 and 2007. The air is getting pretty thin up here. A stock market driven by Google, Apple, Netflix and a few other tech darlings with no earnings does not make a market. Time is running out for the bulls. The same morons on CNBC ridiculed and scorned his facts then and they scorn and ridicule him now. Do we trust Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman or John Hussman? Guess.
While the rest of the world was paying attention to the sad conclusion of the Greek tragedy now in its third bailout season, the US was focused on a another tragedy playing out in the nation's heartland when in the latest mass shooting on US soil, 4 marines were killed when a gunman, since identified at Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, a naturalized citizen born in Kuwait, opened fire first at a military recruiting center and then at a Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee in what officials have called a "brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism."
When oil priced tumbled last year it was supposed to be a major boon for car sales and, indeed, courtesy of car loans whose rejections rates have never been lower and with LTVs for loans on used cars sold to subprime borrowers now a record high 150%, some such as government-favorite GM benefited greatly, with sales of Chevy Silverado jumping a solid 18.4% June. Others, however, have been struggling: sales of Ford's top-selling and most profitable line, the aluminum-bodied F-150, were down 8.9% last month as Ford's market share of big-pickup trucks dropped to 28% from 33% one year ago. Ford's response: a huge push to incentivize buyers, in the form of discounts that can exceed $10,000!
Businesses usually begin as productive enterprises. But almost all have zombie tendencies. Once they reach a certain size, they recognize that the best investment they can make is in politics. They hire lobbyists. They pay crony politicians. In return, government enacts rules and regulations to stifle competition. But as with so many of its activities, government succeeds when it fails. As a new industry arises, the money still flows from the cronies, while the feds get a piece of action from the new enterprises, too. And households? They grouse and groan. But the masses usually love government. They think business people are greedy SOBs. But they often hold the fellows who run the government racket in the same exalted category as saints, TV stars, and sports heroes. Don’t believe it?
- Fed Chair Yellen To Speak As Global Tensions Rise (WSJ)
- Greek PM Tsipras seeks party backing after abrupt concessions (Reuters)
- France Hails Greek Aid Proposals as Germany Reserves Judgment (BBG)
- Greek PM says does not have mandate to exit eurozone (Reuters)
- France Intercedes on Greece’s Behalf to Try to Hold Eurozone Together (WSJ)
- Frozen Funds, Fleeing Tourists: Greek Startups Feel the Pinch (BBG)
- Doubts Simmer Despite China’s Gain (WSJ)
"Greece is being 'hit', there's no doubt about it," exclaims John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, noting that "[Indebted countries] become servants to what I call the corporatocracy ... today we have a global empire, and it's not an American empire. It's not a national empire... It's a corporate empire, and the big corporations rule."
The US oil rig count rose 12 last week - the first rise since December and biggest absolute rise since October 2014. WTI Crude is sliding on the news... pushing near a $56 handle again.
The Export-Import Bank died last night when its charter expired. After 81 years, what is commonly known as Boeing’s Bank is headed toward Washington’s trash bin. When Congress returns it could revive Ex-Im, which primarily subsidizes big business exports. But a proper burial for what Barack Obama once called “corporate welfare” would save Americans money, reduce economic injustice, and promote economic growth. Ex-Im’s closure is a very rare victory for the good guys in Washington. Crony capitalism is running rampant in America, undermining confidence in a market economy.