Mapping The Cost Of "Sin" Across America

As spring heads into summer across the United States, many Americans may be enjoying a frosty adult beverage. And associated with the purchase of that alcohol, Americans will pay a hefty tax. The taxes collected from so-called sin taxes serve as a major source of revenue for some states. Sin taxes can cover activities from tobacco and alcohol to casino and racing gambling. States collected over $32 billion in sin taxes in 2014.... but which state pays the most for "sin"

Key Events In The Coming Week

After last week's global data deluge which culminated with the worst US jobs reported in 6 years, looking at this week’s calendar we get the usual post-payrolls data lull, punctuated by Yellen's speech today which will be the last scheduled Fed statement before the June FOMC.

Futures Flat Following Friday's Jobs Fiasco: All Eyes On Yellen Again

Every ugly jobs report has a silver lining, and sure enough following Friday's disastrous jobs report, global mining and energy companies rallied alongside commodities after the jobs data crushed speculation the Fed would raise interest rates this month.  “The disappointing U.S. jobs report on Friday means that a summer Fed rate hike is off the table,” said Jens Pedersen, a commodities analyst at Danske Bank. “That has reversed the upwards trend in the dollar, supporting commodities on a broader basis. The market will look for confirmation in Yellen’s speech later today.”

13 Of 23 Co-Ops Created Under Obamacare Have Failed

“The 10 co-ops still operating with June 30 financials reported a cumulative loss of $202.3 million... Very little, if any, of the $1.24 billion in federal start-up and solvency loans to establish those co-ops will be repaid..."

That Didn't Take Long: Fed's Brainard Goes Full Dove One Week After Yellen's Hawkstravaganza

Last Friday, stocks soared as Yellen dropped hawkish hints that The Fed would raise rates "because it was appropriate" implying everything is awesome. One week later - following a terrible Fed-narrative-imploding jobs print - Hillary Clinton-donor and Fed member Lael Brainard goes back to full dove-tard: BRAINARD: U.S. JOBS IN MAY REPORT SUGGESTS LABOR MKT HAS SLOWED, SEES BENEFITS TO FED WAITING FOR ADDITIONAL DATA. Nothing would surprise us less to see stock go green today on this dovish news - just as they did last Friday on hawkish sentiment. If (Fed speaks) THEN (Buy).

Largest US Health Insurer Exits California, Illinois Obamacare Markets

Earlier today, UnitedHealthcare continued sounding the deathknell for Obamacare , when it first announced that it would stop offering Affordable Care Act plans in Illinois in 2017 followed promptly by news the company was also abandoning California at the end of the year as well.

"Crooked" Hillary & The Coming Convention Coups

That was the week Hillary began to look like the candidate who fell off a truck wearing a Nixon mask. Email-gate is taking on the odor of Watergate — the main ingredient of which was not the dopey crime itself but the stonewalling around it. Hillary is a horse that ain’t gonna finish. The Democrats better be prepared to haul Uncle Joe out of the closet, fluff up his transplanted hair, wax his dentures, give him a few Vitamin B-12 shots, and stick a harpoon in his fist for the autumn run against the White Whale (if Trump is actually nominated).

Global Stocks Unchanged; US Futures Rise Above 2,100 As Traders Celebrate Memorial Day

With the US closed for Memorial Day and UK markets also offline, overnight volumes have been weaker than normal on little newsflow. The main story remains the stronger USD which not only led to the lowest Yuan fixing since February 2011 but pushed the USDJPY as high as 111.50 overnight before paring gains. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is unchanged on poor volume, after earlier rising above the 200 DMA for the first time in 2016. US equity futures were 0.2%, or 4 points higher, currently resting just above 2,101 with the last trading day of May tomorrow expected to push the cash market over 2,100 as well.

Army Tests Driverless Vehicles On Michigan Roads To "Save Lives, Cut Costs"

Forget McDonalds and minimum wage blowback, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) is set to send a convoy of vehicles along a stretch of Interstate 69 in Michigan as part of an initial testing of driverless military vehicle equipment on public roadways. The autonomous technology, designed to "save the lives of soldiers serving overseas," is the latest step for the army as it progresses towards its goal of unmanned Abrams tanks and helicopters.

Exposing Detroit's "No School Administrator Left Behind" Program

Federal investigators revealed another blow to Detroit Public Schools this week. Meet Carolyn StarkeyDarden - the system’s former grant-development director - who has just been charged on suspicion of obtaining nearly $1.3 million by lying about children’s tutoring services. As The Burning Platform's Jim Quinn rages, this is called the “No School Administrator Left Behind” Program.

All Eyes On Yellen: Global Markets Flat On Dreadful Volumes, Oil Slides

In a world where fundamentals don't matter, everyone's attention will be on Janet Yellen who speaks at 1:15pm today in Harvard, hoping to glean some more hints about the Fed's intentionas and next steps, including a possible rate hike in June or July. And with a long holiday in both the US and UK (US bond market closes at 2pm today), it is no surprise overnight trading volumes have been dreadful, helping keep global equities poised for the highest close in three weeks; this won't change unless Yellen says something that would disrupt the calm that’s settled over financial markets.

Key Events In The Coming Week

Following last week's lull in global macro, it’s a busy start to the week in which we get the latest deluge of global flash PMIs, while the US economic calendar is loaded with New Home Sales data, Trade Balance, Initial Claims, UMichigan sentiment and the revised US Q1 GDP print on Friday. But perhaps the most expected event will be Yellen's speech on Friday at Harvard's Radcliffe, where the Fed chairman is expected to reveal some more hints on the upcoming rate hike.