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US Services Confusion: Good (PMI 7 Mo Highs), Bad (ISM 9 Mo Lows), & Ugly (Business Activity 12 Mo Lows)





Amid collapsing macro data and earnings expectations, Markit's US Services PMI smashed expectations and surged to 59.2 (its highest in 7 months) - just like Markit's Manufacturing PMI 'surprised'. Against the worst payrolls data in over 2 years, Markit's employment index rose by most since June. Furthermore, the business outlook tumbled to 8-month lows. And then following ISM Manufacturing's miss and tumble to near 2-year lows, ISM Services met expectations at its lowest since June... as Business Activity tumbled to one-year lows.

 
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Virtu's Second Attempt At Going Public Reveals Why FX Trading Is Now Impossible





The question on everyone's lips: which asset class was responsible for Virtu's trading perfection for yet another year.  It wasn't stocks because adding across the firm's America, EMEA and APAX equity product lines, Virtu revenues actually declined, from $201 million in 2013 to $195 million in 2014. It also wasn't commodities, where revenue dropped by almost $2 million in 2014 to $93.1 million.The answer is...

 
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US Market Open Sparks Stock Buying Frenzy





Good news, bad news, no news... you decide...

 
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Guaranteed Financial Security Is A Fantasy





Guarantees based on extracting higher taxes, borrowing trillions of dollars and creating trillions more out of thin air only guarantee eventual systemic implosion.

 
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Greek Minister Slams Troika's "Unbelievable Prejudice" As EU Proclaims Tsipras' Government "Cannot Survive"





The rhetoric, threats, and promises continue to increase as Greece, its international creditors (i.e. Troika), and its potential pivot partners from Russia to China to Iran all vie for attention. With EU officials proclaiming "[the Greek] government cannot survive," suggesting Tsipras divorce himself from the extreme left of his party; and with 68% of Europeans polled believing Greece is a drag on the EU economy, Greece's last best hope perhaps remains with a pivot to another Troika (Russia, China, and Iran) as energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis denounced Greece’s international creditors for treating the country with "unbelievable prejudice and as a colony." This all on the day when FinMin Varoufakis 'promises' Christine Lagarde that Greece will repay its IMF loan on April 9th (somehow?).

 
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Turkey Bans Social Media Over Hostage Photos





Because nothing says "legitimate government" like curtailing freedom of speech...

 
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Frontrunning: April 6





  • Political Battle Ramps Up Over Iran Nuclear Deal (WSJ)
  • Greece moves to quell default fears, pledges to meet 'all obligations' (Reuters)
  • Isolated Greece pivots east to Russia, China and Iran. But will it work? (Telegraph)
  • Frustrated officials want Greek premier to ditch Syriza far left (FT)
  • Greek political unrest and deepening debt crisis fuel talk of snap election (Guardian)
  • Rand Paul’s Challenge: Charting His Own Course (WSJ)
  • In Greenspan Conundrum Redux, Odds Are on Bond Traders’ Side (BBG)
  • Yemen's Aden suffers amid clashes, aid deliveries delayed (Reuters)
  • Record Gasoline Output to Curb Biggest U.S. Oil Glut in 85 Years (BBG)
 
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Stock Futures Keep Losses, Gold Near Highs After Worst Jobs Report Since 2013





As market participants slowly make their way back to trading desks around the post-Easter world, and especially the US where a truncated session on Friday morning ended in tears for anyone hoping for a 2015 US recovery following an abysmal March nonfarm payrolls print, they find that unlike on previous occasions, the equity futures liftathon is nowhere to be found this morning, with the S&P set to resume trading in the red for 2015. Away from Greece, whose future remains in limbo, the biggest development over the holiday weekend was a Goldman note in which the central-bank friendly firm said that "the right policy would be to put hikes on hold for now."

 
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Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Tower - The Pointless Hubris Of A Decadent Tyranny





Behold the proposed new Kingdom Tower for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — at one full kilometer in height, about twice the size of New York’s new Freedom Tower.

 
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Guest Post: NATO Is Building Up For War





The swell of anti-Russian propaganda, confrontation and attempted intimidation by NATO has increased, and if it continues to do so it is likely that Moscow will take action, thereby upping the stakes and the danger even more. It is time that NATO’s nations came to terms with the reality that Russia is a major international power with legitimate interests in its own region. Moscow is not going to bow the knee in the face of immature threats by sabre-rattling US generals and their swaggering acolytes. It is time for NATO to forge ties rather than destroy them — and to build bridges rather than glitzy office blocks.

 
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Here Comes Solyndra 2.0: Obama To Hire 75,000 Solar Workers





What could possibly go wrong? Clearly having not learned their lesson from 'interfering' in free markets (and all the deflation-creating over-supplying, crony-capitalizing, taxpayer money-wasting malinvestment that goes with it), NBC News reports, The White House has announced a goal to train 75,000 workers in the solar industry by 2020, many of them veterans. In a sentence only President Obama could utter, he explains "these are good-paying jobs that are helping folks enter the middle-class." Climate 'fixed', folks 'fixed', veterans 'fixed' middle-class-economics 'fixed'... and we are sure it will be unequivocally good for America (until trade wars pick up once again).

 
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Gold Surges After Goldman Says It Is Time To "Put Rate Hikes On Hold For Now"





While equity futures are modestly higher compared to Friday's early 9:15 am close, where only a short, 45 minute long bloodbath was allowed on Good Friday after the worst jobs report in two years, the one asset class that has moved the most by far this evening is gold, which has spiked by 1.5% and is on the verge of breaking out above the resistance level that has proven a tractor beam to any momentum breakout over the past 2 months.

 
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Richard Duncan: The Real Risk Of A Coming Multi-Decade Global Depression





"This is not going to be a 1921-style two-year recession that we bounce back from after a little bit of pain and unpleasantness. After a 50-year global economic boon involving what is now a $59 trillion expansion of credit in 50 years, this isn’t going to be a one or two-year hard recession. This is going to be a multi-decade global depression and I’m not sure that anyone alive today would live long enough to see the recovery."

 
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Vacation-Home Sales Hit Record, Proving Rich People Still Rich





"Vacation-home sales account for one-fifth of all home sales and 'that should more or less rise over the next five to 10 year' as the income and number of vacation-home buyers increases," Moody's tells WSJ. That's good news because with America's "supervisory" wages on the rise and with Russian oligarchs dissatisfied with their domestic situation, a healthy market for "secondary" residences may prove critical.

 
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Bubble Confirmed: From Sock Puppets To Action Heroes





There are times when not only truth is stranger than fiction, but also, when serendipity coincides with moments that are branded into the pages of history where they become the allegory of the times. Sometimes its hard to judge or pick just one. Reason being they’ll seemingly come one right after another instead of that just one, almost surreal, moment. There’s no better illustration of these than the dreaded “front page magazine cover” proclaiming not only that the good times are here; but rather, the far more important underlying premise: they’re here to stay and will only get better! All the while insinuating – to worry about anything is a fool’s errand. i.e., “everything is awesome!”

 
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