Yesterday it was two Russian and one Ukrainian warships which had crossed the Bosphorus in direction Crimea, today it is the Americans. As Hurriyet reports, Turkish authorities have given permission to a U.S. Navy warship to pass through the Bosphorus within the next two days as fears grow that the standoff between Russia and Ukraine and the West over Crimea could soon become militarized. Turkish sources, speaking with the Hürriyet Daily News on March 5, declined to elaborate on the name of the U.S. warship. The same officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, however, noted that it was not the USS George H.W. Bush nuclear aircraft carrier as suggested in some news reports, as it did not meet the standards specified by the 1936 Montreux Convention in terms of weight.
Shortly after 3pmET, the S&P 500 was starting to test the day's lows with a heavy volume down-spike around 1508ET. That, as we know, will never do to maintain the illusion of vigor and excitement over the new Utopia we are living through and so, as if by magic, VIX was slammed a rather surprising 0.25 vols out of nowhere, dragging S&P back to VWAP and beyond... But the magic didn't work, the S&P 500 cash index closed infinitesimally red on the day despite this WTF chart...
The best they can say about today's meetings in Paris is that all the leaders agree to disagree - both over possible sanctions and over whether Russia is doing anything illegal. Confused yet? US Secretary of State John Kerry will explain it all in his press conference due up soon...
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain said on Wednesday they were withdrawing their ambassadors from Qatar after it had not implemented an agreement among Gulf Arab countries not to interfere in each others' internal affairs. The move, unprecedented in the 30-year history of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), follows the Bahrain state minister for information Samira Rajab saying she has evidence of Qatari media provocation against her country. As Gulf News reports, Qatar has been a maverick in the region, backing Islamist groups in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East that are viewed with suspicion or outright hostility by some fellow GCC members. Not a good sign for the oil-generating center of the world.
“Maybe the American people or the government or whoever raises their eyebrows can say how could the Europeans be so moderate on the debate over sanctions.
Guess what? You don’t want to sanction anyone you depend on,”
The soon-to-be-renamed-Boring-Book, for its constant uniformity of mediocre Goldilocks data offered little to strengthen bulls or bears (as usual) but it seems weather was the key once again. With 119 references to "weather" (6 times more than the January report), they remind us that:
- *FED SAW ECONOMY GROW EVEN AS HARSH WEATHER SLOWED HIRING, SALES
- *FED SAYS OUTLOOK 'AMONG MOST DISTRICTS REMAINED OPTIMISTIC'
But - the "m" words continue to dominate:
- *FED SAYS MOST REPORTS OF IMPROVEMENT WERE 'MODEST TO MODERATE'
As 8 of the 12 districts "reported improved levels of activity"... but but but the weather. Healthcare concerns were cited 16 times.
Assuming that the dismal non-farm-payrolls print in January was "due to the weather," we suspect economists, strategists, and weather-forecasters everywhere are holding their breaths over the February print given the following 2 charts...
Moments ago, the Senate was supposed to vote through Debo Adegbile, Obama's nominee for the civil rights division at the Department of Justice and who represented cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. It failed, when the Democrats in the Senate couldn't get enough votes to pass a simple majority with 8 Democrats voted against Adegbile: Casey, Coons, Donnelly, Manchin, Walsh, Heitkamp, Pryor. Reid voted no in order to reconsider nom later.