Traders Spooked After Night Of Sharp, Violent Moves Across All Asset Classes

It has been a seesion of violent, volatile gaps, starting with sharp gap up in S&P futures on Wednesday night, just around 10pm, which saw ES spike and rally to new all time highs on no news…

… which in turn helped generate a sea of green in Asian stock markets, with the Kospi rising after the Bank of Korea left rates on hold, while China’s H shares surged 1.5% higher and the SHCOMP eventually closing up 1.4%; more interesting is that just an hour after the sudden jerk in S&P futures, there was a similar gap higher in both the on and offshore Chinese Yuan, with the CNY surging 0.25% within a 5-minute span…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 25, 2017.

Montana Republican “Body-Slams” Guardian Reporter Over Healthcare Question

Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte reportedly “body slammed” Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs during an interview after being pressed for his opinion on the CBO healthcare score. Gianforte is the Republican candidate in Thursday’s special election for Montana’s open U. S. House seat.
“I’m sick and tired of you guys! The last time you came in here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here! Get the hell out of here!

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 24, 2017.

Comey ‘Friend’ Warns Trump “If I Were You, I’d Be Scared”

First it was anonymous colleagues, then his dad, and now it’s a ‘friend’ of Jim Comey that CNN reports the fired FBI director has a story to tell, adding that he would be scared if he were President Trump.
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As The Hill reports, Benjamin Wittes, who describes himself as a Comey confidant, said on CNN when asked how Comey was doing.
“He’s going to be fine. He’s not somebody who spends time feeling sorry for himself,”
“I thought it was interesting and very telling that he declined an opportunity to tell his story in private. He clearly wants to do it in a public setting,”
“I think that’s a reflection of the fact that this is a guy with a story to tell. I think if I were Donald Trump that would scare me a lot.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 25, 2017.

The Dollar’s Last Stand.

There is no doubt that the US dollar looks bad right now after breaking below the bottom rail of its 5 point falling wedge last week. Before I give up totally on the US dollar there is one thing I’m going to look for first. When all else fails I like to go back to the initial pattern which was a sideways trading range or a rectangle pattern. I’ve seen in the past that when you have a nice tight rectangle with a breakout above the top rail, there can be one very big shakeout move where the price action will decline back to the center mid dashed line, where final support may reside. If the dashed mid line fails to hold support then there are bigger problems. Below is a weekly chart for the US dollar which shows the price action testing the mid dashed center line.
The $US dollar daily line chart.
The daily chart below shows a potential downtrend channel with 2 blue consolidation patterns. If the blue bearish falling wedge is a halfway pattern to the downside the blue arrows shows a price objective down to the 96.20 area, which is labeled impulse move. The breakout to breakout price objective is a littler lower at 95.45. Those 2 price objectives come in pretty close to the mid dashed center line on the rectangle pattern above.
This weekly chart shows how the downtrend channel fits into the bigger horizontal trading range, which is now testing the dashed mid line. A break below the dashed mid line will most likely lead to a move down to the bottom of the rectangle.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 25 May 2017.

SOMETHING CHANGED IN THE SILVER MARKET IN MAY: Here Are 3 Reasons Why

Something changed in the silver market in May as U. S. Silver Eagle sales have surged compared to the previous month. This is quite interesting as precious metals sales and sentiment have declined in the West, especially in the United States, ever since Donald Trump was elected President.
Many precious metals investors thought that if Trump was elected, it would have been very positive for the gold and silver market. Unfortunately, it seems as if the opposite was (is) the case. Not only has demand for precious metals declined considerably in 2017 versus last year, so has sales of guns, ammo and survival food-supplies. I gather many of those who follow the alternative media believe Trump is actually going to make America Great Again. So, why protect oneself from a collapse?
This is a very bad assumption… as nothing has changed with Trump in the White House. Furthermore, many analysts are saying that what Trump is doing could actually speed up the collapse of the U. S. economy and financial system.
Regardless, the fundamentals in the U. S. economy continue to disintegrate. We are seeing economic bubble indicators reach or surpass what took place in 2007, before the bloodbath hit the U. S. Housing and Financial Markets. However, there is one additional negative factor that wasn’t a problem in 2007 that is now a BLINKING RED LIGHT.
What is this new lousy fundamental? It’s the U. S. and Global Oil Industry. Back in 2007, most of the oil and gas companies were making decent cash flow and profits. Unfortunately, the situation in the Oil Sector is orders of magnitude much worse than what is was in 2007. Not only are the majority of oil and gas companies losing money, they have been also cutting their oil reserves.
This is extremely bad news for which very few Americans are aware. Thus, we are now facing an extremely negative DOUBLE-EDGE SWORD of bubble economic indicators on top of a disintegrating oil industry. Which means… the situation today is much worse than what took place back during the 2008 Global meltdown.

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on MAY 24, 2017.

Will these 2 Forces Crush San Francisco’s Housing Bubble?

The signs and numbers are already lining up. According to Federal Housing Finance Agency data on our glorious Housing Bubble 2, house prices are doing what they’ve been doing for years: they’re surging. In the first quarter, they rose 6.0% year-over-year.
‘The steep, multi-year rise in U. S. home prices continued in the first quarter,’ explained FHFA Deputy Chief Economist Andrew Leventis on Wednesday. So house price are going up everywhere. Well not, everywhere.
In the once hottest metropolitan statistical area where house prices have surged in the double digits for years – San Francisco, Redwood City, and the city of South San Francisco which make up the tip of the Peninsula – was the sole exception: there, house prices fell 2.5% in Q1 year-over-year.

This post was published at Wolf Street on May 25, 2017.

Six Terrifying Graphs That Summarize America’s Public Pension Crisis

A new report from the Hoover Institution written by Senior Fellow Joshua Rauh and entitled “Hidden Debt, Hidden Deficits: How Pension Promises Are Consuming State And Local Budgets,” does a masterful job illustrating the true severity of America’s public pension crisis, a topic to which we’ve dedicated a substantial amount of time over the past couple of years.
As part of the study, Rauh reviewed, in detail, 649 state, county and local pension systems in the United States and ranked them based on funding status and impact on local budgets. What he found was a hidden taxpayer debt burden, in the form of underfunded pensions liabilities, totaling over $3.8 trillion. Of course, as we’ve pointed out multiple times as well (see “An Unsolvable Math Problem: Public Pensions Are Underfunded By As Much As $8 Trillion“), Rauh argues that that $3.8 trillion taxpayer obligation is actually much larger if you apply some “common sense” math as opposed to “pension math.”
As of fiscal year 2015, the latest year for which complete accounts are available for all cities and states, governments reported unfunded liabilities of $1.378 trillion under recently implemented governmental accounting standards. However, we calculate using market valuation techniques that the true unfunded liability owed to workers based on their current service and salaries is $3.846 trillion. These calculations reflect the fact that accrued pension promises are a form of government debt with strong rights. These unfunded liabilities represent an increase of $434 billion over 2014, as realized asset returns fell far short of their targets.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 24, 2017.

Global Markets Mostly Higher After Mildly Dovish FOMC Minutes

(Kitco News) – World stock markets were mostly firmer overnight. U. S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins. Major U. S. stock indexes are at record highs.
Gold prices are firmer in pre-U. S. day session trading. Trading in the safe-haven metal has been choppy recently, amid a lack of new bullish fundamentals in that market.
In overnight news, reports said OPEC oil cartel officials and the Russians have just agreed to extend their current crude oil production cuts by another nine months, but not make deeper cuts in production. The move was expected.
Market watchers are still digesting the Federal Reserve’s FOMC minutes from the early-May meeting, which were released Wednesday afternoon. The minutes were deemed just a bit dovish on U. S. monetary policy and suggested to some that the Fed may not make a move to raise interest rates at the June FOMC meeting. Still, most expect more slight interest rate increases from the Fed this year. The Fed made its last interest rate increase in March. The FOMC minutes were mildly bullish for world equity markets, mainly because there were no hawkish surprises.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on May 25, 2017.

$100 Increase In Monthly Mortgage Payment Would Sink 75% Of Canadian Homeowners

According to a new survey from Manulife Bank, nearly 75% of Canadian homeowners would have difficulty paying their mortgage every month if their payments increased by as little as 10%. And, given that the average house in Canada costs roughly $200,000 and carries a monthly mortgage payment of $1,000, that means that most Canadians couldn’t incur and $100 hike in their monthly mortgage payments without possibly going under. Per CBC:
The bank polled 2,098 homeowners – between the ages of 20 to 69 with household incomes of $50,000 or higher – online in the first two weeks of February.
Fourteen per cent of respondents to Manulife’s survey said they wouldn’t be able to withstand any increase in their monthly payments, while 38 per cent of those polled said they could withstand a payment hike of between one and five per cent before having difficulty. An additional 20 per cent said they could stomach a hike of between six and 10 per cent before feeling the pinch.
Add it all up, and that means 72 per cent of homeowners polled couldn’t withstand a hike of just 10 per cent from their current record lows.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 24, 2017.

New Jersey Emergency Alert System ‘Accidentally’ Sends Nuclear Warnings To Some TVs

Coming just a month after Project Gotham Shield, a major nuclear detonation drill in the New York-New Jersey area, a false alarm that went out to some people’s television sets Tuesday might have scared some in New Jersey.
As NBC New York reports, a nuclear power plant warning issued in Cumberland and Salem counties was sent out by mistake.
The message that was sent out said ‘a civil authority has issued a nuclear power plant warning for the following counties/areas.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 24, 2017.

Should I Invest My Fortune in Gold? Inaugural Lecture by Dr Brian Lucey

PRESENTATION HIGHLIGHTS
– Should I invest my fortune in gold?
– Lessons from gold and silver: Reviewing the research
– What precious metals can tell us about finance?
– What are precious metals and why should we care?
– What size of market and how evolved over time?
– Long and detailed history of gold and silver as money
– What does a tonne of gold look like?
– Research on precious metals including volatility and inflation
– Where produced and where demand from and how evolved and who studying precious metals
– Game of Thrones & Scrooge McDuck’s gold and the Hyperinflation of Smaug
– Gold and silver manipulation – ‘Was the fix a fix’?
– Gold a ‘permabubble’ or in correction?
– Gold costs $1,000/oz to mine so unlikely to fall below that level
– Drivers of retail coin and bar investment
– How does sentiment and mood affect precious metals?
– Why do central banks continue to buy and hold gold?
– Historical studies of precious metals
– How much to hold and when?
– Gold is proven safe haven – rises sharply when uncertainty and in economic crisis
– Research says 10% a good allocation; 30% is high
– Silver similar – 1% to 5% and 10% allocation good in crisis
– One of Ireland’s great exporting services, small to medium size enterprise (SME) is here in the form of GoldCore and can help
– Do not spend too long staring at and obsessing about gold or might turn into Gollum
– Question and answer session
How the economics of gold and silver can help us understand the challenges facing financial economics and whether we should invest in gold and silver was explored in an inaugural lecture by Professor Brian Lucey, Professor of International Finance and Commodities in Trinity Business School.
In the lecture, entitled Golden Opportunities: What precious metals can tell us about finance, Professor Lucey examined the research space in the financial economics of precious metals.

This post was published at Gold Core on May 25, 2017.

Fed Warns “Vulnerabilities” From Elevated Asset Valuations “Pose Risks To Financial Stability”

In today’s FOMC Minutes, Fed member issued yet another explicit warning to America’s investing public (before they pull the pin on the balance sheet normalization) about asset valuations beiung “vulnerable” and also piling on once again that commercial real estate values were “elevated.”
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Of course, traders don’t care and have bid stocks to the highs of the day.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 24, 2017.

FOMC Minutes Signal Rate-Hike “Soon”, Economic Weakness Probably “Transitory” But Need “Evidence”

Having top-ticked US economic data with its March rate-hike, all eyes are on the May minutes to confirm the total lack of data-dependence now present at The Fed. The main focus of the minutes was on the ‘normalization’ of the balance sheet (since June hike odds are at 100%), which was confirmed with details of the plan revealed. Economic weakness in Q1 was shrugged off as “transitory” – although with the provision that evidence is needed – and tightening as well as balance sheet rolloff is appropriate “soon”, likely signaling that a June rate hike is on despite the recent economic slowdown. Fed also warns of asset valuations.
Key Minutes Headlines:
*MOST FED OFFICIALS SAW TIGHTENING LIKELY APPROPRIATE `SOON’ *FED BALANCE-SHEET PLAN WOULD RAISE ROLLOFF CAPS EVERY 3 MONTHS *FOMC VOTERS: PRUDENT TO AWAIT EVIDENCE SLOWDOWN IS TRANSITORY

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 24, 2017.