Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Doesn't Matter, I'm Still Bearish On Oil

Oil surges after Saudis and Russians agree to production cut

All seemed quiet in the markets Monday with Asian equities rising, European shares dropping, and the S&P500 futures showing little change. But beneath this calm exterior a long awaited bounce was brewing. Brought on by months of planning and machinations involving more than a dozen governments with two leading the charge. The long anticipated agreement between…

The Nightmare We All Hoped Wouldn't Come Is Finally Beginning To Show Itself

Too-good-to-be-true pensions face massive shortfall

ANALYSIS/OPINION: Safe and secure - that's what defined benefit pensions are supposed to be. For many Americans, defined benefit pensions have been a dream come true. After a few decades of labor, they've retired in their 50s or early 60s with a comfortable pension income for life. But that dream come true is too good to…

While The U.S. Steps Away From China, Germany Moves Into The Vacuum

China, Germany eye 3-facet cooperation to link development strategies

BEIJING -- As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang kicks off an official visit to Germany from Wednesday, the two countries are set to enhance their digitalization and other cooperation, and promote policy support and company exchanges while linking development strategies. Unveiled in May 2015, the "Made in China 2025" plan helps transform China from a manufacturing giant…

Blockchain Technology Continues To Inspire Small Industry And Startups

This Woman Founded The World Bank Blockchain Working Group

Rosanna Chan’s vision for distributed ledger technology was inspired by her own personal journey. The 38-year-old economist and founder of the World Bank Blockchain Group was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Australia, then spent several years living in both India and the United States. She fantasizes about a world with a “magic ledger,” where…

Daimiler Late Showing Up To The Electric Game

Daimler collaborates with top U.S. Solar company to make home batteries

The German automaker Diamler AG has made a deal with Vivint Solar Inc, one of the so-called “big three” companies in American Solar power to enter the enter the U.S. home market for batteries. The collaboration which was announced Thursday will be an exclusive partnership and help break new ground for both companies. This will be…

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Apparently Washington Is Located 450km Off The Coast Of Korea

North Korea Declares Latest Missile Test a Success

North Korea's state-run news agency said Tuesday the country's latest ballistic missile test was a success and involved a new precision guidance system. In neighboring South Korea, the military said Monday's test involved a Scud-type missile that landed about 450 kilometers off North Korea's east coast in the Sea of Japan. The U.S. Pacific Command said…

A Little Suprising After A Crummy Holiday Season

Consumers spend at fastest pace in four months in a sign of spring economic rebound

WASHINGTON — Americans ratcheted up their spending in April at the fastest pace in four months in a sign the economy has rebounded this spring after a lackluster winter. The new data also could help push Federal Reserve officials to hike a key interest rate again when they meet in two weeks. Personal consumption expenditures increased…

Monday, May 29, 2017

Relief And Now Reality In France

How Macron can unite Europe

Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election sent a wave of relief and euphoria across Europe. But now a reality check is in order, because we do not, yet, know how the new president intends to restore the French economy. The country suffers from an unemployment rate of nearly 10 per cent, and its manufacturing…

Economic Potential Of The Silk Road Apparent To International Firms

Foreign Firms Seek a Fair Shot at China's New Silk Road Projects

China's planned modern version of its ancient "silk road" may bring more than one trillion dollars of infrastructure investment along trading routes that wind through emerging markets in dozens of countries throughout Asia, Africa and Europe. "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) trade routes, which stretch from China to London and to Africa, are intended to boost…

Lions And Tigers And Bears

An Unusually Bullish Projection

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Editor’s Note: What you are about to read is dead wrong. So keep reading, because there’s a correction later…………

As I mentioned when SlopeCharts was introduced, one advantage of forcing me off ProphetCharts (which I have been using for a dozen years) was that I would get a fresh perspective on the markets. With all my symbols, trendlines, and other embellishments gone, I’d be able to perhaps shake off some old biases (or at least reduce them).

In that spirit, I offer this rather surprising post, in which I offer up the prospect of equity markets rising another 10% or so. Now perhaps my stating such a thing – – me, the permabear, saying something broadly bullish – – will be taken by some as a sign of the market top. I’ll happily exchange ridicule for top-ticking a market in exchange for a true downtrend! But regardless, here we go……….
Where this came about was as I was messing around with some long-term index charts and trying out the Fibonacci retracement. I was quite taken by how “Fibonacci-friendly” (to use my term) they were. In other words, quite a few major areas of support and resistance were echoed by the retracement lines, so I decided to see where the next projection level higher would take us.

And – voila – here’s what we have on the S&P 500. On this chart, it looks like we’re a stone’s throw away, but it’s actually a good 200 points or so from here (2644 is the level), which is about 9% higher. There are plenty of folks (even our friends in Gainesville) calling for new lifetime highs, and that would line up with such projections.
0525-spx
As for the Dow 30, the percentage change is (surprisingly) even higher, at about 12% from current levels.
0525-indu
To be clear, I don’t “want” this to happen, but something I’ve realized is that the markets don’t lay awake at night worrying about what Tim Knight wants. I remain very short specific sectors of the market, but these findings definitely tamp down my zeal about going hog-wild shorting stocks. Perhaps we have to endure another 10% or so in this completely artificial central-bank-fueled market before an honest-to-God, multi-year downturn takes place. And when that time comes…………God help everyone except Slopers, because it’s going to be apocalyptic.
WRONG!

OK, this is mildly amusing………allow me to explain:
Over the past couple of days I had this post waiting in the wings, it kept grinding at me that the target lines didn’t seem THAT far away. I don’t claim to have many marvelous properties, but there’s one thing I am very good at, and that is eyeballing something and making a determination (my gaydar, for instance, is unequaled; hire me if you need my services).

So as I was looking at this, I decided to run the math myself, and I discovered our calculation was simply incorrect. I confess, this is to my relief, because I really didn’t want to endure over 2,000 more S&P points, thank you very much. In any case, here is the, umm, accurate information.
0526-spx
In other words, the extension projection for the S&P is about 2.9% away. The Dow, for whatever reason, has a more ambitious projection of about 6% higher.
0526-indu
In any event, it will be fascinating to see if these extensions actually hem prices in or not. I, for one, could endure three more percent on the S&P if the payoff if this gigantic. And, more importantly, this just shows how key it is to make sure a product that is in the active stages of development is actually providing good data! For a number of reasons, I’m glad I figured this out.

Watch Out Lockheed, There's A New Player In Town

Chinese aircraft take off in international defense market

BEIJING - Chinese-developed aircraft have been in the global spotlight recently with a series of maiden flights of export-oriented models. China's first export-oriented armed helicopter, the Z-15E, made its maiden flight on May 18 in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. It followed maiden flights by the Wing-Loong II Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and the JF-17B dual-seat…

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Great Divide Begins

Angela Markel: Germany Can't Depend on Trump's America

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested Donald Trump has made it difficult for her country and others in Europe to depend on the U.S. Speaking after the close of the G7 summit, which saw all the world leaders involved except Trump recommitting to the Paris climate deal, Merkel said the time to rely on others was…

Self Driving Car Market Supposed To Be On Fire In 30 Years

Google’s Drivelerless Car Unit Could be Worth $70 Bn

Self-driving cars may not yet be a common feature on roads but analysts are already forecasting the industry to be worth billions of dollars. Waymo, a division of Google’s parent company Alphabet, is worth at least $70bn, according to estimates from Morgan Stanley analysts Brian Nowak and Adam Jonas, based on growth forecasts up to 2030.…

Do We Really Think This Will Make A Damn Bit Of Difference, The World Is Still Swimming In Oil

OPEC extends cuts in oil output by nine months

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided on Thursday to extend cuts in oil output by nine months until March 2018, as the producer group battles a global excess of crude that has seen prices halve and revenues drop sharply in the past three years. The cuts are likely to also be implemented by a…

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Private Space Market Heating Up

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket reaches space, but not orbit, in first test flight

LOS ANGELES — Small-satellite launch company Rocket Lab said its Electron rocket made it to space but did not reach orbit in its first test flight, as the Huntington Beach firm and other small-rocket startups inch closer to commercial operations. The Electron rocket lifted off at 9:20 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday from Rocket Lab's private launch…

News Flash: A Retailer Is Actually Doing Well!!

Best Buy stock soars after better-than-expected earnings

MINNEAPOLIS — Best Buy's shares surged 20 percent by midday Thursday and were on pace to hit an all-time high, signifying just how impressed investors were that the retailer was able to find sales growth amid an otherwise gloomy retail landscape. Higher sales in gaming amid the launch of the Nintendo Switch and sales that improved…

Canada Following China In Green Financing

Export Development Canada prices third Green Bond, responding to rising global interest in climate financing

Export Development Canada (EDC) today priced USD 500 million 1.625% Fixed Rate Green Bond due June 1, 2020. The lead underwriters were HSBC, J.P. Morgan and SEB. This offering is scheduled to close on June 1, 2017. This is EDC’s third Green Bond, with previous bonds of 300M in January 2014 and 300M in December 2015,…

My Faith Is Slipping At These Levels Of Rhetoric

NDRC: China's debt risk 'controllable'

BEIJING - China's economic planning agency said on Wednesday that the country's debt risk is "controllable" and companies will be in a better position to repay debt with increased profit margins. China's leverage ratio stood at 255.6 percent at the end…

Friday, May 26, 2017

Open Up Nigerian's Petroleum Industry

Senate Passes Petroleum Industry Governance Bill

The Senate yesterday passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which had been bottled up at committee level for nearly a decade. The House of Representatives is expected to follow suit in the coming days and thus end decades of monopoly by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The PIB was sent to the National Assembly…

Honestly, Why Not Both?

Study: China Trade, Not Automation, Destroying U.S. Jobs

Despite concerns that the robots are coming for our jobs, automation is responsible for only a fourth as many lost jobs as trade with China since the turn of the century, according to a report released Wednesday. The left-leaning Economic Policy Institute analyzed recent research by economists Daron Acemoglu, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and…

Cuts Continue To Look Meaningless For Oil

Constructive Progress

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The star of today is, naturally, crude oil — and what a wild ride is has been! I came into the day long (VERY long……..) both DRIP and ERY. They started off well, and then they went into a free-fall which was, umm, a little disconcerting. Mercifully, I didn’t get stopped out, and they have turned around nicely. Take note, for instance, of the well-formed cup with handle pattern that has completed with ERY, shown below.
0525-ery

Expanding China's Maritime Reach

Maritime hub plan aims to create 1 trillion yuan sector

Local CPC committee and government vow to create national base for sea-based industries Fuzhou, capital of East China's Fujian province, is expected to become a major national base for the marine economy, according to an action plan proposed by the Fuzhou committee of the Communist Party of China and the city government late last year. The…

Thursday, May 25, 2017

First Time In Thirty Years

China dismisses Moody's downgrade decision

BEIJING - China's Finance Ministry Wednesday dismissed a decision by international rating agency Moody's to downgrade China's credit ratings. The downgrade was based on the "pro-cyclical" rating approach which is "inappropriate," the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said. Moody's said that it had downgraded China's long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings to A1 from Aa3…

Na Na Na Na Na Naaaaaa

Barack Obama, in Europe, taunts Donald Trump for isolationism

With President Trump meeting European leaders nearby, former President Barack Obama took a veiled swipe at him Thursday, telling an audience in Germany that modern nations "can't hide behind a wall." "In this new world we live in, we can't isolate ourselves. We can't hide behind a wall," Mr. Obama said in Berlin at a forum…

He Sold Real Estate Before This So Are We Surprised

The reality of Trump's budget: selling snake oil

Trump’s first budget claims to cut taxes, strengthen the military, and balance the budget all while ‘protecting’ our three largest spending programs, social security, medicare, and defense, from any major cuts. If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. President Trump’s budget practically defies gravity. Presidents turn the poetry of campaigning into…

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Colonialism v2.0: Japan Support For African Private Sector

Japan Unveils $300m Facility for Africa

The Japanese Government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed an agreement for an additional $300 million support under a running facility targeted at supporting Africa's private sector. AfDB said in a statement Japan had to date provided $1,5 billion in batches under the facility known as the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa,…

Wait!? Why??

Investors embrace Chinese REITs

Real estate investment trusts or REITs are becoming popular in China. Analysts said in China, as more investors increasingly eye long-term income instead of quick money from the real estate market, demand for REITs is expected to grow fast. REITS are a channel to securitize property assets and generate stable and steady yields for investors, they…

Problems In Japan's Economy For Three Decades Throw Shade On Trump Plans

Economic growth comes down to labor productivity

President Trump's economic team paints a rosier picture about what his policies could accomplish than the economics profession is willing to endorse. His team is formulating budget and tax proposals that project 3 percent annual growth, while the number crunchers at the Congressional Budget Office estimate about 2 percent. How fast the economy can grow comes…

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Indian Response To China Push In Naval Theater

Israel to provide India with missile defense systems

Israel announced Sunday it had reached a deal worth $630 million to provide India's navy with missile defense systems, AFP reports. The new contract will see state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) supply LRSAM air and missile defense systems for four Indian naval ships, a statement from the company said. IAI said the contract will be carried…

China's Banks Are Not Out Of The Woods Yet

Big banks' profitability on the mend

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China building in Buenos Aires, Argentina. [Photo/VCG] The profitability prospects of China's big banks have improved in the first quarter of this year after the country's economy picked up steam during the period while smaller banks will see greater capital and liquidity pressure amid tightened regulation, analysts said. Industrial and…

Alternative Currencies Becoming Company Favorites

Why Startups Are Raising Cryptocurrency

One of the hottest trends among high-tech startups is using cryptocurrency to fundraise, a process called initial coin offerings. Forbes reported ICOs are “raising money at astonishing speed — amassing about $440 million over two years, mostly for developers of early-stage projects.” Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper told Reuters he is joining the ICO of a…

Blockchain On Fire!

Growth Of Ethereum Foreshadows Blockchain Gold Rush

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced Monday more than 86 companies joined its network of blockchain innovators, including the National Bank of Canada, Samsung SDS and the San Francisco Stock Exchange. The EEA is the leading corporate gateway into the world of blockchain. Its founding members include Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Intel and Wipro, just to name a…

Low Oil Prices And Optimizing The Bottom Line For Big Oil

The cancer in the bones of the oil industry.

Almost everyone is happy when oil prices fall and consumers save money at the pump. However, there is a difficulty with oil prices falling too far too fast which is almost never brought up. Everything that has a beginning has an end, and this includes the oil industry. There will come a day when the world’s…

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Slap Heard Around The World

Melania Trump Rejects Donald Trump's Hand-holding

Perhaps Air Force One encountered some turbulence that shook Melania Trump to her core. Or, maybe she noticed a large fly on President Donald Trump's hand after deplaning at an Israeli airport. Either way, the first lady wasn’t having it when Trump reached out his hand to hold hers Monday during their first international trip since…

Friday, May 19, 2017

Advances In U.S. Natural Gas Reach And The Bypass Of Russian Market

Natural Gas, LNG Exports And Benefits To The U.S.

The export of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) continues to yield economic and other benefits locally, regionally and to our country as a whole. Two recent news items illustrate – a report detailing the boost LNG exports is giving the Texas economy, and an agreement by Poland to buy American LNG, further expanding opportunities for a…

Farming v2.0 In New Jersey

Camden will house the world's largest indoor farm, thanks to state tax breaks

CAMDEN -- The world's largest indoor farm is expected to open its doors in Camden next year, thanks to a tax break from the state. Aerofarms LLC, a Newark-headquartered company that builds sustainable, efficient farms around the globe, plans to open its 10th facility, a 78,000-square-foot vertical farm, at 1535 Broadway in Camden. The addition comes…

Colonialism v2.0: Advance And Victory For China In Africa

Chinese Company Investing in Ethiopia's Eastern Industry Zone

One of the best examples of Chinese investment in manufacturing in the African continent can be found in Ethiopia's Eastern Industry Zone, according to CGTN. The zone lies just outside the country's capital Addis Ababa, and has become a place for manufacturing excellence and a platform for developing and transferring skills. Since its inception seven years…

Blockchain Adoption Continues To Gain Acceptance

Chile's Biggest Stock Exchange Adopts IBM Blockchain Tech

International Business Machines announced Wednesday it is partnering with the Santiago Stock Exchange, Chile’s largest stock exchange, to implement Latin America’s first blockchain stock exchange solution. “In our understanding, t will be the first to implement securities lending blockchain technology anywhere in the world," IBM Chile General Manager Francisco Thiermann told International Business Times. Thiermann said…

Sanction To Have A Polarizing Effect On Iranian Elections

US Sanctions Iranians, Chinese Network Over Ballistic Missile Program

The United States Treasury says it has designated seven targets in connection with Iran's ballistic missile program, including a defense official who facilitated the sale of explosives and provided other support to Syria. The Office of Foreign Assets Control said Wednesday that another of the seven targets is the director of the organization responsible for Iran's…

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Curious Development In China's Energy Independence

China successfully tests marine natural gas hydrates

China's attempt to test marine natural gas hydrates, a future energy source, has turned out to be a success, making it the first country to secure continuous and stable gas supply in marine gas hydrate exploitation, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources. The pilot production was carried out in the Shenhu Area of Northern…

3-D Printing Continues To Advance In Leaps And Bounds

Scientists Use 3-D Printer To Make Babies Now

3-D printers have been used to make fashionable clothes for the runway, pizza, and even prosthetic limbs. Now, the 3-D printer could be used as a potential infertility treatment. Scientists successfully replaced a female mouse’s ovary with a printed one, allowing the animal to ovulate as normal, and give birth to healthy pups who behaved just…

Turkey's Ongoing Shift Towards Russian Sphere

Tensions Persist After Erdogan-Trump Meeting

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is attempting to put a positive spin on his Washington encounter with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, calling it a "new awakening" in bilateral relations. But behind joint commitments "to work together in the war against terrorism," reaction has been cool in Turkey, with a recognition that the much-heralded "pivotal" encounter…

Narrowing Election In Iran And The Survival Of The Reform Movement

Iran's battleground: Supreme Leader vs the President

Although the incumbent president, Hassan Rouhani, still has a strong lead in Iran's presidential elections, the latest opinion polls reveal that his main rival, Ebrahim Raisi, is narrowing the gap. Raisi, the preferred candidate of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), is a former member of Iran's judiciary. He also is the guardian of the shrine of…

Military And Naval Exercises In The Shadow Of An Asian Tiger

In Sign of Closer Sino-Philippine Ties, US Naval Exercises Skip a Disputed Sea

Annual exercises held by the Philippine and U.S. navies are skipping the South China Sea this year as the Southeast Asian nation’s leader takes another step toward a stronger political and economic relationship with China, the sea’s most ambitious claimant. The “Balikatan” military exercises May 8-19 include a disaster drill off Aurora province on the Pacific…

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Colonialism v2.0: Japan Enters Strategic Agreement With Rwanda

'Smart Rwanda' Initiative Gets a Boost From Japan International Cooperation Agency

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has pledged more support to Rwanda's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector as the country moves toward a digital economy. According to Toda Takao, JICA's vice president in charge of human security and global health, the aim is to offer Rwanda full-scale technical support to implement Smart Rwanda master plan.…

Post Brexit France Seems To Be Scooping The Prize

French private sector employment increases

It comes too late for outgoing president Francois Hollande, but France’s economy is adding jobs – 49,400 in the first three months of the year. It was the seventh straight quarter of net new job creation in the private sector and pushed up the size of the labour force in metropolitan France to 16.23 million –…

China Embracing Money v2.0

China May Be Ditching Paper Money

Bitcoin is booming in Asian markets and mobile transactions are increasingly popular in industries where cash used to be king, like shopping abroad. The Chinese mobile payment platform Alipay announced this week its tap-and-go system soon will be compatible for shopping at more than 4 million American stores, strategically marketing to Chinese students and tourists in…

Middle Ground Continues To Be Found Between China And The U.S.

China to Get American Beef and Gas Under Trade Agreement

A sweeping trade agreement, ranging from banking to beef, has been reached between Washington and Beijing, the U.S. Commerce Department announced on Thursday. “It was pretty much a Herculean accomplishment to get this done,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “This is more than has been done in the whole history of U.S.-China relations on trade.”…

Favor Of Coal And Nuclear Over Other Renewables?

Are solar and wind really killing coal, nuclear and grid reliability?

By Michael E. Webber, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Deputy Director of the Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin, Joshua D. Rhodes, Postdoctoral Researcher of Energy, University of Texas at Austin, Todd Davidson, Research Associate, Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin, and Thomas Deetjen, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Texas at Austin. Lessons from…

Friday, May 12, 2017

At Least They Still Believe In The Paris Accord

Tillerson, at Arctic meeting, signs document affirming need for action on climate change

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed his name Thursday to a document that affirms the need for international action against climate change, adding further uncertainty to the direction of climate policy under the Trump administration. The document, signed by Tillerson and seven foreign ministers from Arctic nations meeting this week in Fairbanks, Alaska, says the…

Electric Car Game Changer

New EV Battery Charges Fully In 5 Minutes

Electric vehicles now comprise a substantial part of the automotive market. But the fact remains that despite the increasing number of charging stations, it is still inconvenient to charge a car in comparison to getting a tank full of gas. StoreDot, an Israeli startup, might have the solution to the woes of electric vehicle (EV) owners,…

Energy Is Finished

Leveraged Energy Bears

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Most of you already know of my fondness for energy shorts. Here are a couple of leveraged bearish funds (thus, longs) that got beat up badly lately which I believe are ready to reverse into new highs for the year (Allah willing). Here’s the one I’m presently long:
0512-ERY
And here’s a favorite of redvettes, a somewhat more diversified (and volatile) instrument:
0512-DRIP

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Unfortunately Ben Everyone Else Disagrees

Bernanke Says Trump Tax Cut A Bad Idea

Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested Sunday an income tax cut to get the economy moving is unnecessary, and the country would be better off with infrastructure spending and tax reform. “I think that it is important, as I mentioned, even though the recovery is proceeding, the underlying growth path is not very strong.…

Surplus May Widen, But Banking Concerns Still Persist

China's trade surplus widens in April

A container ship docks at the Port of Ningbo, East China's Zhenjiang province. [Photo/Xinhua] BEIJING - China's foreign trade surplus widened in April as import growth decline outpaced that of exports, customs data showed Monday. Exports in yuan-denominated terms rose 14.3 percent year on year to 1.24 trillion yuan ($179.8 billion), down from the 22.3-percent increase…

History Of Repression, Obsessed With Itself

The West's obsession with itself

From the musings of New York Times columnist David Brooks to the ravings of Rep Steve King (R-IA), there is a growing sense among many that Western values, even Western civilisation, is in mortal danger. So-called radical Islamic terrorists are the ultimate threat. But so too is an education in which any aspect of Western civilisation…

Monday, May 08, 2017

Tesla Or Disney?

Apple May Spend Cash Pile On Buying Tesla: Report

In its recently released financial results, iPhone maker Apple revealed it is sitting on a massive $250 billion of cash reserves. And while social media was abuzz with what all that amount of money could hypothetically buy or finance, some analysts took a more realistic approach. According to Citibank analyst Jim Suva, the company will likely…

Calm Should Prevent Spikes In Oil Prices

Nigeria’s Oil-Producing Delta is Calm—But for How Long?

After a disastrous 2016, in which militant attacks slashed its oil production and threw it into recession, Nigeria’s adoption of a conciliatory approach towards insurgents in the Niger Delta has led to a degree of stability in the vast oil-rich region. Yet there are signs the unrest could revive if pledges made by the government are…

Retire From What? We Can't Even Get Jobs

Teenagers Already Have Retirement on the Brain

When it comes to money, your teenager might be surprisingly responsible. A study recently released by the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research firm in Austin, Texas, found that 12 percent of Gen Zers—or people under age 18—are already saving for retirement. Another 35 percent of them say they have plans to start putting money away…

Bitcoin Has A Competitor

Ethereum Is The Next Big Thing In Cryptocurrency

The cryptocurrency ether, which hails from the open source blockchain network Ethereum, is now valued at over $100 per token for the first time since the Ethereum platform went live in the summer of 2015. Much like the fellow cryptocurrency bitcoin, the market value of ether has surged upwards over the past few weeks. Coindesk reported…

Sunday, May 07, 2017

New Pot Business Opportunity In Vermont, U.S. Continues To Open Up New Market

Vermont Could Legalize Recreational Pot Next

Adults in Vermont are one step closer toward being able to consume marijuana without worrying about going to jail after the House passed a measure this week aimed at legalizing recreational cannabis. Although only by a slim margin, the bill was approved with a 71 to 74 vote Tuesday. The bill, named H.170, was introduced by…

Crude Capitulation

Oil’s Big Week

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The highlight of last week for me was energy’s breakdown (well, the real highlight was the launch of SlopeCharts, but the trading highlight was energy). Looking at the USO chart, you can see the clean break. I consider it plausible that crude oil will see the upper 30s before a meaningful reversal.
0505-USO
I trimmed my ERY long position about 40% on Thursday, but I intend to get back in at hopefully better prices. The cup and handle pattern is still quite clean.
0505-ERY
I did a day trade on DRIP on Thursday for a small profit, and I’m glad I got out, since it slipped over 10% the next day. These patterns are both quite similar (for obvious reasons, since they are both triple-bearish energy funds), but I think I’m going to stick with ERY.
0505-DRIP

Six Year Downtrend Continues For Gold?

Metal Mania

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Gold has been in a general downtrend for nearly six years now. There have been spurts here and there, of course, and those who play the leveraged instruments (DUST, JDST, etc.) in the right direction have been able to make fortunes (or get ground into hamburger). Let’s take a quick look at a few SlopeCharts of what’s happening out there.

First there is the junior miners. Short-term, this is on the low end of a descending channel, meaning that we could get a bounce higher in the days ahead. Longer-term, however, this trendline break is severe. I don’t think any bounce will get GDXJ any more than a few points.
0507-gdxj
This argument is augmented by looking at the triple-leveraged fund shown below. It has broken its own support level, and it looks like its solid downtrend will simply extend.
0507-jnug
Obliquely related to all of this is the metals & mining fund XME, which isn’t just precious metals. It had been supported earlier by both the red trendline as well as a clean breakout above the blue horizontal, but it’s broken both of these now.
0507-xme
Naturally, the most important chart that’s going to drive any of these is gold itself. In spite of a good showing for the first few months of the year, it seems to have broken its own trendline as well. All in all, I think you’re going to see precious metals (and their miners) continue to trend lower for the foreseeable future.
0507-gold

Thursday, May 04, 2017

This Is Becoming A Common Pattern

Intense Budget Blowback Forces Trump onto Defensive

Rising anger among conservatives over a Republican compromise on a temporary budget fix through the fall has forced the White House onto the defensive. As usual, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to try to soothe the growing wave of outrage across his base. "If he signs it, it's another blow to his already wildly overhyped…

Greece Moves A Step Ahead On Debt Trail

Greece Reaches Deal with Eurozone Lenders for More Bailout Funds

Greece reached a deal with its European lenders Tuesday for more reforms in exchange for a badly needed bailout installment so Athens could avoid possible bankruptcy. After months of often tough talks, Greek officials agreed to more pension cuts and tax increases. The European Commission and European Central Bank will bring the deal to their finance…

Well I'm Claiming Titan's Oil Reserves

We Have 100 Years to Leave Earth: Stephen Hawking

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that humanity needs to become a multi-planetary species within the next century in order to avoid extinction. Hawking made the prediction in a new documentary called Expedition New Earth, which is set to be released this summer as part of the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World science season. Existential risks include climate…

China's High Speed Train Rivaling France

Train capable of 400 km/h ready to boost region's connectivity by 2020

China is working on next-generation bullet trains with a maximum operational speed of 400 kilometers per hour that will be ready by 2020 for markets linked to the Belt and Road Initiative's vision, the country's top railway vehicle maker said. "We will apply new materials in the research and production of the future high-speed trains, such…

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Commodities Tanking

Commodity Break Possible

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I put this chart together before oil fell apart, so you can rest assured commodities are now officially screwed…..
0502-dbc

Wait And See On Energy Shorts

Come ON……..

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Back on February 7th, I touted going bearish on energy stocks. Since ERY is up nearly 30% since then, it wasn’t at all a bad idea. Oil has been a delight, falling almost every single day for the past half-month, but I’m leering at it now, wanting it to shatter this damned support around $47.50 and really get things rocking……..
0503-oil
ERY has completed a cup with handle pattern, but again, unless oil can really shatter the floor, I’ll just be drumming my fingers impatiently.
0503-ery

When Regular Americans Think This There's Something Wrong

Americans Think We're Spending Too Much On The Military

This article originally appeared on the Motley Fool. Last month, President Trump promised the American people that he would "rebuild the military, eliminate the Defense sequester, and [initiate] one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history." Fiscal 2018, promised the president, would feature a $54 billion increase in defense spending, giving the…

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Getting So High Right Now, Like, Higher Than I've Ever Been In My Life Man

Marijuana Stocks Are Sky High

This article originally appeared on the Motley Fool. The marijuana industry is the hottest thing since sliced bread, and marijuana stocks are thriving as a result. Here's a quick rundown of how some of the industry's largest players' stock prices have performed over the trailing 12 months: GW Pharmaceuticals: up 35% Canopy Growth Corp.: up 248%…

Sure It Will Donny

Economic growth will lower the deficit

As sure as the cuckoo clock chimes at midnight, the left is bloviating that the Trump tax plan will "blow a $5 trillion hole in the deficit." Many of the people complaining loudest were in the Obama administration and helped preside over a $9 trillion tidal wave of new debt. Now they are fiscally chaste. Sure.…

This Could Easily Be A Case Study Of The West In Ten Years

Venezuela's worst economic crisis: What went wrong?

Venezuela is experiencing the worst economic crisis in its history, with an inflation above 400 percent and a volatile exchange rate. Heavily in debt and with inflation soaring, its people continue to take to the streets in protest. The opposition has called for new protests on May 1 , International Workers' Day. President Nicolas Maduro also…

Backlash To Protectionism Continues, But Movements Like "Made In America" Remain A Significant Threat

UN Economic Commission Sees Trade Protectionism as Threat to Growth

A United Nations economic and social report released Monday warns Asia’s positive economic outlook “faces significant risk” from rising trade protectionism, especially concerns over U.S. trade policy with key partners such as China. The U.N.’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) survey is largely positive for the region, which now accounts for…

Monday, May 01, 2017

Nnnnnnnnoooooooooooo!!!

Joe Biden Says He Won't Run For President In 2020

While speaking at an annual state Democratic Party dinner Sunday in New Hampshire, former Vice President Joe Biden said he won’t run for president in 2020. The dinner was organized to honor the country’s first all-female, all-Democratic congressional delegation in Manchester. His speech to the New Hampshire Democrats, in which he spoke about restoring dignity to…

Not According To Everyone Else In The Room, Priminister May!

May 'not in different galaxy' over Brexit

LONDON - British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday denied she was "in a different galaxy" after European Union leaders were reportedly dismayed by her Brexit negotiating demands at a meeting this week. May told European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and chief negotiator Michel Barnier that a detailed potential trade deal needed to be drawn up…

The Next Big Short?

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

We All Knew This, The OPEC Cuts Were Useless

Keeping Oil Down: Weak Demand for Gas Combines with Libyan Pipelines

Oil prices fell again this week as lower than expected demand for gasoline combined with two major oil fields in Libya resuming production to further depress crude prices. The combination of lower than expected demand and increased production stoked concerns that despite the efforts of major oil producers the global inventory surplus would remain unaffected. U.S.…