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Watch Live: Sarah Sanders Attempts To Explain What The Hell Is Going On At The White House

Update: Following comments from McMaster and Mnuchin on Venezuelan sanctions, pretty much every question at today’s White House press briefing was related to Scaramucci’s sudden dismissal. And while Sanders made it clear early on that she wasn’t going to offer any incremental details beyond the official statement released earlier, it didn’t stop pretty much every reporter from asking the exact same quetion over and over.

*SANDERS: SCARAMUCCI HAS NO ROLE AT THIS TIME IN ADMINISTRATION

*SANDERS: ALL WHITE HOUSE STAFF REPORT TO CHIEF OF STAFF KELLY

*SANDERS: DECLINES TO SAY IF TRUMP REGRETS HIRING SCARAMUCCI

*SANDERS: ALL OTHER STAFF MEMBERS PLANNING TO REMAIN IN POSTS

*SANDERS: NOT AWARE OF ANY CHANGES IN SPICER’S EXITING STATUS

* * *

After the White House bombshell of the day dropped just one hour ago, in the form of Anthony Scaramucci’s sudden dismissal following just 10 days as the Communications Director, Sarah Sanders has the distinguished honor of taking the podium momentarily to attempt to explain to an anxious press pool what exactly is going on inside the White House. 

And while probably no one, including Sanders, has any real idea what the future holds for the White House, the “no WH chaos!” announcement from Trump earlier today is looking increasingly unlikely.

Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2017

 

Tune in below for the fireworks:

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August seasonals set the table for an interesting RBA decision

August is a tough month for the Australian dollar
The minutes are counting down on July but the Australian dollar bulls wish it was a month that would last forever. The Aussie was the top performer in the month but the switch could soon be flipped.
The…

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White House turmoil? It comes. It goes. Stocks back up after brief dip.

S&P lost about 2-3 points and bounced right back
The US stock market can take the hits from the White House turmoil like a champion boxer.  
Looking at the S&P, it fell about 2-3 points on the news, but is back where it all started.
The po…

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What the forex seasonals have to say about the cable breakout

Two trends collide
Cable was a bit of an underperformer in the US dollar rout in July but it’s still closing out the month at the highs and at the best levels in 11 months.
The post What the forex seasonals have to say about the cable breakout appeare…

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U.S. Sanctions Venezuela’s President Maduro, Freezes U.S. Assets

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has personally sanctioned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, adding him to the list of specially designated nationals, freezing any U.S. assets he may have and generally blocking U.S. persons from transactions involving him.

Today’s sanction is a follow up to last week’s announcement by the Trump administration in which the Treasuey revealed sanctions on 13 senior Venezuelan officials in an attempt to deter Maduro from moving forward with plan to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution in what opponents regard as a potential power grab move. Needless to say, that particular attempt failed.

Today’s escalation comes in response to this weekend’s election which gives Venezuela’s ruling party new, sweeping powers. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert charges the new assembly formed from this election “is designed to replace the legitimately elected National Assembly and undermine the Venezuelan people’s right to self-determination.”

From the Treasury Department:

Venezuela-related Designation
7/31/2017

 

OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL
Specially Designated Nationals List Update
The following individual has been added to OFAC’s SDN List: 

 

MADURO MOROS, Nicolas (Latin: MADURO MOROS, Nicolás), Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 23 Nov 1962; POB Caracas, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 5892464 (Venezuela); President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (individual).

In response to US criticism of the move, Reuters reported that Maduro told a crowd of supporters: “Why the hell should we care what Trump say? We care about what the sovereign people of Venezuela say.”

As we noted yesterday, and as observed earlier today, oil has spiked on concerns that escalating US sanctions against Venezuela could cripple the local oil industry, sending oil prices as much as $5-7/b higher according to a calculations by Barclays.

As discussed previously, Barclays Warren Russell explained what could happen should Trump expand Venezuela’s sanctions to impact its oil sector: “a sharper and longer disruption (eg, exceeding three months) could raise oil prices at least $5-7/b and flatten the curve structure despite an assumed return of some OPEC supply, a more robust US shale response, and weaker demand. It may be just the opportunity OPEC needs to exit its current strategy. US producer hedging activity would pick up if WTI moves to $50-55, limiting price upside potential.”

More here

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This Is What Makes Robert Shiller “Lie Awake Worrying”

The stock market’s unusually low level of volatility could mark the “quiet before the storm,” warns Robert Shiller, the famed Nobel laureate and economics professor at Yale University, who shared some alarming facts about the stock market that cause him to “lie awake worrying.”

The Nobel laureate says low volatility paired with a questionable price-earnings ratio could wipe out a chunk of the stock market’s value.

“The price increase just went step-by-step with the earnings increase. I think it’s an overreaction to good earnings.”

The ratio of P/E-to-VIX is euphoric…

His Shiller PE Ratio, also known as CAPE, shows the price-earnings ratio based on average inflation-adjusted earnings from the last 10 years is over 30.

The number carries significance because the only times it’s been higher was just before the Great Depression in 1929 and mid-1997 to mid-2001.

“I worry that historically earnings have been trend-reverting,” said Shiller.

 

“Admittedly, we do have a president who’s going to ‘make America great again.’ So if he’s right, maybe then we’re launching out in a whole new path. But it would be the first time in American history.

Shiller’s latest analysis shouldn’t be taken lightly. His forecasting skills were recognized in 2013 when he won the Nobel Prize in Economics. He’s known for predicting both the dot-com bubble and the housing bubble in his book “Irrational Exuberance.”

If Shiller is right and the stock market ultimately goes back to trend, it could create havoc.

It would definitely be a negative for equities. It would be pretty big. We are at a high valuation. The only time we’ve had a higher valuation than where we are now was around 1929 and around 2000,” Shiller said.

 

“We could see a major correction,” he said.

 

“This is not a forecast. It’s a worry.”

To visually comprehend the decoupling from reality (and multiple expansion), here is the Russell 200 this year…

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