“Eye Of The Storm” – Why Investors Are Still Too Complacent About North Korea

While the storm over North Korea may appear to have passed, Bloomberg FX strategist David Finnerty warns that it’s possible we’re only in its eye.
Investors may want to think twice before jumping back into risk assets…
The good news is that it appears North Korea has, at least temporarily, backed down from plans to fire missiles toward Guam.
But there hasn’t been any indication that the country plans to halt, let alone dismantle its nuclear program.
The trend is not your friend when it comes to this Asian country’s behavior. The firing in July of an intercontinental ballistic missile had Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling it a ‘new escalation of the threat’. And that comes after the other launches this year.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 17, 2017.

Kim Jong-Un “Briefed On Guam Attack Plan”, Backs Off Threat Of Imminent Missile Launch

While global stock markets breathed a sigh of dip-buying relief today that the world did not end, North Korea just ratcheted up the rhetoric one more time with state media reporting the North Korean leader is “being briefed on the Guam attack plan” today, adding that “if a second Korean War breaks out, it would inevitably be a nuclear war.”
According to the state run KCNA news agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “examined the plan for a long time” on Monday during his inspection to the command of the Strategic Force. North Korea said last week that it will finalize by mid-August its detailed plan to fire four intermediate-range ballistic missiles around Guam and report it to its leader for approval.
As KCNA notes, the North Korean leader received a report from his army on its plans to strike the area around Guam and said “he will watch the actions of the United States for a while longer before making a decision.”
According to the WSJ interpretation of this oddly-worded report, the “North Korean leader has decided not to launch a threatened missile attack on Guam” but warned that he could change his mind ‘if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions.’
As a result, the report “could help dial back tensions that had spiraled last week following an exchange of threats between North Korea and U. S. President Donald Trump.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 14, 2017.

Starbucks is shuttering all of its Teavana stores as the retail apocalypse kills off American malls

As mall traffic drops, Starbucks is shuttering all of its tea-centric Teavana stores.
The company announced on Thursday that all 379 Teavana stores are set to close in the coming year, with the majority shuttering by spring 2018.
According to Starbucks, the 3,300 employees impacted by the closures will “receive opportunities to apply for positions at Starbucks stores.”
In April, the coffee giant announced it was “evaluating strategic options” for its struggling Teavana stores, the vast majority of which are located in malls across the U.S.
“Over the last several years many mall-based retailers have been adversely impacted by reduced foot traffic, resulting from the accelerating shift of consumer behavior away from brick-and-mortar retail and changes in consumer retail activity overall,” Scott Harlan Maw, Starbucks CFO, said in a call with investors at the time. “Our Teavana mall stores have not been immune, with many reporting negative comps and operating losses for some time.”
While Starbucks has invested in new store designs and updated merchandising, Maw said that the rate of decline at mall-based Teavana stores over the last six months has been worse than forecast, and that the company expects further declines.

This post was published at Business Insider

How Tesla’s Vehicle Deliveries Measure Up With the Big 3

Earlier this year, Tesla became America’s most valuable car manufacturer by surpassing the ‘Big 3’, i.e. General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, in terms of market capitalization. As our chart below illustrates, the fact that the market values Tesla higher than these industry heavyweights is not a reflection of its current size but rather a bet on what the company could grow into.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on July 8, 2017.

How Big Could A Correction Be?

‘There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure.’ – Dwight D. Eisenhower
‘If we just stick together, and remain true to our ideals, we can be sure that America’s greatest days lie ahead.’ – Ronald Reagan
Hope you had a great ‘Independence Day.’
On Monday, the market was open for a half-day preceding the ‘Independence Day’ holiday, and with the majority of the ‘human element’ on vacation, the markets surged as the ‘robots’ kicked in to ‘buy the recent dip.’
As I noted in this past weekend’s missive:
‘As noted on Friday, the last couple of weeks have experienced a sharp rise in price volatility. While stocks have vacillated in a very tight 1.5% trading range since the beginning of June, there has been little forward progress to speak of. However, notice that support at 2416 has remained solid as ‘robots’ continue to execute their program of ‘buying the dips.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 5, 2017.

Prosecutors Ask Judge For Gag Order Against Martin Shkreli

Federal prosecutors are seeking a gag order against former Pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, claiming that he risks tainting jurors’ opinions by waging his own publicity campaign independent of the advice of his defense counsel, according to Fox News.
Prosecutors filed a motion Monday asking that Shkreli and all attorneys in his criminal case be ordered to refrain from making statements outside court. The motion comes after Shkreli blasted prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York last week, referring to them as ‘junior varsity’ and criticizing their opening arguments, according to New York Business Journal.
Shkreli is standing trial on eight counts of securities fraud and wire fraud related to his time running two hedge funds, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, and a pharmaceutical company he founded called Retrophin. In particular, prosecutors allege that Shkreli has been accused of falsifying investor statements, backdating documents and misleading investors about his record as a fund manager.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 4, 2017.

Is There Still Hope For Higher Oil Prices?

Oil prices have cratered in recent weeks, dipping to their lowest levels in more than seven months and any sense of optimism has almost entirely disappeared. All signs point to a period of ‘lower for longer’ for oil prices, a refrain that is all too familiar to those in the industry.
WTI dipped below $44 per barrel on Tuesday, and the bearish indicators are starting to pile up.
Libya’s production just topped 900,000 bpd, a new multi-year high that is up sharply even from just a few weeks ago. Libyan officials are hoping that they will hit many more milestones in the coming months. Next stop is 1 million barrels per day (mb/d), which Libya hopes to breach by the end of July.
U. S. shale is arguably the biggest reason why prices are floundering again. The rig count has increased for 22 consecutive weeks, rising to 747 as of mid-June, up more than 100 percent from a year ago. Production continues to rise, with output expected to jump by 780,000 bpd this year, according to the IEA. Ultimately, the shale rebound appears to have killed off yet another oil price rally, the latest in a series of still-born price rebounds since the initial meltdown in 2014.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 22, 2017.


President Trump tweeted about ‘fake news’ Tuesday morning, saying it is at an ‘all time high,’ and demanding an apology:
Fake News is at an all time high. Where is their apology to me for all of the incorrect stories???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2017

In response to that assertion, CNN’s Chris Cillizza tweeted:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JUNE 15, 2017.