Lithuania Gets First LNG Cargo From The U.S.

Lithuania today received its first cargo of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) as it tries to diversify its gas supplies away from Russia, despite Moscow’s insistence that the United States can’t replace Russian gas in Europe even if it gave it away.  While Russia is undermining the U.S. shipments to Europe, Lithuania is Central and Eastern Europe’s second country to have received U.S. LNG cargo after Poland.   In June, Lithuania’s state-held gas trader Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas signed a deal with Cheniere Marketing…

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Darkness Falls On Small Caps As Gold Eclipses Stocks Year-To-Date

Seemed appropriate…

 

And ugly Chicago Fed National Activity Index print (-0.01 vs +0.10), indicating below-trend growth in the national economy, along with Dalio Derisking sparked safe haven bond and bullion bids while stocks sank…

 

But VIX was clubbed like a baby seal to get everything back to green…

 

But Nasdaq and Small Caps couldn’t hold on to it…

 

Trannies and Small Caps both closed below their 200DMA, S&P bounced off its 100DMA, Nasdaq tested towards its 100DMA, Dow tested and bounced off 50DMA.

Small Caps ended underwater for 2017…

 

 

If you don’t think these markets are technical, then explain this – S&P stops downward push at EXACTLY TO THE PENNY the 100-day moving average…

 

FANG Stocks dropped once again to six-week lows…

 

Small Cap relative outperformance post-election has gone as tax reform is now priced out domestically… (Russell 2000 is also now in the red year-to-date)

 

Treasury yields ended the day mostly lower, falling after an initial higher yield open… this is the lowest 30Y yield close since June 27th

 

Meanwhile, the T-Bill market is getting seriously dislocated as debt ceiling concerns rise…

 

With the curve around the end of September getting seriously strained…

 

The Dollar Index fell once again – closing near its cycle low close, back to May 2015 lows…

 

Overnight saw industrial metals – zinc, copper, iron ore – all surging…

 

Notably decoupled from economic reality…

CMC market strategist Michael Hewson, have expressed their amazement at what is taking place in the industrial metals sector, and pointing out that something strange is going on, Hewson said “I’m looking at the prospect for the global economy and looking at the price of metals and there seems to be a significant disconnect between the two.”

Gold futures tested $1300 once again intraday (and notably net futures and options positioning in th eprecious metal is now the longest since October 2016)…

 

Friday’s ridiculous spike in WTI Crude has been unwound as non-OPEC producers Libya and Nigeria add supply while output from major shale plays is set to climb to a record next month.

 

Bonus Chart: If you thought a ‘666’ crash low was spooky, then take a look at this chart. The S&P 500 just stalled at an exact 100% projection of the plunge in 08/09…

 

Bonus Bonus Chart: So now we rip?

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Elon Musk (& 115 Other ‘Experts’) Urge Outright Ban Of ‘Killer Robots’

Building on his apocalyptic vision of the future (as writ by Terminator-style Skynet domination or Robocops walking the streets), Tesla CEO Elon Musk (and 115 other like-minded ‘experts’) have penned an open letter to The United Nations urging the outright ban of the development and use of killer robots.

As a reminder, Musk previously called on the government to proactively regulate artificial intelligence before things advance too far.

“Until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal,” he said.

 

“AI is a rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive. Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’s too late.”

 

“Normally the way regulations are set up is a while bunch of bad things happen, there’s a public outcry, and after many years a regulatory agency is set up to regulate that industry,” he continued.

 

“It takes forever. That, in the past, has been bad but not something which represented a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization. AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”

Musk has been concerned about AI for years, and while Facenook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is unphased, it appears now, as The Guardian reports, the Tesla CEO has found 115 like-minded individuals to appeal to The UN.

The UN recently voted to begin formal discussions on such weapons which include drones, tanks and automated machine guns. Ahead of this, the group of founders of AI and robotics companies have sent an open letter to the UN calling for it to prevent the arms race that is currently under way for killer robots.

In their letter, the founders warn the review conference of the convention on conventional weapons that this arms race threatens to usher in the “third revolution in warfare” after gunpowder and nuclear arms.

The founders wrote:

“Once developed, lethal autonomous weapons will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways.

 

“We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.”

The founders call for “morally wrong” lethal autonomous weapons systems to be added to the list of weapons banned under the UN’s convention on certain conventional weapons (CCW) brought into force in 1983, which includes chemical and intentionally blinding laser weapons.

Ryan Gariepy, the founder of Clearpath Robotics said:

“Unlike other potential manifestations of AI which still remain in the realm of science fiction, autonomous weapons systems are on the cusp of development right now and have a very real potential to cause significant harm to innocent people along with global instability.”

Sounds even scarier than Musk’s end of civilization threats!

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Blankfein Trolls Trump, Compares Him To A Solar Eclipse

Back on June 1, in his first ever tweet (after being a silent member of Twitter since 2011), Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein slammed Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement, which he called “a setback for the environment and for the U.S.’s leadership position in the world.”

Today’s decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.’s leadership position in the world. #ParisAgreement

— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) June 1, 2017

Fast forward to today when the Goldman CEO, in his capacity as the former boss of Trump’s chief economy advisor (and most likely future head of the Federal Reserve, Gary Cohn), took another veiled swipe at the Trump administration when in what appeared to be a subtweet targetting Donald Trump, said “Wish the moon wasn’t the only thing casting a shadow across the country. We got through one, we’ll get through the other. #SolarEclipse2017″

Wish the moon wasn’t the only thing casting a shadow across the country. We got through one, we’ll get through the other. #SolarEclipse2017

— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) August 21, 2017

One assumes that Blankfein was addressing Trump (indirectly) as the only person left making any economic decisions, now that Steve Bannon is gone, is his former right hand man, Gary Cohn. Which begs the question: is Blankfein’s latest critique just more carefully staged theater, meant to elevate the CEO of the “vampire squid” in the eyes of the general public and shape him into a kind, caring, nurturing idealist ready to carry the ideals of progressives everywhere, or was the tweet an indication that despite the dominance of the now undisputed dominance of the “Goldman circle” inside the White House, Bannon still remains a key decision-maker, even if banished from the Oval Office.

Whatever the right answer, it should provide a welcome distraction as former Goldman COO Gary Cohn does everything in his power to sneak through a new tax code that benefits the likes of, well, Goldman Sachs.

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Could The Tech Behind Bitcoin Help Stabilize Oil Prices?

Authored by Michael Kern via CryptInsider.com,
As the price of oil remains in the high-$40, low-$50 range, every cog in the oil industry is scrambling to reduce costs and streamline sales.
The oil industry has long been a leader in the adoption of diff…

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Egyptian babies swim to help them sleep better

Egyptian parents have begun enrolling their infants in a swimming class, taught by a 30-year-old Russian-trained coach, in order to help their babies sleep better at night and improve their flexibility. The classes are open for infants aged 3-7 months, with the infants learning how to hold their breath underwater for up to 27 seconds. “Our training and the methods we use help the babies become more flexible and versatile. This allows the babies to start sitting upright and moving before other babies who are the same age,” said Mohamed Abdelmaksoud, a diver and swimming instructor. Despite some initial nervousness among parents, Abdelmaksoud’s classes have proved popular and the training pool is dotted with parents dunking their babies in and […]

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Ron Paul Warns “50% Stock Market Plunge Conceivable… And It Won’t Be Trump’s Fault”

The former Republican Congressman from Texas believes escalating dysfunction in Washington will create even more pain for Wall Street.

Speaking on CNBC’s Futures Now, Ron Paul warned:

“A 50 percent pullback is conceivable…I don’t believe it’s ten years off. I don’t even believe it’s a year off. “

Paul noted that there’s a lot of chaos in Washington right now, with an “unpredictable president” and those who are inclined to “tear him apart” but if the market takes that big of a tumble, he doesn’t see it as Trump’s fault.

“It’s all man-made. It’s not the fault of Donald Trump in the last week.

 

If the market crashes tomorrow and we have a great depression, he didn’t do it in six months.

 

It took more like six or ten years to cause all these problems that we’re facing.”

Paul previously argued Wall Street is overestimating the strength of the economy, and the Federal Reserve kept interest rates too low for too long.

He said the situation for stocks could turn ugly as soon as October.

“I see the foundation of our system built on sand, and a big wind comes along to blow it down.”

 

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Bannon’s Revenge: Breitbart Threatens To “Rally Votes For Impeachment” If Trump Moves Left

Last Friday Bannon boldly declared: “I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents… on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America.” 

But, according to a new note from Vanity Fair, that “war” could end up ensnaring the President himself should he decide to succumb to what Bannon views as intense internal White House pressure, from the likes of Jared Kushner, Ivanka and Gary Cohn, among others, to move to the Left on key policy issues.

Quoting editor Matt Boyle, Vanity Fair reports that Breitbart views itself as the key reason that the Russia scandal hasn’t gained traction on the right but that they are “prepared to help Paul Ryan rally votes for impeachment” should future Trump policies deviate too far to the Left.

“We’re in a loud bar celebrating the return of our captain!” Breitbart’s Washington editor Matt Boyle told me on Friday night. Breitbart’s defense of Trump has so far helped keep the Russia scandal from gaining traction on the right. But that could swiftly change if Trump, under the influence of Kushner and Cohn, deviates too far from the positions he ran on. If that happens, said one high-level Breitbart staffer, “We’re prepared to help Paul Ryan rally votes for impeachment.”

 

Of course, as media reports have speculated for months now, the real targets of Bannon’s war are the “globalists” in the White House which, at least in Bannon’s mind, include Ivanka, Jared, Gary Cohn and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, among others.

Bannon’s main targets are the West Wing’s coterie of New York Democrat “globalists”—Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn—as well as the “hawks,” comprised of National Security Adviser H.R McMaster and his deputy, Dina Powell. “He wants to beat their ideas into submission,” Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow told me. “Steve has a lot of things up his sleeve.”

 

The chaotic, war-torn West Wing of the past six months will be prologue, but the coming struggles will be as personal as they are ideological, waged not with leaks but with slashing Breitbart banners. On Sunday, Breitbart took renewed aim at McMaster, with a headline claiming he advocated “Quran Kissing.”

But the biggest target of all is squarely on the back of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law who Bannon affectionately describes as a “dope” with “highly questionable political instincts.”

But most of all, there’s a deep animosity between Bannon and Kushner, amplified by a lack of respect. Bannon finds Kushner’s political instincts highly questionable. “He said Jared is a dope,” one Bannon ally recalled.

 

The two clashed fiercely on personnel decisions and policy debates, both domestic and international, many of which Bannon lost.

 

But Bannon, who was the only West Wing advisor to publicly support the president’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, is especially galled at being scapegoated as an anti-Semite in its wake. “It’s one of the attacks he takes most personally because it’s not true,” a Breitbart staffer told me. Bannon’s allies lay out a more complicated backstory. Bannon, they say, lobbied Trump aggressively to move America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but was blocked by Kushner. And, according to three Bannon allies, Bannon pushed a tougher line against the Palestinians than Kushner did. In May, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House, Bannon stayed home. “I’m not going to breathe the same air as that terrorist,” Bannon texted a friend.

Meanwhile, the next phase of Bannon’s revenge has already started with last night’s headline story:

bannon

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Turkish students go to Somalia to renovate school

A group of Turkish students participated in renovation works at an orphanage-cum-school in Somalia on Sunday, as part of a visit to several African countries under an exchange program. The 2017 Africa Experience Sharing Program provides an opportunity to 200 students to visit several African countries, including Tunisia, Libya, Somalia, Kenya, Algeria, Chad, Sudan, Ghana and Niger from Aug. 5-30. The program is organized by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in cooperation with Turkish Airlines, Anadolu Agency and state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT). The students participate in social, cultural and humanitarian activities and renovate schools, orphanages, libraries and places of worship as predetermined by TIKA and local NGOs in the visiting countries. They also take part in the implementation […]

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Houston Man Arrested Trying To Plant Bomb At Confederate Statue

With much of the US undergoing a broad revulsion against Confederate statues in the days since the Charlotesville clashes, it was only a matter of time before someone took matters one step too far. This happened today when a Houston man was arrested on…

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