Monday, 12 September 2016

Stocks, Heads Or Tails?

Baltic Dry Index. 804  +12     Brent Crude 47.37

LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.
All European commissioners are equal, but some are more equal than others.
After Friday’s stock market rout in America, the only question for today is will today turn into another “Black Monday” similar to October 19, 1987? History never repeats exactly, and to be sure the Fedster’s Plunge Protection Team in New York of Riggers and Fix-its will have been hard at work over the weekend trying to get Ebenezer Squid and his gang up to speed on the plot, but fear is now trumping greed in the casino, and nothing generates more fear in the casino, than a large margin call that can’t be met.
We open with today’s action from Asia, as the fear spreads that the world’s greatest multi-decade bond bubble might come to its end later this month.

Asia stocks, bonds suffer central bank anxiety attack

Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:51am EDT
Asian shares suffered their sharpest setback since June on Monday as investors were rattled by rising bond yields and talk the Federal Reserve might be serious about lifting U.S. interest rates as early as next week.

Reports that the Bank of Japan was considering ways to steepen the Japanese yield curve, along with worries that central banks more generally were running short of fresh stimulus options, also hit sovereign debt and risk appetite globally.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 2.4 percent, pulling away from a 13-month peak. It was the largest daily drop since the frenzy caused by Britain's vote in late June to leave the European Union.

On a technical basis the index had been overbought in recent sessions, leaving it vulnerable to a pullback.
Shanghai followed with a fall of 2 percent, while Australian stocks sank 2.2 percent.

The Nikkei 225 .N225 lost 1.9 percent as the safe haven yen firmed and selling in bonds drove yields on 20-year JGBs to the highest since March.

Traders were unsure how the BOJ would try to steepen the yield curve if it goes down that path at a policy review later this month, but markets are worried that tapering of its buying in long-dated bonds could be among the options.

EMini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1, traded in Chicago during Asian hours, swung 0.6 percent lower, though Treasuries were finding safe-haven demand.

Some Fed members have been trying to convince markets that the September meeting would be "live" for a hike, even though futures <0> only imply a one-in-four chance of a move.

No less than three Fed officials are expected to speak later in the day, including board member and noted dove Lael Brainard. Any hint of hawkishness would likely further pressure bonds and equities.

"Market participants are wondering if maybe she's (Brainard) being wheeled out to give the market one last warning of a rate hike at next week's meeting," said Marshall Gittler, head of research at broker FXPRIMUS.

"The thinking is that if someone as dovish as she is starts talking like a hawk, people will notice. Her speech will be closely examined."

Such risks led Wall Street's fear gauge, the VIX index .VIX, to its highest close since late June on Friday. The Dow .DJI shed 2.13 percent on Friday, while the S&P 500 .SPX lost 2.45 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC 2.54 percent.
So while we await further developments, we’ll close for the morning with what has gone wrong in our new manufacturing sector?

BMW recalls 110,000 cars in Japan over Takata air bags

Fri Sep 9, 2016 2:33am EDT
BMW (BMWG.DE) on Friday recalled about 110,000 cars in Japan over potentially faulty air bag inflators made by Takata Corp (7312.T), as part of the auto industry's largest ever global recall.

The German automaker recalled 44 models including its 116i and 118i hatchbacks and the 320i sedan to replace passenger-side air bags made by the parts maker, according to a filing to Japan's transport ministry.

Affected vehicles were produced between 2004 and 2012.

Defective Takata air bags have been linked to at least 14 deaths and 150 injuries worldwide as the ammonium nitrate-based propellant used in its inflators has a tendency to explode following prolonged exposure to hot, humid conditions, spraying metal shrapnel.

Friday's recall comes after Japan's transport ministry in May ordered automakers to recall an additional 7 million vehicles in Japan equipped with Takata air bag inflators which do not contain a drying agent, in phases by 2019, following an expanded recall by U.S. authorities.

Samsung Electronics shares slide as Note 7 recall takes toll

Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:23pm EDT
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's (005930.KS) shares fell to their lowest level in nearly two months on Monday after the tech giant told customers to switch off and return their new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones due to fire-prone batteries.

Investors had wiped 15.9 trillion won (14.3 billion) off the South Korean firm's market capitalization as of 0303 GMT, as a series of warnings from regulators and airlines around the world raised fears for the future of the flagship device.

"Some said initially the Galaxy Note 7 could be the best smartphone ever, but now it's possible the phone will go down as the worst ever," IBK Securities analyst Lee Seung-woo said, predicting weak sales in the fourth quarter.

Samsung Electronics' common shares were down 6.3 percent to 1,476,000 won each after touching their lowest level since July 12, and were on track for their biggest daily percentage drop in more than four years.

Analysts said the recall could torpedo Galaxy Note 7 sales and have a lasting impact on the $211 billion company's brand image, which could derail a recovery in its smartphone market share against rivals like Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

The global smartphone leader on Saturday urged all customers to turn off their Note 7s and return them as soon as possible as part of the recall which it voluntarily initiated on Sept. 2.

Tesla Autopilot update seeks better safety

5 hours ago
Tesla will update its cars' Autopilot function with new safety features designed to prevent collisions, the company has announced.

Chief executive Elon Musk told reporters on Sunday that his cars would soon make greater use of the on-board radar to detect obstacles ahead.

The car will also do more to make sure drivers are paying attention while in self-driving mode.

A Tesla driver died earlier this year when the technology missed a lorry.

As part of the update to self-driving mode, if repeated warnings to hold the steering wheel are ignored, the vehicle will need to be parked before the autonomous functions can be re-engaged.

When drivers activate Autopilot, the car takes control - keeping pace with traffic and even changing lanes. The 200-plus additions to the software come as it is being investigated by the US road safety regulator.
"We finished the year, and we reported that we had $17 billion of cash sitting at the bank's parent company as a liquidity cushion. As the year has gone on, that liquidity cushion has been virtually unchanged."
Alan Schwartz, CEO Bear Stearns, March 12, 2008. Bust March 16, 2008.
At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 30.04 Moz, Eligible 135.67 Moz, Total 165.71 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, life struggles on in the delusions of America rump-EUSSR. With John Bull heading out of the door, what the rump-EUSSR needs is root and branch reform. What it’s about to get is an American style “State of the Union” lecture in Brussels “twin capital” Strasbourg, from the heavily discredited EC President Juncker. But will he be telling the truth or will his lips move? Meanwhile, the rump-EUSSR minnows are waking up to being steam rollered in the new unfolding Big Three Germanic r-EUSSR.
“When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”

Jean-Claude Juncker. Failed former Luxembourg P.M., serial liar, president of the European Commission.

Life After the Brexit Vote Gets Under Way in Brussels

September 11, 2016 — 11:00 PM BST
Prime Minister Theresa May insists that Britain will be a “strong player and a strong voice” in the European Union for as long as it remains a member, yet signs of the U.K.’s waning EU clout will be on full display this week.

Julian King, the U.K.’s new appointee to the European Commission in Brussels, will appear on Monday at a confirmation hearing on his designated role as EU counter-terrorism chief -- a slim, freshly created portfolio that’s being squeezed between existing commissioners. King, plucked from Paris where he was U.K. ambassador, fills a national spot vacated by Jonathan Hill, who held the heavyweight post of EU financial-services commissioner.

Hill resigned after the June referendum decision to quit the EU, signaling Brexit made it impossible for him to remain the European regulator in charge of banking centers including London. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gave Hill’s responsibilities to the EU commissioner from Latvia in charge of the euro and carved out a special job for King.

All European commissioners are equal, but some are more equal than others. That’s because the power of the portfolios differs widely depending on the extent of the commission’s regulatory reach over EU nations. Suffice it to say that anti-terrorism policy, long a bastion of national sovereignty, isn’t close to being a top-tier EU responsibility.

King’s confirmation hearing will take place in the civil-liberties committee of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Sept. 12 from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. Don’t assume it’ll be all smooth sailing for King no matter how well briefed he is. The EU Parliament has a habit of seeking the scalp of a designated commissioner or two as a way to flex political muscle. Juncker’s announcement of the job for King -- it’s officially called “commissioner for the security union” -- prompted rumblings from some European lawmakers that he was unsuitable for the post because it touches on EU home-affairs policy, an area where Britain has had an opt-out.

Juncker himself takes center stage two days later in the EU Parliament for his annual “State of the Union” speech. The title borrows from U.S. presidential custom in a bid to convey gravitas on the part of the commission leader, who in reality has nowhere near the heft of America’s chief executive. The traditional Strasbourg location of the event puts the spotlight on an EU assembly that suffers bouts of inferiority even though its legislative powers have grown significantly over the past four decades.

Tsipras Repeats Call for Greek Debt Relief, Seeks Bonds in QE

September 11, 2016 — 5:49 PM BST
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece will only be able to lure investors once a quarrel between creditors over how to lower the country’s debt burden is resolved, which he said should lead the European Central Bank to include Greek government bonds in its asset purchase program.

“What is currently causing a delay in regaining the trust of markets and investors isn’t debt decisions in themselves, as what the Eurogroup decided was in the right direction, but the constant quarrel and clash between the International Monetary Fund and European institutions,” Tsipras said Sunday at the Thessaloniki International Fair. Greeks “deserve a fair debt arrangement, and this fair arrangement can’t be conditioned on elections taking place in other European countries,” he said, referring to polls set for next year in Germany.

Tsipras used a 2 1/2-hour news conference to dispel doubts about Greece’s future growth prospects in the aftermath of renewed warnings from euro area peers on delayed economic reforms.

 “After seven years of such a steep contraction, we will see what economists call a rebound, and growth will be substantial in 2017,” the 42-year-old leader said. “The question is whether this growth will last, and this will depend on the decisions which will be taken by the end of this year,” he said, adding that Greece would already be eligible for the ECB’s Quantitative Easing program if it wasn’t for the dispute between Germany and the IMF on Greek debt sustainability.

Austria says wrong if Germany, Italy, France dominate Brexit debate

Fri Sep 9, 2016 2:24pm EDT
Germany, France and Italy should not be allowed to dictate the European Union's response to Britain's planned exit from the bloc, Austria's finance minister said, adding he was surprised how relaxed the EU response to the vote has been.

Hans Joerg Schelling said it was the "wrong way" for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the leaders of the euro zones biggest economies, to dominate the Brexit discussion.

"Small countries should not be overruled," he said.

The three heads of government met separately from their European peers last month in the aftermath of Britain's June 23 referendum in which a majority voted in favor of leaving the European Union.

Schelling told reporters on the sidelines of a European finance minister meeting in Bratislava that he was lobbying for a special meeting of European finance and economy ministers - or Ecofin - on Brexit without his British counterpart.

He added many of his peers had responded positively to such an idea, adding that he was surprised at how relaxed preparations for Brexit negotiations in Europe have been so far.

He said such an Ecofin should prepare the European Council, comprised of the heads of government of the European Union, for its negotiating position with Britain in three scenarios: Britain paying the same amount into the EU budget as before, a smaller amount or nothing at all.

Solar  & Related Update.

With events happening fast in the development of solar power and graphene, I’ve added this section. Updates as they get reported. Is converting sunlight to usable cheap AC or DC energy mankind’s future from the 21st century onwards? DC? A quantum computer next?

Graphene Enables Flat Speakers for Mobile Audio Systems

By Dexter Johnson Posted 9 Sep 2016 | 20:00 GMT
Nanomaterials have been responsible for all sorts of innovation of audio speaker designs. We’ve seen magnetic nanoparticles used to eliminate the need for a magnet in speakers.  Carbon nanotubes have also been demonstrated to produce sound with heat. While these designs have been innovative, they were developed to demonstrate the capabilities of nanomaterials rather than to produce a piece of audio equipment.

Now, researchers at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a new speaker design specifically targeted for the mobile audio market that draws its capabilities from nanomaterials. The KAIST researchers have used graphene to produce a speaker that does not require an acoustic box to produce sound.

In research described in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, the researchers used graphene in a relatively simple process that yielded the long-elusive thermoacoustic speaker. Thermoacoustics is based on the century-old idea that sound can be produced by the rapid heating and cooling of a material instead of through vibrations.

While graphene has previously been shown to enable thermoacoustics (and carbon nanotubes have even been used previously to create thermoacoustic speakers), what sets the KAIST researchers’ work apart is the ease with which the graphene-based speakers are fabricated. The simple, two-step process, they say, will make commercial applications more likely.

They started by first freeze-drying a solution of graphene oxide flakes. They then reduced and doped the oxidized graphene to improve its electrical properties. (The process does not require any templates to complete the fabrication.) The end result: an N-doped, three-dimensional, reduced graphene oxide aerogel (N-rGOA) that is freestanding.

The final aerogel sound element has a porous macroscopic structure can be easily modulated. The speaker the KAIST researchers produced consists of an array of 16 of the aerogels; it operates on 40 watts of power and produce a sound quality comparable to that of other graphene-based sound systems.

The researchers believe that because of the simplicity of their fabrication method, speakers can be mass-produced for use in mobile devices and other applications. As you can see in the video below, the fact that speakers are flat and don’t vibrate means that can be placed against walls and even curved surfaces.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished August.

DJIA: 18401  +18 Up NASDAQ:  5213 +16 Up. SP500: 2171 +18 Up.

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