Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween For Stocks?

Baltic Dry Index. 834 +36   Brent Crude 49.48

LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

Eurasian Snow cover. (How bad will winter be?)

'You just never know. That unpredictability is the great thing about life. You change. The world changes. You live in a country where we are still blessed with enormous opportunity. Leave yourself open to the world of possibility. You have the ambition, you have the smarts and you have the toughness. So, turn the page on your biography - you have just started a new chapter in your lives.'

Lloyd Blankfein CEO of Goldman Sachs unintentionally backs Brexit in a US speech to graduates, mid 2016. Mr. Goldman “Sacks.”

While mainstream media went into overdrive at the weekend, following the FBI’s tilt into the US presidential election campaign apparently aimed at damaging Mrs. Clinton, more important yet under reported news came out of Vienna, where to little surprise in the oil industry, the OPEC talks held over two days led only to highlight OPEC’s internal problems.  Supposedly OPEC is to implement some sort of production cap agreement to take effect from this coming November 30th. That looks about as likely as the FBI having read all 650,000 “new” emails, allegedly found on Mrs. Clinton’s top aid’s estranged husband’s computer, before America votes on November 8th. 

Mr. Goldman says that he likes uncertainty, well now he’s got it in spades. If Mrs Clinton wins the presidency but a crime is uncovered in the emails, what then? If The Donald wins the presidency and a crime isn’t uncovered in the emails, did the FBI just steal the election from Mrs. Clinton? What then? What if OPEC somehow manages to patch some sort of deal out by November 30, how high will short covering push the oil price?  What if OPEC fails as usual, and the free for all in oil production continues, how low does oil fall and how many US frackers finally get to go under in a new wave of bankruptcies? No word yet from Mr. Goldman of life’s increasing uncertainties.
“A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.”
H. L. Mencken

OPEC Splits Prevent Deal With Other Producers to Curb Supply

October 29, 2016 — 4:53 PM BST Updated on October 30, 2016 — 12:21 PM GMT
OPEC’s internal disagreements over how to implement oil-supply cuts agreed to last month prevented a deal to secure the cooperation of other major suppliers.

More than 18 hours of talks over two days in Vienna yielded little more than a promise that the world’s largest oil producers would keep on talking. Discussions will continue in late November, just days before the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is supposed to finalize the accord that lifted oil prices to one-year highs.

Non-OPEC nations ended talks with the group on Saturday without making any supply commitments, Brazil’s Oil and Gas Secretary Marcio Felix said after the meeting. Brazil won’t restrict its oil production, though it’s willing as early as next year to host future OPEC conferences with the world’s biggest producers, he said in a phone interview.

Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev said the outcome of the process hinges on Iran and Iraq, two nations that are more interested in increasing production than reducing it. While Saturday’s meeting was a successful “first step,” oil-producing nations need to continue dialog and “come up with real numbers” before cuts can begin, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Energy Minister Magzum Mirzagaliyev said in an interview after the meeting.

A deal wasn’t possible because internal OPEC talks on Friday reached an impasse over the role of Iran and Iraq, both of which want to be exempt from any cuts. While non-member Oman said Saturday it was willing to cooperate in a supply deal, it couldn’t commit to a specific output cut until OPEC had its own agreement.
OPEC’s surprise agreement in Algiers to make the first supply cuts in eight years will only make a serious dent in a record oil surplus if producers outside the group join in. While the accord helped push oil prices to a 15-month high above $50 a barrel earlier this month, they have subsequently fallen as several members disputed the production estimates that would determine the size of cuts. Failure to implement last month’s accord will hurt oil producers, the organization’s top official warned.

In under reported dying EUSSR news, it was more of the same. The existing wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR is simply unreformable. It will eventually collapse from the inside.

Rajoy Masters the Art of Inaction to Win Back Power in Spain

October 31, 2016 — 4:00 AM GMT
Five days before December’s election in Spain, as candidates criss-crossed the country, the embattled government started up a high-speed rail link between Zamora and Olmedo in the north of the Castilian plain.

The economics of spending 750 million euros ($820 million) to run a state-of-the-art train between towns with less than 70,000 inhabitants in total and no real industry may have been questionable. But for Mariano Rajoy, fighting to cling to his job as prime minister, the politics proved to be spot on.

Fortifying his core vote in aging, conservative backwaters like Zamora with cheap money from the European 
Central Bank gave Rajoy a firewall against the rivals clamoring to oust him as younger, urban voters revolted against economic turmoil and widespread corruption. Despite historic losses, he held on to just enough seats to stop the other parties from pushing him out and, 10 months and another election later, clinched a second term in office with a vote in parliament on Saturday.

For the conservative leader, the Zamora rail link was a natural extension of the political habits of a lifetime -- keep down when the flack is flying, don’t rock the boat, and lavish your base with government largesse. Through the two election campaigns, he insisted his greatest achievement in government was resolving not to do something: seek a sovereign bailout.

“Rajoy has made the art of inaction into a way to exercise power,” Ivan Redondo, a political consultant who has advised candidates from both main parties, said in an interview. “This is an elderly society, in which towns prevail over big cities, and the transition from a dictatorship was not so many years ago. So a change of regime is very far from appealing for lots of people.”

We close with Asian markets nervous about what lies ahead in US politics. Fretting that Wall Street’s “man” may have cooked her goose. After months of nearly universal demonization of Donald Trump, is it Halloween time for stocks, without an All Saint’s Day?

Asia stocks shaky as FBI review of Clinton emails rattles markets

Mon Oct 31, 2016 | 2:45am EDT
Most Asian stocks struggled higher on Monday but investors were rattled by news that the FBI is planning to review more emails related to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's private server, just a week before the election.

European markets also looked set for a shaky start, with financial spreadbetter CMC Markets expecting Britain's FTSE 100, France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX <.GDAXI to all open down 0.1 percent.
Federal investigators have secured a warrant to examine newly discovered emails, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Clinton had opened a recent lead over her unpredictable Republican rival Donald Trump in national polls, but it had been narrowing even before the email controversy resurfaced. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Sunday showed Clinton with a statistically insignificant 1-point national lead.

The Mexican peso, which strengthens along with the chances for a Clinton win, remained weak, while the U.S. dollar edged up against other major currencies.

"There seems little doubt that a Trump victory would trigger selling in stock markets from current levels," Rick Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, wrote in a note.

"This has traders nervous as they start the week assimilating fresh news on Hillary Clinton’s email problems."

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit a six-week low on Monday before recovering 0.3 percent. It is set to end the month down 1.6 percent.

Japan's Nikkei, which touched a six-month high on Friday, closed 0.1 percent lower on Monday, but is up 5.9 percent in October.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid to a two-month low but revived to gain 0.2 percent, on track for a 1.35 percent loss in October. China's Shanghai Composite index fell 0.1 percent, paring gains this month to 3.2 percent.

On Friday, Wall Street and the dollar closed lower, after Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey sent a letter to the U.S. Congress informing it that the agency is again reviewing emails related to the private server Clinton used when she was secretary of state.

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 29.99 Moz, Eligible 143.47 Moz, Total 173.46 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, when politics trumps objective policy. Two examples today from both sides of the Atlantic. The BOE’s Governor took sides in the UK’s Brexit referendum debate and ended up totally compromised and on the losing side. In America, was the head of the FBI’s hand forced by a FBI NY City uncompromising investigation that Washington could no longer cover up. Yea or nay, both parties now look past their sell by date, and lacking credibility for the new circumstances that have developed.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive!
Sir Walter Scott. Marmion.

Carney’s Future at BOE Overshadows U.K. Interest-Rate Decision

October 31, 2016 — 12:01 AM GMT
Mark Carney’s policy announcement may not be the most important one he makes this week.
With growth holding firm against Brexit and the pound’s plunge stoking fears of a surge in prices, economists say that means a once-planned interest rate cut is off the table on Nov. 3. But the Bank of England governor may also be about to announce how long he will stay in the role, a decision that has ramifications for the stewardship of the economy at a time of unprecedented change.

Over the weekend, multiple newspapers reported that Carney was preparing to leave in 2018 -- sticking to the five years in the role that he said he would do when he was appointed -- or serve a full term through 2021. The BOE declined to comment, saying only that he would declare his intentions by a self-imposed deadline of year-end. Amid the speculation, U.K. Business Secretary Greg Clark backed him on Sunday to stay in the job.

“I think Mark Carney has done a tremendous job, a fantastic job during his tenure,” Clark said on BBC Television. “I was the financial secretary to the Treasury when he was appointed, and I think it was a brilliant appointment.”

Carney, 51, has said any decision on his future would be for personal reasons. It would come at the end of a turbulent year that saw the Canadian central banker become embroiled in the bitter European Union referendum campaign, accused of political bias by some lawmakers and facing calls to resign. He could make an announcement about his term on Thursday, when he will hold a press conference to explain the BOE’s latest policy decision.

Clinton Allies Go After Comey as Probe Scrambles Campaign

October 31, 2016 — 4:00 AM GMT Updated on October 31, 2016 — 5:05 AM GMT
Hillary Clinton’s allies dramatically escalated attacks on FBI Director James Comey in a bid to stem political damage from his disclosure the agency is reviewing a new batch of files that may be related to an investigation of the former secretary of state’s e-mail practices.

Harry Reid, the Senate’s top Democrat, delivered an unusual rebuke to the FBI chief in a letter Sunday that said Comey may have broken the law by revealing the review so close to the election, and suggesting the agency is sitting on potentially damaging information about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Reid’s scorching letter -- typical of the combative Nevadan’s style -- was one of the most confrontational messages being delivered by Clinton supporters, who took to talk shows, newspaper opinion pages and social media to question the propriety of Comey’s disclosure.

Late Sunday, one Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, called for Comey’s resignation. Judiciary is among congressional committees that oversee the FBI, and Cohen is the top Democrat on a subcommittee with jurisdiction over matters involving ethics in government. 

The new probe led to a weekend of scrambling by both Clinton and Trump and put the U.S. presidential race in uncharted territory. The two campaigns responded, for now, by falling back on the familiar. After hitting back at Comey on Friday and Saturday, Clinton moved on by Sunday to reiterating her campaign’s themes, leaving the attacks on the FBI director to her proxies. Trump reinvigorated his assault on Clinton’s trustworthiness and found a new cue for his crowds to chant “Lock her up” as he ramped up his pace of campaigning.

I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president.

Hillary Clinton. December 1993

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?

Borophene Could Trump Graphene in Flexible Electronics Applications

October 28 2016 Robin Mitchell
Researchers at Rice University believe that a special atom-thick born structure called borophene may be a better alternative to graphene for flexible electronics.

Graphene vs Borophene

For the past few years, many researchers and engineers alike have been looking into materials such as graphene for their strength, flexibility, and conductivity. Graphene has been showing up in the news many times  recently for their growing popularity in research including graphene electronic applications, printed graphene in paper electronics, and applications in car batteries.

While graphene performs better on flexible devices than other materials such as indium-tin oxide, it may be too flat and difficult to stretch. This is due to the rigid hexagonal structure that graphene forms. But there exists a structure of boron known as “borophene” that may help to overcome the issues graphene has in flexible applications.

Boron Bucky Balls

Back in 2014, a research team led by theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson at Rice University showed that a boron structure (B36) would be highly stable. Photoelectron spectroscopy of B36 showed that the structure was symmetrical, which is crucial for a repeating sheet-like structure.

At the same time, researchers also announced the creation of a 40-atom buckyball that consisted entirely of boron. It is these structural properties that make boron real contender in the future of electronics.

Borophene, Silver, and Its Applications

A team of researchers led by Boris at Rice University found that, when borophene is grown on a featureless surface (i.e. atomically flat), it forms a hexagonal structure that resembles graphene. However, if borophene is grown on a silver surface, it forms corrugations (like those found in an accordion) that suggests the borophene is much more flexible in this configuration.

But the relationship between borophene and silver is even more surprising because, when the borophene forms the corrugations, the silver reconstructs itself to match the waving pattern.

Once the borophene is formed, it can easily be removed as the bond between the silver and borophene is weak. This may allow atom-thick slices of borophene to be transferred to any substrate once it has been formed with the corrugations. Once transferred, the borophene should exhibit the same properties as when it was grown on the silver surface (flexibility, electrical characteristics, etc.)

And below, more on turbulent jet ignition system for internal combustion engines.

$2.5m DoE funding for MAHLE Powertrain

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded up to $8.4 million
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded up to $8.4 million, spread over the next three to four years, to four projects to improve performance levels of engines and powertrain systems for future vehicles. The projects will focus on developing and testing new cost-efficient technologies for engines and powertrain systems which will remove the technical barriers for broad commercial use of advanced engine technologies in the mass market.

MAHLE Powertrain LLC, will receive $2.5 million to develop a next-generation combined ignition/turbo-charging concept known as 'Turbulent Jet Ignition'. TJI facilitates the implementation of ultra lean-burn technology to gasoline engines, improving their efficiency and reducing the formation of pollutants such as nitrogen oxide.

The intent behind the DOE's effort is to ensure that automakers receive support from the government to focus on innovations to meet the latest emissions standards for passenger and commercial vehicles. In August this year, US president Barack Obama announced the first-ever fuel economy regulation for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, including semis, garbage trucks, buses, and three-quarter-tonne pick-ups and vans. In addition, Obama has announced mileage and emission standards suggestions for passenger and light trucks. The new standards would increase fuel economy to 54.5mpg fleet average by 2025--62mpg for cars and 44mpg for light trucks.
Specialists at MAHLE Powertrain have recently been developing a novel combustion system concept which offers significant fuel economy benefits without the need for expensive engine hardware.
MAHLE Powertrain’s Turbulent Jet Ignition (TJI) utilises a spark-initiated pre-chamber combustion process in an otherwise conventional gasoline engine to achieve fuel economy improvements of up 20% Engine-out NOx emissions are also virtually reduced to zero levels, negating the need for lean NOx after-treatment.
Existing jet ignition systems involve the creation of hot gas jets from a pre-chamber which are then introduced into the cylinder where they rapidly induce ignition of the main in-cylinder charge. MAHLE’s TJI system is characterised by auxiliary pre-chamber fuelling, small orifices connecting the main and pre-chamber combustion cavities and a very small pre-chamber volume. The smaller orifice size causes turbulence in the hot gas jets which then penetrate deeper into the main combustion chamber and cause a distributed ignition effect. This process then allows extension of knock limits and increased compression ratios (up to 14:1) combined with lower combustion temperatures and reduced throttling / pumping losses to achieve thermal efficiencies in the region of 45%.
MAHLE’s TJI unit replaces the conventional spark plug and can utilise the original PFI or DI fuel system in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines. The conventional engine control system can be retained and the system can be operated on readily available, commercial fuels. Strong synergies exist when coupling turbulent jet ignition with engine downsizing at both high and low engine loads through the use of modern variable valvetrain systems.
The ultra-high efficiency achievable with Turbulent Jet Ignition and the simplicity of the mechanical hardware and controls systems also offers unique opportunities to hybrid and range extender vehicle applications.

100 Years of Innovation & Technology

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished September

DJIA: 18308  +28 Up NASDAQ:  5312 +21 Up. SP500: 2168 +32 Up.

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