The Speech

Today is all about Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen and what she will or will not say when she speaks at the Jackson Hole Conference. Personally, I think too much is being made about this speech.

The reason it has become such a big deal as Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke spurred a massive rally in August of 2010 with his Jackson Hole Speech. We note that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will speak as well today.

Jackson Hole Preview

 

Merger Activity Up Mid Week

Mergers and acquisitions are fast and furious. This morning Bloomberg has a story that Infineon is looking to acquire a U.S. semiconductor company and that the deal could occur as soon as today.

Infineon

 

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Finds Support While Brent Crude Continues to Fall

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) the crude used by U.S. refiners to produce gasoline hits support while Brent Crude which is used in Europe continues to drop. Brent Crude just hit a 16 month low.

Oil Prices

 

Merger Monday

First there was a bidding war for Hillshire Brands between Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride. Now we have a bidding war this morning for Family Dollar (FDO). Dollar General (DG) has put in a competitive bid for Family Dollar that trumps the first bidder Dollar Tree (DLTR). Another twist on Merger Monday.

Family Dollar Bid’s

 

Markets Await Fair Amount of Economic Data

Markets are higher but are awaiting Consumer Confidence at 9:55 a.m. EDT and at 8:30 we get PPI and 9:15 Industrial Production. Today is also August Options Expiration.

PPI

Consumer Confidence

Industrial Production

 

German Economy Shrinks

Europe is suffering as Germany, which is the leading economy, contracted with its latest GDP report.

Germany Struggles

 

Euro Is So Bearish It Is Bullish

Bloomberg reports that sentiment is so bearish on the Euro that it may be bullish. A strong Euro would cause the dollar to drop and that is a plus for stocks.

Euro

 

A Sad Day & What We Can Learn

Last night we learned that Robin Williams had passed away from an apparent suicide. NBC News said he “battled demons”. We beg to differ. He had a disease. Mental illness and depression are a disease.

A tragic disease that often ends in suicide. Some 39,518 people died of suicide in 2011. That is more deaths than through murders, car accidents and even prostrate cancer. It equals breast cancer in deaths. We pulled a couple articles on Robin Williams and the subject of suicide and how we can help our fellow human beings who might be at risk.

NY Times Obituary

Suicide A Risk For Even Robin Williams

Articles That Matter Archives

Egypt Drives Peace Talks

The Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo,Egypt for peace talks with the Hamas and being coordinated by the Egyptians. Also, over the weekend the Kurds retook two towns from ISIL or IS or ISIS. Last, the Ukraine rebels noted they are ready for cease fire talks. Is peace breaking out over the world?

Truce Talks

 

President Obama Authorizes Strikes

After the close, President Obama authorized strikes in Iraq for humanitarian purposes and to defend American interests. Futures did not like this early on and now it seems investors are getting comfortable with this action. Now futures are positive at 7:30 a.m. EDT.

Airstrikes