Plunge Protection Team

Did the infamous Plunge Protection Team strike last week and save the market? It seems likely that some entity did prop up the market last Wednesday. Worth the read.

Plunge Protection Team

 

How The Economy Works

Today we delve into the mind of one of the smarter money managers in the world, Ray Dalio. He runs Bridgewater which is one of the biggest hedge funds around. Several years ago he put together a terrific presentation on how the economy works. Worth the watch if you have not seen before.

Economy

 

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

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