Investors pull $7.4 billion from stocks funds

Investors pull $7.4 billion from stocks funds

Global investors pulled $7.4 billion from equity funds in the week to Wednesday, the largest outflow in around three months, as uncertainty over U.S. and Japanese monetary policy unnerved stocks, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) said on Friday.

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1 Small Detail In iPhone 7 Announcement Raises a Big Question About Where Apple Is Heading

1 Small Detail In iPhone 7 Announcement Raises a Big Question About Where Apple Is Heading

Since the announcement of the very first iPhone way back in 2007, Apple has come to have a real knack for building wildly successful product launches. In the years to follow, several more versions of the iPhone were released, practically all to hoards of ravenous fans. It’s never been hard to judge the success of these launches; all you have to do is look at the pre-order numbers to see that each one has driven insatiable demand from the public.

The latest iPhone event, the announcement of the iPhone 7, is a little different though – not in the sense that people weren’t excited about it, but because something very important was missing after the excitement died down.

There were no pre-order numbers. Apple simply didn’t release them.

Now, we can speculate all day about the different reasons why Apple would choose to withhold this information, but the most obvious motivation is that the numbers aren’t nearly as good as the many iPhone launches that came before this one.

Zero Hedge has more:

In the first sign that orders for the “transitional”, “headphone jackless” iPhone 7 may be a material disappointment, moments ago Apple, in a radical departure from its previous direct communications with CNBC, advised the business channel that it will no longer be releasing iPhone pre-order numbers as it traditionally has in the past.

This is what CNBC just tweeted:

APPLE STATEMENT TO CNBC:

“We expect iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be incredibly popular with customers and we are thrilled to begin taking pre-orders on September 9. Customers will receive their new iPhones starting September 16.

In years past, we’ve announced how many new iPhones had been sold as of the first weekend following launch. But as we have expanded our distribution through carriers and resellers to hundreds of thousands of locations around the world, we are now at a point where we know before taking the first customer pre-order that we will sell out of iPhone 7.

These initial sales will be governed by supply, not demand, and we have decided that it is no longer a representative metric for our investors and customers. Therefore we won’t be releasing a first-weekend number any longer. We are reiterating the financial guidance for the September quarter that we provided on July 26.”

As a reminder, AAPL’s gross profit is the single biggest contributor to the bottom line of the entire S&P500: its $54 billion in 2015 profits amounted to 7% of the S&P500’s full year earnings; if this statement is indeed indicative of Apple’s concerns after the first day of preorders, it appears the S&P is about to have 7 consecutive quarters of declining earnings.

Could this be a sign that Apple will struggle with this latest iteration of the iPhone? Give us your take in the comments.

Goldman Sachs’ top 1% employees can’t donate to Trump

Goldman Sachs’ top 1% employees can’t donate to Trump

Goldman Sachs is prohibiting its top officials from donating to the campaigns of state and local politicians.

The rule change also applies directly to presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence.

In an email sent September 1 to Goldman Sachs’ “partners,” its highest-ranking employees, the bank’s government compliance department forbade them from making donations to “any federal candidate who is a sitting state or local official.”

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You may pay more in this tax than income taxes

You may pay more in this tax than income taxes

Many people complain about paying too much in federal income taxes. But it turns out that a majority of U.S. tax filers actually pay less in income taxes than they do in payroll taxes, which fund Social Security and Medicare.

That’s according to Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

Williams estimates that this year close to two-thirds of all households (62.3%) will end up owing more in payroll taxes than federal income taxes. Generally speaking, the less you make, the more likely you are to be in this group.

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Here’s how much Hillary Clinton’s tax plan would hit the rich

Here’s how much Hillary Clinton’s tax plan would hit the rich

Hillary Clinton has often said she wants the rich to pay their “fair share.” Translation: More.

And the bevy of tax proposals she’s put forth so far would certainly raise the tax burden of the country’s highest earners, according to an analysis from the Tax Policy Center.

The top 1% of households would see their tax burden go up by more than $78,000 on average, according to the report. The top 1% are defined as households making more than $730,000.

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How much guaranteed retirement income do you need?

How much guaranteed retirement income do you need?

All sorts of alarms and warning bells started going off in my head as I read your question. The hefty annual fees and the fact that the adviser wants to put a pretty big chunk of your $700,000 savings stash in this annuity are by themselves enough to make me question this recommendation. The fact that Social Security and a pension will already provide you a substantial assured annual income raises even more doubts.

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You won the $1.5 billion Powerball! Here’s your tax bill

You won the $1.5 billion Powerball! Here’s your tax bill

Win the lottery? Welcome to the 1%. Now here comes the taxman.

The odds of winning the record $1.5 billion jackpot in Saturday night’s drawing are 1 in 292 million. Anyone who beats those odds has tremendous luck, and a colossal tax bill, to look forward to.

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Citigroup analysis: Trump victory would cause economic downturn

Citigroup analysis: Trump victory would cause economic downturn

A couple of months ago, four economists at Moody’s Analytics prepared a report intended to provide clients with useful information: the “cumulative economic benefits and costs” of Donald Trump’s agenda.
The results were rather alarming: as the Wall Street Journal reported, Trump’s proposals, if taken at face value, would likely produce “a prolonged recession and heavy job losses that would fall hardest on low- and middle-income workers.”

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source: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/citigroup-analysis-trump-victory-would-cause-economic-downturn

Rare Market Activity Suggests Gold Could Be Worth Far More Than Its Current Price – Here’s By How Much

Rare Market Activity Suggests Gold Could Be Worth Far More Than Its Current Price – Here’s By How Much

Historically, the price of gold is correlated in unique ways with a variety of market metrics. By looking at the movement in these market metrics, we can make fairly accurate educated assumptions about how gold will react.

One such metric that’s especially important right now is central bank balance sheet expansion. For the past 10 years, the price of gold has closely tracked the rate of central banking balance sheet expansion, with a couple exceptions. In both cases over the past decade where gold has failed to track central bank balance sheet expansion, something big was waiting right around the corner.

Now it’s happening again, and news from Business Insider suggests it could be a signal that gold is actually worth far more than its current spot price:

Gold may be worth more than what traders have decided is the spot price.

There’s a correlation between gold price changes and the rate at which central banks bought assets to expand their balance sheets, according to Deutsche Bank’s Michael Hsueh and Grant Sporre.

And the pace of balance-sheet expansion — by 300% since 2005, according to the analysts — indicates that gold could be worth more.

They wrote in a note on Friday:

“Let us be clear; we are not saying that gold will trade up to USD1,700/oz in the near term, but when viewed against the aggregated balance sheet of the ‘big four’ global central banks (the Fed, ECB, BoJ and PBoC) the argument can be made if we view gold as a currency, the metal is worth closer to USD1,700/oz, versus the spot price of USD1,326/oz.”

Screen Shot 2016 08 29 at 7.47.18 AMDeutsche Bank

To be sure, this isn’t an argument for gold as a currency, and there are arguments against that notion. For one, gold isn’t a legal tender that’s widely paid or received in exchange for goods and services, partly because it’s not as easy to print or transport as paper cash.

But the argument that Hsueh and Sporre make is that gold price percentage changes have historically moved in tandem with the rate of central bank balance-sheet expansions, but gold is not keeping up right now:

“Over the same period [2005 till now] as the aggregate central bank balance sheet expanded by 300%, global above ground stocks grew by 19% in tonnage terms or c.200% in value terms. If we were to assume that the value of gold should appreciate to keep the overall value of the big four aggregate balance sheet equivalent to that of the value of the above ground gold stocks, then gold should be trading closer to USD1,700/oz.”

What do you think this means for gold prices moving forward? Can we expect to see an upswing in spot prices to reflect this analysis?

Give us your take in the comments.

Hillary’s Sneaky Twitter Trick Just Raised 1 HUGE Red Flag in the Biotech Sector

Hillary’s Sneaky Twitter Trick Just Raised 1 HUGE Red Flag in the Biotech Sector

When someone has the ability to deliver a message to millions of anxiously attentive listeners, they hold a tremendous amount of power. Politicians are a perfect example of this. Their popularity and talent for persuasion make them massively influential, so much so that a simple 140-character tweet can cause thousands of dollars to change hands in an instant.

As you can imagine, that kind of power is easy to abuse.

Unsurprisingly, it looks like Hillary Clinton did just that when she issued a critical tweet aimed at the biotech sector. The tweet naturally caused a big dip in biotech stocks, but it’s what happened before the tweet that’s interesting.

An extremely unusual trade was made that no sane person would have executed without insider knowledge, and it yielded a 2900% gain.

Kit Daniels at Info Wars explains:

Hillary Clinton’s recent tweet attacking biotech firms lowered their stocks significantly, but not before an insider made a 2900% profit by “predicting” biotech stocks would collapse.

On Aug. 24, Hillary blasted the biotech sector over recent price hikes for autoinjectors – which she reportedly uses herself to prevent seizures – but roughly three hours before Hillary sent out her tweet, a stock trader placed an usual “put option” that the biotechnology index would collapse within two days.

The put option, which gives the owner the right – but not the obligation – to sell an asset at a “strike” price (in this case $290 – far below the trading price), was set to expire on Aug. 26 and would have been completely worthless unless Hillary sent out her tweet.

“These puts for IBB [the biotech sector index] 290.00 strike with an expiration date of August 26th were worthless before [Hillary’s] tweet,” a diagram uploaded to Imgur revealed. “Roughly three hours before the tweet goes out, an usual block order worth $1900 is executed.”

“Far above normal volume for a worthless strike price.”

But once Hillary sent out the tweet, the stock did collapse below $290 per share, and whoever made the “prediction” just made a ton of money.

The stock price around the time of Hillary's tweet, and the resulting collapse.
The stock price around the time of Hillary’s tweet, and the resulting collapse.

It’s as if someone connected to Hillary knew the tweet would happen, and business journalists directly contributed the stock collapse to Hillary’s tweet.

“Thanks a lot, Hillary! That is probably what investors in the biotech sector, and Mylan Inc. specifically, are saying after an ugly day for the health care sector on Wednesday,” MarketWatch reported. “Shares of Mylan Inc. ended the day with a 5.4% loss as criticism over the drugmaker’s decision to jack up the price of lifesaving EpiPens reached a crescendo, dragging the health-care sector and the broader market along with it.”

“The S&P 500 ended the day down 0.5%.”

It’s hard to dismiss this as mere coincidence. Do you think there’s corruption at play here? Surely, it wouldn’t be the first time for Hillary.

Give us your response in the comments.