June 23: Daily Contrarian Reads

Why The Market Is Playing With Fire

2453.82 was the high on $SPX yesterday and may still not be the high for this market, but bulls are playing with fire here and risk getting burned big time as we are reaching the upper price risk zone I’ve been talking about for quite some time now ($SPX 2450-2500) [for further reading please see Market Analysis…..As I’ve outlined previously from my perspective we are in the final move up paving the way for a larger top in 2017 setting us up for a recessionary move into 2018/2019 and beyond with potentially far reaching consequences if central banks lose control of the liquidity house of cards they have built all around us. And, if this is so, we are finding ourselves presented with a perhaps generational selling opportunity.

Ron Paul: The US Should Mind Its Own Business And Get Out of Syria

The US has no right to fly into Syrian airspace where it shouldn’t be and set boundaries but should mind its own business. Otherwise, it is an act of aggression, says former US Congressman Ron Paul. The US fighter jet downed an armed drone belonging to pro-Syrian government forces in southern Syria, near a base in the al-Tanf region, on June, 20 as the drone was advancing on US-backed forces, according to a coalition statement. This is happening at a time of escalating tension between Moscow and Washington. Also on Tuesday, Australia said it is temporarily suspending air operations in Syria.

Oil Prices Are Falling Like A Knife—To Below $40

Oil prices could be poised to fall below $40 a barrel before too long, according to an analyst at Energy Aspects, as the commodity appeared set to post its largest price slide in the first half of the year for the past two decades. This is like a falling knife right now, I genuinely haven’t seen sentiment this bad ever,” Amrita Sen, the co-founder and chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, told CNBC on Wednesday.

Basic China Money Math Still Doesn’t Add Up To A Solution

There are four basic categories to the PBOC’s balance sheet, two each on the asset and liability sides of the ledger. The latter is the money side, composed mainly of actual, physical currency and the ledger balances of bank reserves. Opposing them is forex assets in possession of the central bank and everything else denominated in RMB.

Sears Canada Melts Down

Sears Canada and its subsidiaries, which operate 95 department stores, 29 Sears Home stores, 71 Hometown stores, 16 Outlet stores, 69 Sears Travel offices, and 32 Corbeil appliance stores, and thus lease a lot of mall space, filed for bankruptcy protection today.

The Black Swan of Arabia: After The Saudi Coup, A Reckless 31-Year Old Is In Charge

The final act of the palace coup I have been writing about since King Salman took over has just been completed. Everyone was waiting for a coup against Qatar. In fact, the coup was within the kingdom itself. It took place in the middle of the night after fajr, the Muslim prayer that heralds the dawn of a new day, and millions of Saudis woke to a new reality – a 31-year-old prince is going to be the next king.

Memo To Fed: No Conundrum Then, No Mystery Now

After the Fed “raised rates” a little over a week ago, the US treasury market responded with another collective shrug. Long-term rates fell rather than rose, having already responded that way to the prior two hikes. The word “conundrum” has sadly been revived. It is unfortunate because treasury market behavior in the middle of the last decade was never a mystery. It only befuddled people like Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke who thought no disagreement was allowed. If the Fed was “tightening”, then according to the conundrum interpretation the economy could only be getting better. The central bank sets the direction and all markets must obey.

Russia-Gate Flops as Democrats’ Golden Ticket

The national Democratic Party and many liberals have bet heavily on the Russia-gate investigation as a way to oust President Trump from office and to catapult Democrats to victories this year and in 2018, but the gamble appears not to be paying off. The Democrats’ disappointing loss in a special election to fill a congressional seat in an affluent Atlanta suburb is just the latest indication that the strategy of demonizing Trump and blaming Russia for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat may not be the golden ticket that some Democrats had hoped. Though it’s still early to draw conclusive lessons from Karen Handel’s victory over Jon Ossoff – despite his raising $25 million – one lesson may be that a Middle America backlash is forming against the over-the-top quality of the Trump-accusations and the Russia-bashing, with Republicans rallying against the image of Official Washington’s “deep state” collaborating with Democrats and the mainstream news media to reverse a presidential election.

Another Barrage Of Missiles Hit Islamic State—-From Iran

On June 19, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard announced that it had fired several missiles at ISIS positions in the Deir Az Zor province in Syria. The reason given for this unprecedented military strike was retaliation for double terrorist attacks which struck Tehran two weeks ago. Readers should not underestimate the significance of this event……Regarding the alleged ISIS attack, which killed 13 people and wounded 50 others, the Revolutionary Guard added, “The spilling of any pure blood will not go unanswered.” Make no mistake about it – this was a major media event. It’s been 30 years since Iran has fired missiles at targets outside of its own borders. Iranian television featured images of the IRGC missiles being launched at night.

Energy Junk-Debt Losses Pose Reality Check

Executives of risky U.S. oil companies should feel proud. They sold billions of dollars of junk-rated debt earlier this year, locking in historically low borrowing costs and pushing out their maturities. And they did so at the expense of debt investors, who now find themselves getting burned yet again, less than two years after one of the biggest selloffs ever in oil-related risky debt.