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May 17, 2018

Bash: Trump trying to clean up John Bolton's remarks - May 17, 2018. | CNN.

Capricious Nature of USD Empire (E1228) - May 17, 2018 | Max Keiser Report.

SEC Moves Quickly To Shut Down Fake Pre-IPO Share Scam - May 17, 2018. | SEC Litigation Release

SEC Moves Quickly To Shut Down Fake Pre-IPO Share Scam

Litigation Release No. 24144 / May 17, 2018

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Keenan Gracey, Civil Action No.18-01872 (C.D. Cal, Filed May 10, 2018)

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the unsealing of fraud charges against a defendant who stole at least $400,000 from investors through the sale of non-existent pre-IPO shares of stock. The SEC also obtained emergency relief, including an asset freeze and a temporary restraining order to halt the offering.
The SEC's complaint alleges that Keenan Gracey sold investors purported pre-IPO shares in Perspecta, Inc., a new company that will be formed as a result of the merger of three other companies. Although the merger is planned, Gracey's claims of ownership of pre-IPO shares in Perspecta were false. As alleged in the SEC's complaint, Gracey has no interest in the not-yet-formed company and no IPO is planned for its stock. The SEC alleges that Gracey used publicly available information about the merger and false claims about his supposed connections with the companies involved to convince investors that they would recover sixty times their investment if they purchased pre-IPO shares from him.
The SEC's complaint filed under seal in federal court in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on May 9, 2018 and unsealed today, charges Gracey with violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. The Court granted the SEC's request for an asset freeze and a temporary restraining order against Gracey from further violations of the federal securities laws, as well as other emergency relief. The SEC complaint also seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions, return of any ill-gotten gains with interest, and civil penalties.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Alec Johnson and was supervised by Marc Blau. The SEC's litigation will be led by Don Searles and supervised by Amy Longo.
The SEC encourages investors to be wary of any offer of pre-IPO shares, as further detailed in this investor alert.

Small Caps in Russell 2000 Break Out to Fresh Highs, May 17, 2018.| Investopedia

Small Caps in Russell 2000 Break Out to Fresh Highs

Justin Kuepper

Small-cap stocks in the Russell 2000 have outperformed the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and technology stocks in the NASDAQ Composite over the past three months. While many larger companies have been struggling to cope with a potential trade war, small caps conduct most of their business in the United States and aren't affected by these risks. At the same time, these companies are well positioned to benefit from the lower corporate tax rate.
The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) rose more than 1% to new all-time highs following its breakout from an ascending triangle pattern on Wednesday. According to iShares, the fund's average P/E ratio clocked in at 20.91x, which is still lower than the S&P 500's 24.78x P/E ratio. Many investors may be drawn to the lower earnings multiples for these companies compared with the lofty multiples seen at larger companies in the S&P 500 and DJIA. (See also: IWM vs. VTWO: Comparing U.S. Small-Cap ETFs.)
Technical chart showing the performance of the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)
From a technical standpoint, the fund broke out from trendline resistance at around $160 to fresh all-time highs of $160.92 on Wednesday. The relative strength index (RSI) is rapidly approaching overbought levels at 67.54, but the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) remains in a robust uptrend following its bullish crossover earlier this month. These indicators suggest that there could be some profit taking, but the long-term trend is bullish.
Traders should watch for some consolidation above $160.00 and then a move toward R2 resistance at around $164.16 over the coming sessions. Based on the ascending triangle chart pattern, the fund could see a long-term move higher toward about $180.00 before meeting significant resistance. If the stock breaks below trendline support at $160.00, traders could see a move lower to retest the 50-day moving average at $155.14. (For more, see: Why Stocks May Stage a Summer Rally.)
Chart courtesy of The author holds no position in the stock(s) mentioned except through passively managed index funds.

MAKE IT | 'Shark Tank'-backed shop uses 3,000 pounds of avocado a month - May 17, 2018 | CNBC

Daily dose of inspiration:
"If entrepreneurs and inventors follow their curiosity and they follow their passions ... they figure out how to make it."
- Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon
3 things to help you make it.
This 'Shark Tank'-backed shop only serves avocado dishes—it's so busy it uses 3,000 pounds a month
Avocaderia opened its Manhattan location Thursday. The eatery, which also has a Brooklyn spot, has backing from Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran and serves avocado-only menu items like Avo Brunch Toast.
Read More »
Spanx founder Sara Blakely says sticking with this daily habit is how she gets her best ideas
Steve Jobs used a similar strategy.
Read More »
Jeff Bezos: ‘If you cannot afford to be misunderstood, don't do anything new or innovative’
The billionaire founder of Amazon shares how he handles naysayers, doubters and skeptics.
Read More »

Stocks making the biggest moves after hours: PayPal, Nordstrom & more - May 17 2018 | CNBC

PYPL, JWN, AMAT & more

Christine Wang
PayPal shares rose nearly 1 percent post-market after the company said it has reached a $2.2 billion deal to buy iZettle, a European financial technology start-up.
Shares of AmTrust Financial Services gained 7 percent in extended trading after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a large position in the insurer. In a letter to AmTrust's board, Icahn laid out his opposition to a plan to take the company private.
Nordstrom shares fell 7 percent in after-hours trading. While the retailer posted better-than-expected earnings, Nordstrom reported same-store sales growth that missed analyst expectations. The company said comparable sales rose 0.6 percent during the first quarter. Wall Street had projected growth of 1.1 percent.
Shares of Applied Materials fell more than 4 percent in the extended session. While the semiconductor supplier beat Wall Street expectations for earnings and revenue, its sales projections fell short.
For the third quarter, Applied said it expects revenue between $4.33 billion and $4.53 billion. Analysts had forecast third-quarter revenue of about $4.53 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

Trump: I 'doubt' China trade negotiations will succeed - May 17, 2018 | Your Money - Your Vote | CNBC.

Featured Article

Trump: I 'doubt' China trade negotiations will succeed
Chinese officials are currently in Washington negotiating on trade with the Trump administration.

Here's what the special counsel's Trump-Russia probe has accomplished after one year
The president has repeatedly called the special counsel's investigation a "witch hunt."

The Pentagon has no plans to scale back military operations in South Korea after threats from North Korea
The Pentagon defended the ongoing joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises amid threats from North Korea to withdraw from upcoming talks with President Trump.

Inside Anthony Scaramucci's connection to the man who set up Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower
A source tells CNBC that Scaramucci met Goldstone a few times, and that the entertainment publicist who helped arrange the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians was "helpful" to the Trump campaign.

Tensions between Mnuchin and China hawk Navarro cloud Trump team's trade talks with Chinese officials
There had been uncertainty about Navarro's participation following a reported blowup during May trade talks in Beijing.

California's resistance to the Trump administration includes at least 32 lawsuits
California's legal 'war' with the Trump administration includes at least 32 lawsuits on more than a dozen subjects and many could take years to resolve.

After US embassy makes controversial move to Jerusalem, more countries follow its lead
Smaller countries with strong ties to Israel and the U.S. are considering their own embassy moves to Jerusalem.

Missing documents prompted leak of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's bank records: Report
A law enforcement official leaked a suspicious activity report about Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and payments by Novartis and AT&T to his Essential Consultants company, The New Yorker reports.

Gaza: There is a better way - May 17, 2018 | Editor's Picks | The Economist.

The Economist
Our cover this week looks at the death of some 60 Palestinian protesters. It is surely right to hold Israel to account for the bloodshed and misery in Gaza, but the Palestinian parties, Hamas and Fatah, are also to blame. Seven decades after the creation of Israel as a thriving democracy there is a better way of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than endless fighting
Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief
Essential reads
Coping with Trump’s sanctions
America’s reliance on sanctions to tackle terrorism, nuclear proliferation, human-rights abuses and corruption has ballooned since Donald Trump took office. Last year his administration put about 1,000 entities on its “blacklist”, almost 30% more than in Barack Obama’s final year. What does that mean for businesses?

Venezuela votes
President Nicolás Maduro does not deserve to win this weekend’s election—he may end up having to steal it. The economy has suffered the biggest contraction in the history of Latin America. Prices are doubling nearly every month. At least a million people have left the country in the past four years. Henri Falcón, a former ally of Hugo Chávez, is beating him in the polls
Bad rap
Getting on to an official playlist on Spotify, a streaming service, can help turn a singer into a superstar. But Spotify has removed XXXTentacion, a rapper, and R. Kelly, an R&B singer, from its playlists after allegations that they abused women—something both artists deny. The move begins a cultural shift for the music industry. Nobody knows quite where it will end

Open Future
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  Our essay competition  
  The Economist is holding an essay contest for people aged between 16 and 25, based on the five themes of our Open Future initiative: Borders, Ideas, Markets, Society and Progress. Essays should be no longer than 1,500 words and the deadline is July 15th 2018. The best essays will be published on The Economist’s Open Future website and winners will be invited to attend one of the three Open Future Festivals on September 15th, in Hong Kong, London or New York. Details can be found here  

Economist Films
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  Has immigration gone too far?  
  Migration has polarised politics in the West. Emma Hogan considers how to cope with it 

  An outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo spread to the city of Mbandaka, a transport hub, raising fears that the disease will advance rapidly. At least 42 people have been infected by this latest outbreak so far  

  More from politics this week >  

Business this week

  Britain’s financial-conduct regulators handed a £642,000 ($865,000) fine to Jes Staley, the chief executive of Barclays, for his attempt to unmask an internal whistleblower. The regulators said that Mr Staley “failed to act with due skill, care and diligence” in his response to an anonymous letter that criticised a senior executive at the bank  

  More from business this week >
Politics this week


  A weekly selection of must-reads from The Economist