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Oct 25, 2018

Suspected explosives sent to Biden, De Niro as investigation into pipe bombs expands to 10 packages I National I The Washington Post


By Devlin Barrett 



Devlin Barrett
Reporter focusing on national security and law enforcement
Authorities investigating a wave of pipe bombs mailed to prominent figures across the country said Thursday that they have found 10 similar packages, including two sent to former vice president Joe Biden and another mailed to the actor Robert De Niro.
These latest packages set off new alarms amid a sprawling investigation into explosive devices mailed to a string of politicians — including former president Barack Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton — who have all criticized President Trump. Like the others, the packages sent to Biden and De Niro were intercepted before reaching their intended targets and did not detonate. They also prompted a further surge of law enforcement activity as the effort to find the culprit or culprits, along with any other possible explosives, expanded farther across the country.
The devices have prompted unease and heightened security nationwide. Police have increased patrols of high-profile people, areas and organizations that could be targeted, and authorities have warned some prominent figures — including former president Jimmy Carter — to be on alert. Investigators were also exploring whether at least some of the 10 packages were mailed from Florida, a law enforcement official said.
The search for answers behind the bombs pushed into a fourth day Thursday, after investigators in a Delaware mail facility found a package addressed to Biden similar to the others that contained pipe bombs, according to a law enforcement official. The package was apparently not delivered to Biden’s home and may have been on its way to being returned to the person listed on the return address of the envelope, the official said. A second package sent to Biden, similar to the others, was also found in Delaware, the FBI said.
The FBI declined to elaborate beyond saying that local and state police, along with U.S. Postal Service investigators and FBI agents, were “responding this morning to a United States Postal facility in Delaware to conduct law enforcement activity.”
A similar package was also found addressed to De Niro, an Oscar-winning actor who has publicly clashed with Trump, at his production offices in Manhattan, according to the authorities. An X-ray of the package indicated a similar pipe bomb inside, and investigators suspect it was sent by the same person who sent explosives to Clinton, Obama and others, a law enforcement official said.
Authorities said the device found at De Niro’s office was discovered due to the images of the packages that have circulated since Wednesday morning. John Miller, deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism at the New York City Police Department, said a retired detective up early Thursday saw this packaging on the news and realized it “looked very much like a package he had seen on Tuesday in mail he was to screen” at De Niro’s office. That former detective called the bomb squad, which took the device away.
The fact that none of the bombs exploded is of keen interest to the FBI and ATF, who were working to determine if that was intentional or the result of inexpert work, a person familiar with the matter said. Because the bombs were intact, investigators have been able to glean significant forensic evidence from each of them, the person said.
The FBI on Thursday said the packages and devices were being examined at the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Va.
Officials on Thursday declined to say whether the devices were intended to detonate or were meant to scare people, but they repeatedly urged the public to view them as if they could pose a threat, with the head of the New York City Police Department describing them “as suspected explosive devices.”
“This is something that should be taken seriously,” James P. O’Neill, the New York City police commissioner, said at a news briefing. “We are treating them as live devices."

This image obtained Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, and provided by ABC News shows a package addressed to former CIA head John Brennan and an explosive device that was sent to CNN's New York office. The mail-bomb scare widened Thursday as law enforcement officials seized more suspicious packages. (ABC News via AP)
One lead being pursued by investigators was that some of the devices may have been mailed from Florida, but officials were cautious Thursday in urging the public to call in with tips from anywhere that might be relevant to their investigation.
William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant director in charge of the FBI New York field office, said investigators were actively probing messages they had received from the public. He asked people to remain vigilant, warning that more devices “have been or could be mailed,” and he said any suspicious package should be considered dangerous until proven otherwise. Sweeney urged anyone who finds one to contact law enforcement.
The U.S. Postal Service has inspectors who are trained to recognize suspicious mail and utilize X-ray machines as part of a screening process, officials said. Philip Bartlett, inspector in charge of U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s New York division, said Thursday afternoon at the news briefing that the postal service had found no new packages since early that morning, leaving the tally at 10 recovered so far.
While the first explosive device was found Monday — at the New York home of George Soros, a billionaire activist known to fund pro-democracy and liberal political groups — it was not until early Wednesday that it became apparent investigators were hunting a serial bomber. The Secret Service said it had intercepted two bombs -- one addressed to Clinton at the New York home she shares with former president Bill Clinton and another addressed to Obama. Neither bomb included a written message, law enforcement officials said.
Law enforcement officials described the devices as pipes stuffed with explosive material and wrapped in electrical wire and tape, but they provided no detail on how they would have been detonated. At least two of the devices appeared to have been hand-delivered, according to law enforcement officials, while others were found in the mail.
The FBI said the packages found so far had shared characteristics, including manila envelopes with bubble-wrapped interiors. They all also had a half-dozen Forever stamps, computer-printed address labels and return addresses bearing the misspelled name of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who chaired the Democratic National Committee during part of the 2016 presidential campaign. Officials do not think she had anything to do with the packages and believe she was a possible victim.
Other packages were soon discovered, including two sent to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), one sent to CNN’s New York offices and addressed to John Brennan, the former CIA director, and another addressed to Eric Holder Jr., Obama’s first attorney general. That package had an incorrect address, so it was “returned” to Wasserman Schultz’s office in Sunrise, Fla., and recovered there.
As more devices were found, a troubling pattern emerged — the bomber or bombers appeared to be targeting prominent Democratic figures and others who have clashed with Trump and been the focus of his incendiary rhetoric. De Niro declared “F---- Trump” during remarks at the Tony Awards over the summer; the president responded by tweeting that he was “a very Low IQ individual.”
Trump decried the bombs in remarks at the White House on Wednesday, then hours later at a rally in Wisconsin, he blamed the media and others for incivility in the country. He continued on that theme Thursday morning with a tweet that did not directly mention the explosives but said that “A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News."
John Wagner, Katie Zezima and Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.
Read more:
Thank You!

McDonald's Stock: Unusual Buying Bucks the Trend: Chart I Investopedia


Lucas Downey


A gain of 12.31% the past three months for shares of McDonald's Corporation (MCD) tells a story of unusual bullish trading activity accompanying the move. The main criteria we look for when betting on upside in a stock are improving fundamentals, leading technicals and bullish trading activity in the shares.
I'll go into the fundamental picture later, but the true tell on the near-term trajectory of the stock lies in the trading activity. Beginning in September, McDonald's shares have increased in price alongside an increase in volume. This can be indicative of smart money accumulating shares. The bottom line here is that the manner in which a stock trades can oftentimes alert you to the forward fundamental picture more so than simply looking at a company's financials alone.
For Mapsignals, the strongest indicator of positive price momentum is obtained by measuring potential institutional buying in the shares. Since September, McDonald's stock has logged six of these rare signals (see chart). We like to see continual bullish activity in the shares alongside solid forward fundamentals, as this indicates that demand for the stock should increase over time.
In the chart below, McDonald's stock is near its 52-week high. The shares are seeing demand and should reach higher levels:
Mapsignals' goal is to identify tomorrow's top stocks today. We're basically looking for outlier companies with healthy fundamentals accompanied by outsized, unusual institutional trading activity. By studying these data points, we can make an educated guess as to which equities institutions are trafficking in and marry this information with fundamentally sound companies. We want the odds on our side when looking for the highest-quality stocks.
When we decide on the strongest candidate for long-term growth, we consider many technical areas important to success. A few of these for McDonald's are as follows:
  • Three-month outperformance vs. market: +13.81% vs. SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)
  • Three-month outperformance vs. sector: +19.96% vs. Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY)
  • Bullish unusual trading signals
Just to show you graphically what our unusual trading activity signal looks like, have a look at all of the UI signals McDonald's stock has made over the past year:
Chart showing unusual activity signals made by McDonald's Corporation (MCD) stock over the past year
Now, we take it a step further and score the best stocks showing this activity. Below, you can see the historical times when McDonald's made buy signals for Mapsigals, beginning in 2015. These are the highest-rated signals in our stock universe:
Historical chart showing unusual activity signals made by McDonald's Corporation (MCD) stock
On top of a great technical picture, one should also look under the hood to see if the fundamental picture supports a long-term investment. As you can see, McDonald's has a solid fundamental history:
  • 13 consecutive quarters of positive global comparable sales
  • Raised dividend by 15%: Sept. 20, 2018
  • Dividends have increased each year since 1999
McDonald's is outperforming technically and has a history of strong fundamentals while showing bullish institutional momentum in 2018. We believe that the current level for the shares is in position for further upside. All of this points to further long-term bullish action for the stock.

The Bottom Line

McDonald's stock represents a potential buying opportunity for the long-term investor. Given the solid comparable sales growth, increasing dividends and multiple unusual accumulation signals, this stock could be worth a spot in an income-oriented portfolio.
To learn more about Mapsignals' institutional signals, please visit our "About Us" page.
Disclosure: The author holds no position in McDonald's shares at the time of publication.
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Why AT&T is Losing Ground to Verizon? I Markets I Investopedia.


Shoshanna Delventhal


Shares of AT&T Inc. (T) plummeted over 8% on Wednesday on the back of a disappointing third quarter earnings report, marking the stock's worst day in over 16 years and sparking concerns that the Dallas, TX-based telecommunications giant cannot ward off competition in an evolving media landscape. Even after AT&T's blockbuster deals for DirecTV satellite business and Time Warner Inc.'s entertainment business, which created a mass of debt and a scramble for resources at the company, subscribers losses are mounting. Meanwhile, wireless industry rival Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) managed to post upbeat results, sending shares to reach an 18-year high in light of a broader market sell-off.

AT&T Spreads Thin, Verizon Sticks to What it Knows

In efforts to hedge against declining subscriber growth, AT&T has carried out an ambitious restructuring initiative to become a leader in the next-gen media space, beefing up its business with media production and distribution arms. Now, however, it looks like the $240 billion conglomerate may have spread itself too thin, posting profits below the consensus estimate, alongside a massive decline in wireless tablet customers and lower EBITDA for its entertainment business.
Meanwhile AT&T's recently closed $102 billion acquisition of Time Warner brought its total debt to $190 billion.
In stark contrast, sticking to wireless seems to have paid off for Verizon, which passed on mega-deals in favor of improving its core business. In the third quarter, the New York City-based company surprised the Street with better than expected earnings and wireless subscriber gains.

What's Next?

Moving forward, investors will be keeping a close eye on whether or not AT&T can stabilize EBITDA for its entertainment group, as the figure fell 8.6% in the third quarter thanks to the loss of hundreds of thousands of satellite subscribers for DirecTV. While the media giant has attempted to offset weakness in its legacy satellite business with a DirecTV Now streaming service, the company has only managed to boost subscribers, not yet profits. AT&T is also reportedly planning to launch a streaming service in 2019 that is anchored by Time Warner's HBO. Boosting revenues for its new on-demand streaming platforms and investing in quality content will prove a difficult and costly feat in light of offerings from rivals like deep-pocketed Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN). Much relies on AT&T's ability to prove synergies from its Time Warner merger, such as opportunities to sell more advertising and retain customers.
Ultimately, as AT&T continues to struggle with its wireless business, profits are at risk due to necessary growth investments for its new businesses, wherein the company is already late to the market. Maintaining this balance between growth and profitability will be key for the media conglomerate moving forward. If things get messier at AT&T and continue to improve at Verizon, management might wish it saved the cash and held off on its ambitious makeover.

Treasury official points finger at Turkey over Venezuelan gold trade I GATA I THE GATA DISPATCH



Submitted by cpowell on 10:35PM ET Thursday, October 25, 2018. Section: Daily Dispatches By Lucas Robinson
Medill News Service
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
WASHINGTON -- The United States should publicize Turkey's involvement in the Venezuelan gold industry, a Treasury Department official said today.
Marshall Billingslea, assistant secretary for terrorist financing at Treasury, said at a Brookings Institution event that the Turkish government has skirted international sanctions by purchasing tons of Venezuelan gold in recent months.

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"These are not your typical gold mines," Billingslea said. "We're approaching a similar kind of 'blood diamond' situation here with the gold in Venezuela."

Billingslea criticized the government for driving out private mining companies and said the country's mines operate outside of environmental and customs regulation. The mines, according to Billingslea, are a "wholesale" environmental disaster, leading to deforestation as well as disease through mercury contamination of water supplies. ...
... For the remainder of the report:

https://www.upi.com/Treasury-official-points-finger-at-Turkey-over-Venez...

Opinion | Caitlyn Jenner: I thought Trump would help the LGBTQ community. I was wrong.I Opinion I The Washington Post


By Caitlyn Jenner October 25 



Caitlyn Jenner in 2015. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Caitlyn Jenner is a transgender rights advocate and author.
These past two years under President Trump have given me the opportunity to reflect on a lot of topics that have come up in the LGBTQ community and in our nation. Some of these are thorny issues still worth discussing; many should have been settled long ago. As I’ve watched and pondered, my outlook has changed significantly from what it was during my highly publicized and glamorized early Caitlyn days, when my life as an out trans woman was just beginning.
Since then, I have learned and continue to learn about the obstacles our community faces, the politics that surround us and the places my voice can help. I have reflected on what my unique position of privilege means and how I can best use it to make a positive difference.
Following Trump’s election as president, I saw fertile ground for change within the Republican Party on LGBTQ issues. Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to claim to support this valuable, vulnerable community, and I was encouraged by the applause he received when he said at the Republican National Convention in July 2016 that he would stand up for the LGBTQ community. Poll after poll showed that Americans’ views on LGBTQ issues were changing for the better — and that this groundswell extended even to the voter base of the Republican Party. I was optimistic that this was how I could leverage my privilege for change.
I believed I could work within the party and the Trump administration to shift the minds of those who most needed shifting. I made many trips to Washington to lobby and educate members of Congress, other Washington policymakers and powerful influencers. These meetings were generally positive and almost always led to encouraging conversations. Despite the criticism I received from segments of the LGBTQ community for engaging with this administration, I remained hopeful for positive change.
Sadly, I was wrong. The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president. The leader of our nation has shown no regard for an already marginalized and struggling community. He has ignored our humanity. He has insulted our dignity. He has made trans people into political pawns as he whips up animus against us in an attempt to energize the most right-wing segment of his party, claiming his anti-transgender policies are meant to “protect the country.” This is politics at its worst. It is unacceptable, it is upsetting, and it has deeply, personally hurt me.
Believing that I could work with Trump and his administration to support our community was a mistake. The recently leaked Department of Health and Human Services memo that suggests — preposterously and unscientifically — that the government ought to link gender to one’s genitalia at birth is just one more example in a pattern of political attacks. One doesn’t need to look back far to witness the president assault our nation’s guardians with a ban on trans people serving in the military or assail our nation’s future with a rollback of Obama-era protections for trans schoolchildren.
It’s clear these policies have come directly from Trump, and they have been sanctioned, passively or actively, by the Republicans by whose continued support he governs. My hope in him — in them — was misplaced, and I cannot support anyone who is working against our community. I do not support Trump. I must learn from my mistakes and move forward.
I am more determined than ever to find the best way to bring trans issues to the fore of our social and political conversation, domestically and abroad. I need to listen more to the members of the LGBTQ community and to learn more. I need to better use my voice, my privilege and my foundation to advocate for and support our community.
I must continue to educate political and corporate leaders about the issues of homelessness, job discrimination, violence, access to health care, prejudice in housing, depression, suicide and so many other issues that disproportionately affect our long-ignored community. I will still work with anyone who is committed to help our community.
The world needs to hear us. The world needs to know us. We will not be erased.
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Thank You!

Currencies steady as equities slide; offshore yuan hits 22-month low I EU FX I Currencies I CNBC


CNBC


The Japanese yen and Swiss franc gained only briefly on Thursday as currency traders showed little reaction to a wave of selling across stock markets, although China's offshore yuan hit a 22-month low on worries about an economic slowdown.
The euro recovered from Wednesday's two-month lows, before the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting.
Despite the downturn by stocks, worries about corporate earnings growth and doubts about the global economy, forex investors only tiptoed into the yen and Swiss franc, two currencies historically bought during downturns.
"To a large extent, until today there had been a lack of reaction in the FX markets. We are starting to see this come through," said Christin Tuxen, FX strategist at Danske Bank.
Relatively small currency swings reflected how recent data had showed a "loss of momentum in global growth", Tuxen said, rather than a risk of recession or something serious enough to spook investors.
The yen rose as high as 111.82 versus the dollar, then retreated in European trading to settle at 112.275, flat on the day.
The Swiss franc gave up all its gains versus the dollar to trade at 0.9982 and was down 0.2 percent against the euro.
The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1417, up from its two-month lows of $1.1378. The dollar index was off 0.1 percent at 96.333.
The Australian dollar, often viewed as a bellwether for global risk, rose 0.2 percent to $0.7074.
However, in a sign that the worries about global growth and particularly in China are beginning to bite, the offshore yuan hit its weakest since the start of January 2017, down 0.3 percent on the day at 6.9668.

ECB IN FOCUS

Investors will be looking for any new guidance from the ECB at its meeting later on Thursday on a possible slowdown in growth, as well as the row between Brussels and Rome over Italy's budget plans.
The ECB is not expected to offer any surprises. Instead, it will confirm that quantitative easing is on track to end next year.
Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note that after recent falls in the single currency, euro/dollar may face a short squeeze if the ECB was surprisingly bullish.
"The global economy is continuing to face higher inflation and tightening capacity, suggesting that central banks may need to continue tightening even in the face of rising market volatility," they said.
Sterling recovered from six-week lows to $1.2906 after British Prime Minister Theresa May received a show of support from her Conservative Party before the next round of Brexit talks.

Treasury yields inch higher as stocks regain their footing I Bonds & Fixed Income Report I CNBC


Fred Imbert, Natasha Turak


U.S. government debt yields rose slightly on Thursday as equities bounced back from a sharp decline in the previous session.
At around 1:22 p.m. ET, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note traded at 3.141 percent, while the yield on 30-year Treasury bond traded at 3.351 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.
Treasury yields have been under pressure for most of this week, however, amid a general "risk-off" move in global stock markets. All major indexes saw dramatic drops Wednesday on earnings concerns, a sell-off in tech shares and data revealing new home sales have hit their lowest level in nearly two years.
The major U.S. stock indexes are all down sharply this month. European and Asian equities have also dropped sharply in October. On Thursday, however, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 250 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both rallied more than 1 percent.
Still, rates are expected to rise in the long term as the Federal Reserve is expected to further tighten monetary policy. The central bank has already hiked the overnight rate three times this year and is forecast to hike once more before year-end.
"The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield has been responsive to the increases in the FOMC's median estimate of the neutral policy rate this year," strategists at MRB Partners said in a note Thursday. "Investors should now expect the Fed's neutral rate views to exert increasing influence on the long end of the U.S. Treasury curve over the coming months."
Yields also rose on Thursday after the U.S. government said weekly jobless claims remained near their lowest levels in more than 45 years. Meanwhile, durable goods orders rose 0.8 percent.
Treasury auctions Wednesday saw the department sell $39 billion worth of five-year notes at a high yield of 2.977 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, hit 2.3, its lowest since february 2017.
Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer of Bleakley Advisory Group, noted the weak demand for Treasurys, writing in a note, "The U.S. Treasury needs to find some new friends because the number of those out there come auction time are becoming few and far between."

US oil closes 0.8% higher at $67.33 per barrel as stocks rebound I Oil Price at Close Report I CNBC


CNBC


Oil prices stabilized on Thursday, bouncing back from an early sell-off after Asian and European stock markets plunged in the wake of Wall Street's biggest daily decline since 2011.
Brent crude oil fell 82 cents, or 1.1 percent, to a low of $75.35 a barrel before rallying to around $76.94, up 77 cents. The global benchmark has lost more than $10 a barrel since hitting a high of $86.74 on Oct. 3.
U.S. light crude settled up 51 cents, or 0.8 percent at $67.33 after touching an intraday low of $65.99. The turnaround followed a rebound in U.S. stocks, with the three major indexes surging more than 1 percent each.
City Index market analyst Fiona Cincotta said factors outside the oil market were now leading sentiment.
"Fear and anxiety about the global economy are currently playing a bigger role in the oil price than the actual fundamentals of supply and demand," Cincotta said.
Financial markets have been hit hard by a range of worries, including the U.S.-China trade war, a rout in emerging market currencies, rising borrowing costs and bond yields, as well as economic concerns in Italy.
Weakness is also starting to show in container and dry-bulk rates, both of which have declined significantly in October, pointing to a slowdown in global trade.
Many investors are concerned about rising oil inventories as supply exceeds demand in some key markets, including the United States. U.S. crude oil production has risen steadily over the past decade and hit a record high of 11.2 million barrels per day (bpd) this month.
U.S. commercial crude stocks rose for a fifth consecutive week last week, increasing 6.3 million barrels to 422.79 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said.
Saudi Arabia's OPEC governor said on Thursday the oil market could face oversupply in the fourth quarter.
"The market in the fourth quarter could be shifting towards an oversupply situation as evidenced by rising inventories over the past few weeks," Adeeb Al-Aama told Reuters.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Thursday that there could be a need for intervention to reduce oil stockpiles after increases in recent months.
Investors will also be paying close attention to U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude exports, due to kick in from Nov. 4.
Bowing to pressure from Washington, Chinese oil majors Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) have yet to buy any oil from Iran for November because of concerns that sanctions violations could hurt their operations.
China has been Iran's biggest oil customer.WATCH:Here's what drives the price of oil

Gold eases off highs as investors lock in profits I Gold Price at Close Report I CNBC


CNBC


Gold prices inched lower on Thursday, with some investors taking advantage of a recent surge in prices to lock in profits.
Spot gold was down 0.42 percent at $1228.85 an ounce. On Tuesday it hit a more than three-month high of $1,239.68 as a global stock market sell-off spurred interest in the metal, which is considered a safer store of value during times of political and financial uncertainty.
U.S. gold futures were up 0.04 percent at $1,231.6 an ounce.
"Gold is pausing for a breath and is probably consolidating for the next possible move higher. Some speculative investors would be in a position to take profit," said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler.
"It is running into some resistance around $1,240. The next significant level is the $1,250 psychological barrier," he added.
Gold prices have gained more than 3 percent so far this month, on track to break a six month losing streak, the length of which was last seen in the August 1996-January 1997 period.
European shares attempted to rebound on Thursday after Wall Street suffered its worst day since 2011.
But global stocks are on course for their worst month since the financial crisis a decade ago as investors become increasingly nervous about lofty stock prices, faster rate hikes in the United States and an ongoing Sino-U.S. trade war.
"Further equity weakness is likely to entice participants into the precious complex over the near-term," traders at MKS PAMP said in a note.
They added that gold prices could also move higher if speculative investors who have in recent months ramped up bets on lower prices are forced to abandon their positions.
Markets will be watching for any change in policy guidance or tone at a European Central Bank monetary policy meeting later on Thursday, with a spat between Italy and the European Union once again making investors nervous.
Another sign of rising interest in gold was higher inflows into the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust.
Holdings in the fund, which saw significant outflows between late April and early October, have risen to their highest since the end of August.
In other precious metals, palladium was down 2 percent at $1,103.30 an ounce, drifting away from a record high of $1,150.50 an ounce hit on Tuesday.
Silver rose 0.13 percent to $14.62 per ounce, and platinum was up 0.05 percent at $827.10 per ounce.

Wall Street at Close Report: Dow surges 400 points as tech jump leads recovery from Wednesday's sell-off I CNBC


Fred Imbert


Stocks jumped on Thursday as Wall Street recovered from a tumble in the previous session that sent two of the major indexes down for 2018.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 400 points as Microsoft outperformed. The S&P 500 gained 1.9 percent as consumer discretionary and tech both rose more than 3 percent.
The Nasdaq Composite climbed 2.95 percent as Amazon rallied 7.1 percent ahead of the release of its earnings report. A 3.4 percent jump in Facebook and a 3.7 percent gain in Netflix also lifted the Nasdaq.
"What happened yesterday was the market got way oversold," said Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report. "Was a decline on earnings warranted? Yes, but not 10 percent."
"The market is now correcting that a bit," Essaye said.
On Wednesday, the Dow plunged 608.01 points, erasing all of its gains for the year. The S&P 500 dropped 3.1 and also turned negative for the year. The Nasdaq fell 4.4 percent, entering correction territory.
These losses added to the indexes' steep decline for the month. Through Wednesday's close, the Dow and S&P 500 were down 7.1 percent and 8.9 percent for October, respectively. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, had lost 11.7 percent.
"The technical picture has turned increasingly bearish this month," said Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research. "The percentage of S&P 500 companies trading above their 200-dmas was down to 37% after yesterday's debacle."
He noted, however, that prior similar declines during this bull market have "marked buying opportunities." Yardeni added: "If this is still a bull market, as we believe it is, then the latest bearish technicals and October's swoon should mark the latest buying opportunity."
Several factors have conspired to knock markets this month — some earnings disappointment, a brewing conflict betweenItaly and theEuropean Union over budget spending, criticism of oil powerSaudi Arabia after the killing of a dissident journalist and finally, worries that world growth is losing steam.
"Corrections like this are actually healthy for the market," said Amanda Agati, co-chief investment strategist at The PNC Financial Services Group. "What is surprising to me is where the finger is being pointed at. It's not clear to me that anything has changed in the last month."
"This is much more of a sentiment shift than a fundamental shift," Agati said.
Thursday's bounce comes as several major companies posted strong quarterly results.
Microsoft reported earnings and revenue for the previous quarter that easily topped analyst expectations. The Dow component rose 5.8 percent on the news.
Tesla, meanwhile, posted a surprise profit, sending its shares up by 9.1 percent. Twitter also surged 15.55 percent on better-than-expected results. Not all quarterly reports were good, however. AMD shares tanked more than 15 percent after the company issued weak revenue guidance for the fourth quarter.
Thursday is the busiest day of the earnings season. After the bell, Amazon, Alphabet, Expedia and Snap are all scheduled to report earnings.
Thus far, the corporate earnings season is off to a good start. S&P 500 earnings are up 24.8 percent so far, with 82 percent of the companies that have reported beating estimates, according to data from The Earnings Scout.
The data also show that earnings growth forecasts for the first two quarters are holding up nicely. As of Thursday morning, S&P 500 earnings were expected to grow by 8.44 percent in the first quarter of 2019, up from 8.39 percent on Wednesday. Expected earnings growth for next year's second quarter also increased to 6.48 percent from 6.36 percent on Wednesday.
"Are actual earnings and changes in earnings expectations confirming such a steep drop in price? No," said Nick Raich, CEO of The Earnings Scout, in a note. "While stocks got crushed yesterday, 1Q 2019 and 2Q 2019 S&P 500 EPS growth estimates went higher."
CNBC's Natasha Turak contributed to this report.

FTC Gives Final Approval to Settlement with ReadyTech Related to Participation in the EU-US Privacy Shield I FTC I Press Release



The Federal Trade Commission has given final approval to a settlement with ReadyTech Corp., over allegations that it falsely claimed it was in the process of certifying its compliance under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.
The framework establishes a process to allow companies to transfer consumer data from European Union countries to the United States in compliance with EU law. In its complaint, the FTC alleges that ReadyTech, which provides online training services, falsely claimed on its website that it is “in the process of certifying that we comply with the U.S.-E.U. Privacy Shield framework.” While ReadyTech initiated a Privacy Shield application in October 2016, the company did not complete the steps necessary to participate in the Privacy Shield framework.
As part of the settlement, ReadyTech is prohibited from misrepresenting its participation in any privacy or security program sponsored by a government or any self-regulatory or standard-setting organization, including but not limited to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield framework. It also must comply with standard reporting and compliance requirements.
The FTC received three comments on the settlement. The Commission voted 4-0-1 to give final approval to the settlement and to send responses to the three commenters. Commissioner Christine S. Wilson did not participate.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

FTC Requires Divestitures as Condition of Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s Acquisition of Express Mart I FTC I Press Release


ftc.gov

Marathon Petroleum Corp., an Ohio-based energy company, has agreed to certain conditions to settle charges that its proposed acquisition of Express Mart would violate federal antitrust law.  Marathon’s wholly owned subsidiary Speedway operates the second-largest chain of company-owned and -operated gasoline and convenience stores in the United States.  Express Mart is a Syracuse, N.Y.-based operator of convenience stores and retail fuel outlets.
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint, the acquisition would harm competition for both retail gasoline and retail diesel in five local markets in New York State: Farmington, Fayetteville, Johnson City, Rochester, and Whitney Point.
In four of the five local gasoline retail markets, the proposed acquisition would reduce the number of significant competitors from three to two. In the fifth, it would reduce the number from four to three.
In three of the five retail diesel markets, the proposed acquisition would result in a merger to monopoly. In the fourth, the proposed acquisition would reduce the number of significant competitors from three to two. In the fifth, the proposed acquisition would reduce the number of significant competitors from four to three.
The complaint alleges that, without a remedy, the acquisition would substantially lessen competition for the retail sale of gasoline and diesel in these five local markets. Retail fuel outlets compete on price, store format, product offerings, and location. They also pay close attention to nearby competitors that share similar store characteristics and face similar traffic flow of potential customers. The acquisition would increase the likelihood that Marathon could unilaterally raise prices in each of the five local markets, and also would enhance the incentives for interdependent behavior in all five local markets.
Under the terms of the proposed consent order, Marathon would be required to divest to Sunoco retail fuel assets in Farmington, Fayetteville, Johnson City, Rochester, and Whitney Point within 90 days after the acquisition is completed. Marathon and Express Mart would be required to maintain the competitiveness of the divestiture assets during the divestiture process.
Further details about the consent agreement, which includes an asset maintenance order and allows the Commission to appoint a monitor trustee, are set forth in the analysis to aid public comment for this matter.
FTC staff worked closely with the New York State Attorney General’s office on this matter.
The Commission vote to issue the complaint and accept the proposed consent order for public comment was 5-0. The FTC will publish the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through Nov. 26, 2018, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final. Comments can be filed electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the “Supplementary Information” section of the Federal Register notice.
NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $41,484.

Metals I CMI I Spot Prices as of Close of Trading in New York

Spot Prices as of close of trading in New York
 
Thursday, October 25, 2018
 
 
 
GOLD
 
TODAY
 
$1,231.40
CHANGE
 
+$1.50
WEEK AGO
 
$1,231.45
MONTH AGO
 
$1,204.20
YEAR AGO
 
$1,277.85
SILVER
 
TODAY
 
$14.62
CHANGE
 
-$0.04
WEEK AGO
 
$14.62
MONTH AGO
 
$14.48
YEAR AGO
 
$16.95
PLATINUM
 
TODAY
 
$834.10
CHANGE
 
+$0.50
WEEK AGO
 
$833.20
MONTH AGO
 
$824.60
YEAR AGO
 
$925.10
PALLADIUM
 
TODAY
 
$1,089.00
CHANGE
 
-$25.30
WEEK AGO
 
$1,065.40
MONTH AGO
 
$1,073.10
YEAR AGO
 
$958.70
GOLD/SILVER RATIO
 
84.23