Futures Up, Oil Continues its Rise Past $71, Along with the CPI
Stock futures are up again today, with the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) up another 0.2% this morning. Yesterday saw the index break through its 50 day moving average for the 5th time since February’s “volmageddon”, though ever since, the S&P has not been able to hold above it for more than 4 trading days at most. We’ll see what happens this time, but with tensions further ratcheting up between Israel, Syria, and Iran, any incident could set things off and start another wave of selling. Meanwhile, oil (NYSEARCA:USO) continues its ascent, pushing past $71 a barrel, with energy stocks following suit with major gains yesterday. Also, the Consumer Price Index for April is set for release at 8:30am EST, and the market is expecting a year over year rise of 2.5%, well above the Fed’s target of 2%, which it doesn’t seem to be taking all that seriously.
Crypto Bull Says it’s “Almost Irresponsible” Not to Own Cryptocurrencies
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, cryptocurrency bull Michael Novogratz said that not investing at least 1-2% of your portfolio in cryptocurrencies is “almost irresponsible”. Novogratz, founder of Galaxy Digital Capital Management, together with Bloomberg launched the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI), which he hopes will induce the “watershed moment” when cryptocurrencies become an investable asset class among institutional buyers. Novogratz himself admits to being 10% invested in cryptocurrencies himself. According to Novogratz, people should be invested in cryptocurrencies not necessarily because of all the gains they will make, but because the technology backing them will “give every vertical a challenge”.
AT&T, Novartis, Caught in Trump-Putin-Cohen-Mueller-Stormy-Daniels Web of Cronyism, Sex, and Miscellaneous Palace Intrigue
Swiss drugmaker and Big Pharma darling Novartis (NYSE:NVS) has admitted to hiring President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen for $1.2 million for consulting services. Novartis says that he was hired to advise the company as to how Trump might deal with the Affordable Care Act, which basically means Cohen was selling inside access to Trump. After determining that Cohen had no idea how Trump might approach the Affordable Care Act, the company found him to be useless, but couldn’t terminate the contract, and so kept paying him via a shell company that was used to pay porn actress Stormy Daniels, who Trump allegedly had an affair with, which many find important and relevant. Details are much more sparse regarding AT&T’s (NYSE:T) involvement in Mueller’s Russia probe, but Cohen was also paid $200,000 for consulting services with the telecom giant as well, possibly for advice on how to navigate telecom regulation under the Trump Administration, though this is purely speculation.
Amazon Extends Sears A Rescue Buoy, Hiring Dying Retailer As Their Tire Guy
Shares of Sears Holding (NASDAQ:SHLD) jumped 16% yesterday as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), after all but destroying Sears and now 2,258 times its size by market cap, has hired the latter as its tire installer for customers who buy tires on Amazon but don’t want to install them themselves. Customers will be able to choose which Sears Auto Center Amazon will ship the tires to. Location options include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. Will this be enough to save the world’s first mail order catalogue that began in 19th century? Here’s to hoping.