Market Morning: Saudi Hot Potato to Congress, McDonald’s Inflation, Tesla Explodes On Short Gone Long

President Trump Puts Saudi Arabian Hot Potato In Congress’s Court

How to punish the head honcho of OPEC is at tricky little pickle. President Trump doesn’t want to do it on his own because he would be blamed for any economic consequences, but when you have a brutal and messy assassination that was recorded on video and audio with evidence pointing to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman up the wazoo, what are you supposed to do? Trump therefore said he is passing this hot potato to Congress in terms of deciding who and how to punish exactly for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Washington Post journalist and Saudi government critic. Trump added in one of his signature taunts, saying that the Saudi government engaged in “one of the worst” cover-ups in history, though he stopped short of calling the Crown Prince a “tremendously low IQ individual”. If Congress goes all out and sanctions Saudi Arabia, the oil markets could be in for some excitement.

Related Tickers: (NYSEARCA:USO) (NYSEARCA:XLE)

Futures Down Again After Epic Recover After Another Epic Fall

It looks like there won’t be much follow through after yesterday’s epic rally after an epic fall that brought the S&P to new lows of 2,691 following the latest round of volatility that began 2 weeks ago. Dow futures are down over 150 points once again, and the S&P about 18 points after yesterday’s 2.3% rally from bottom to top. If today is going to follow through to the downside, then much of yesterday’s rally could be chalked up to short covering. For clues about where we are headed longer term, watch the movement in the financial sector (NYSEARCA:XLF). Disproportionate stress in bank stocks could signal something more systemic than a your average correction.

McDonald’s Inflation at 25% as Happy Meal Removed from Value Menu, Now Sad Meal

How is this going to affect the CPI? It probably won’t because the Happy Meal will now be swapped out with a can of krill from the 35 cent store on the basis of nutritional equivalence. In any case, McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) is taking its Happy Meal off the value menu, which will raise Happy Meal prices by about 25% according to a magazine authoritative on Happy Meal issues, which will make people sad. In defense of the new  policy, McDonald’s had this to say: “The $1 $2 $3 Dollar (sic) Menu was created to bring our customers better value with the intent to flexibly rotate menu items on and off over time. Some markets may even offer slight variations to the menu that best fit the preferences of their local customers. While the Happy Meal is no longer part of the nationally advertised $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu, it is still available for $3 at some U.S. restaurants.” McDonald’s did not respond to further request for comment.

Tesla Shares Laugh At Yesterday’s Decline

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) did not participate in yesterday’s decline by a long shot, with shares up almost 13% on news that Citron Research had turned long on the stock after determining that all the bearish news surrounding the company was just wind and that the Model 3 is actually a big hit. The fact is, according to Citron, that no close competitor to the Model 3 exists in terms of a mass market price for a 200-mile range fully electric vehicle. Citron used to be a short seller of the stock, but then adopted the view that if you can’t beat’em, join’em. “As much as you can’t believe you are reading this, we can’t believe we are writing this!” But, continued Citron, “plain and simple — Tesla is destroying the competition,” it said. “It looks like it is the competition that is taking the Ambien,” referring to Musk’s admission that he sometimes uses the sleeping pill.

 

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