Courtesy of Phil’s Stock World
Financial Markets and Economy
The dollar is going crazy right now (Business Insider)
Traders are piling in to the dollar after long weekends in both the US and the UK.
The dollar index rate, which measures the currency against most major peers, is up over 1% today.
Euro Tumbles to One-Month Low Against Dollar (Wall Street Journal)
The euro tumbled to a one-month low against the dollar as doubts over Greece’s ability to repay its debts intensified, while Greek bonds came under renewed pressure.
The common currency fell 0.9% to $1.0885, extending the previous day’s declines as markets fully reopened following the long holiday weekend.
Global Trade Dives Most since the Financial Crisis (Wolf Street)
How great was the global economy in the first quarter?
We know the US economy was crummy. The revised GDP estimate will likely sink into red mire. Hence the heated proposals these days, including at the Fed, to apply “a second round of seasonal adjustment” that would “correct” the first-quarter GDP estimate, no matter how bad, into positive territory. An elegant way of covering up an unsightly sore.
IMF: China’s yuan currency is ‘no longer undervalued’ (Business Insider)
China’s yuan currency, which Washington has long alleged was manipulated, is “no longer undervalued”, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.
“Our assessment now is that the substantial real effective appreciation over the past year has brought the exchange rate to a level that is no longer undervalued,” the IMF said in a statement after a consultation mission to China.
South Africa’s economy, the continent’s second-largest, grew at a slower pace in the first quarter as power outages curbed manufacturing output and farming output contracted.
Gross domestic product rose an annualized 1.3 percent from the previous quarter, when it expanded 4.1 percent, the statistics office said in a report released in Cape Town on Tuesday. The median estimate of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey was 1.5 percent.
Stocks and Trading
Get ready for an exciting day!
Chinese Stocks Are Now Up Over 100% Year-To-Date (Zero Hedge)
Another day, another dip to be bought aggressively in China. The only catalyst for moar – aside from “well it was up yesterday” – is the news that the Shanghai-HK Stock Exchange aggregate quota will be abolished, leaving room for more speculative excess to flood into 500%-gainers. CSI-300 is now up almost 6% since Friday’s close and Shenzhen and CHINEXT are soaring back from underperformance yesterday. To round things out on a superlative note, the Shenzhen Composite – which contains all the ponzi-based self-collateralized idiot-makers, is now up over 100% year-to-date. Simply put, you can’t keep a bad market down..
The month of May has been pretty merry for investors, with the S&P 500 up more than 2%.
So maybe the old adage to “sell in May and go away” is a bad idea, after all.
Well, not really. Wary as I am of geeks bearing statistics, I thought I’d check out the actual raw data of how selling in May performed in previous years. So I hunted out monthly return data for the S&P 500 SPX, -0.22% going back to 1950, and took a close look.
Almost 20 years ago, when Bill Clinton made good on his campaign promise to “end welfare as we know it,’’ some of his oldest friends were beside themselves. The plan, as originally conceived, had been to pump significantly more money into programs designed to move poor single mothers off of assistance and into jobs, which couldn’t be done on the cheap. Yes, Clinton had proposed a strict time limit on benefits, but he had also pledged to “make work pay.” As it turned out, only one of those two things happened.
Medical marijuana in N.Y. remains out of reach (USA Today)
The 10-year-old girl stood smiling at the governor’s side as he signed a medical marijuana bill into law last July.
Amanda Houser was so excited for the event, her mother said, her health problems — a rare form of epilepsy — were nearly forgotten for the day. And the photo from the New York City event of Amanda bashfully holding her cheeks next to Gov. Andrew Cuomo is one of the more memorable images from his time in office.
Samsung is launching a gimmicky ‘Iron Man’ phone (Business Insider)
You can’t get your hands on the ultra-thin, futuristic Samsung phone Tony Stark uses in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” — because it doesn’t exist. But you will soon be able to buy a special Iron Man handset.
As part of a broader tie-in with Marvel’s summer blockbuster, Endgadget reports, the South Korean electronics company is releasing a special edition Iron-Man themed version of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6 Edge.
Health and Life Sciences
With the use of e-cigarettes on the rise, especially among young people, research to uncover the health effects of e-cigs is becoming increasingly important. In a new study, researchers find that e-cig solution and vapors—even those that are nicotine-free—damage lung health.
Climate change could bring misery for hay fever sufferers (The Guardian)
Climate change could help a notorious invasive weed known to trigger severe allergy attacks gain a foothold in the UK, experts have warned.
Ragweed, or Ambrosia artemisiifolia, is native to North America but has been spreading rapidly across warmer parts of Europe since the 1960s. It is still rare in the UK, but by 2050 could be scattering pollen throughout much of England, inflicting new levels of hay fever misery, research suggests.
SCIENTISTS SHOULDN’T BE allowed to name their own creations. Today, researchers at Stanford announced a new way of creating gobbets of human brain cells that look and act like real, living grey matter. The researchers took this striking result and named their product “human cortical spheroids,” or hCSs. Which is terrible. C’mon guys, tell it like it is: You’re makingbrain balls.
Two powerful and innovative cholesterol drugs likely to be approved this summer both target the same protein and have been shown to sharply lower LDL in high-risk patients. But there is at least one significant difference between the two offerings: the dosages in which they will be sold.
Assuming approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Amgen Inc. will offer its drug, Repatha, as a biweekly 140 mg injection or a monthly injection of 420 mg, while Praluent, from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and Sanofi, will be offered in biweekly injections of 75 mg or 150 mg.
Life on the Home Planet
As California endures its fourth year of grueling drought, officials are getting more serious about mandatory water cuts. Gov. Jerry Brown imposed the state’s first-ever water restrictions last month, ordering cities and towns to cut water by 25 percent. But the vast majority of water in California goes not to homes and businesses but to farms, which so far have suffered minimal cuts.
The Drifting World (New Yorker)
Plankton are the sea stuff that we do not eat and cannot see. They are, by definition, not swimmers but drifters; any creature that cannot propel itself against the current is a plankter (that’s the singular). Their tiny cosmos contains multitudes—an estimated million and a half species, including plants and animals, bacteria and viruses, fish larvae and microalgae, predators, parasites, and prey.
Writing in 1951, in “The Log from the Sea of Cortez,” John Steinbeck proposed that “the disappearance of plankton, although the components are microscopic, would probably in a short time eliminate every living thing in the sea and change the whole of man’s life.” This is quite possibly an understatement. Plankton are at the center of the marine food web, produce at least half of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere, and absorb enough carbon dioxide each year to counteract half of humankind’s fossil-fuel emissions. Altogether, they make up ninety-eight per cent of the oceans’ biomass, more than every whale, shark, herring, starfish, and lobster combined. Still, until very recently, our knowledge of the planktic realm remained limited.