DuPont Cuts Outlook, Blames Weather

Presented without commentary:

Today DuPont announced that the company is revising its outlook for operating earnings per share for the second quarter and full year 2014, due primarily to lower than expected quarterly performance of its Agriculture and, to a lesser extent, Performance Chemicals segments. The company expects operating earnings in the second quarter to be moderately below the $1.28 per share recorded in the same period last year [EST. $1.46].  As a result, the company is lowering its full-year outlook for operating earnings to $4.00 to $4.10 per share [EST.$4.29].


The revised outlook in Agriculture reflects lower than expected corn seed sales and higher than expected seed inventory write-downs. Given favorable soybean economics, soybean sales volumes in North America are higher than expected. However, the higher soybean volume will not fully offset the decline in corn volume, especially given the transition under way in the company’s soybean lineup to newer, higher performing products.  The company believes this is a short-term negative trend, and there will be strong demand for its next generation soybean products. The revised outlook also reflects lower than expected crop protection herbicide sales, largely due to weather.

via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Ed Krayewski on Who’s to Blame for Iraq

these guysFor Iraq, June has been the cruelest month. The
jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has made
incredible gains in Iraq.  On June 5, ISIS fighters
briefly seized Samarra before being pushed back by Iraqi
government forces. On June 10, ISIS seized Iraq’s “second
city,” Mosul, on the crossroads between Iraq and Syria, another
area of operations for ISIS. On June 15, ISIS claimed have captured
and killed 1,700 Iraqi soldiers in Tal Afar. A few days later they
attacked a major oil refinery north of Baghdad, one that was
responsible for about 25 percent of the country’s domestic oil
consumption. As Iraq verges on the brink of civil war, writes Ed
Krayewski, there’s a cornucopia of Iraqi and foreign figures who
could be blamed for the unfolding disaster.

View this article.

from Hit & Run

Court Strikes Down Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone, US Soccer Team Fails Upward, Howard Baker Dies: P.M. Leaks

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from Hit & Run

Professor: Epidemic of Campus Sexual Assault at UMich… Has Been Shrinking For a Decade

University of MichiganOver at the American Enterprise Institute’s blog,
AEI scholar and professor of economics Mark Perry crunches the
numbers on instances of sexual assault at the main University of
Michigan campus (Perry teaches at the sister campus in Flint).

His determination? Sexual assault at U-M has declined notably
and in line with national statistics, casting doubt on the left’s
characterization of the problem as an “epidemic.”
From the blog

There’s been a lot of attention paid recently to the issue of
“campus sexual assaults” and some of the media including
the Washington
 and MSNBC have
referred to it as an “epidemic.” Doesn’t the term “epidemic”
suggest that there is a widespread and growing number of campus
sexual assaults? If so, the crime data from at least one major
college campus — the University of Michigan — don’t support the
term “epidemic” and in fact suggest the exact opposite – a
declining trend in sexual assaults, both on and off campus, and for
assaults reported to both police and university offices.

The chart above shows the annual number of sexual assaults at
the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor from their annual crimes
reports, like this most
recent one
. It should be noted that the UM crime reports
include sexual assaults that took place: a) on-campus, b) off
campus (including out of state) and c) on public property. Further,
it includes sexual assaults reported to: a) the University of
Michigan Campus Police Department, b) other police departments and
c) non-police organizations like the UM Sexual Assault Prevention
and Awareness Center. Therefore, it’s a pretty comprehensive report
that covers off-campus sexual
 andassaults not reported to campus
, but to another police department or to a university
office or official – in contrast to some universities that 
apparently only report sexual assaults on
 and only to the campus police.

As the chart above shows, the number of “campus” sexual assaults
at UM has been trending downward for the last decade, and in 2012
(most recent year available) the number of sexual assaults (34) was
about half the numbers in 2004 (64), 2005 (65) and 2006 (65).

Perry is keenly aware that U-M is just one school—maybe sexual
assault has declined in Ann Arbor, but nowhere else. However, the
survey most commonly cited by those who insist that sexual assault
is a rising epidemic was conducted at just two campuses, he

I realize that this is just one campus, and I’ll research others
as time allows (there is no central database for campus crime
reports, each year’s report has to be accessed individually), but
how could that trend at UM possibly be described as an “epidemic of
sexual assaults on college campuses.” Also, it could be noted that
the “1-in-5 women are sexually assaulted while in college” was
based on a survey of students at only two universities, and
extrapolated to the entire country.

Sexual assault is notoriously underreported, and it’s certainly
not wrong for universities to work toward an even greater reduction
of rape. But the trend in the data suggests people should be
optimistic that improvement is possible—because
it’s already happening
—rather than pessimistic that things are
getting worse.

Hat tip: The
College Fix

from Hit & Run

Stocks End Unchanged As World Cup Loss Trumps Bullard Hawkishness & Dismal Data

The typically more dovish Jim Bullard unleashed a torrent of "markets are wrong" this morning and along with dismal macro data sent stock reeling out of the gate – catching down to Treasury yields divergence since the Fed last week. Stocks stabilized as the hevay volume dump dried up and staggered sideways after POMO and Europe's close. Then USA went 1-0 down against Germany and VIX was dumped and stocks pumped and then double-pumped again to almost back to unchanged in the last hour. During all this excitment, bond yields slid lower (to 3-week lows); gold and silver pushed higher (though gold ended modestly lower on the day after China gold loans news); and credit entirely ignored the exuberant bounce…VIX closed unch along with stocks as indices were rescued from a notable red day via an epic AUDJPY lift and VIX slam on negligible volume.

Early on we wondered…


But then this happened –  totally normal and human…


VIX was in charge…


Fun-durr-mentals… as luckily stocks had AUDJPY to save the day…


And in S&P Futures all the volume is on the down moves…(lower pane)


Treasuries remain notably divergent since the Fed…


And today was insane… (exactly the same deja vu all over again as yesterday- and that recoupled this morning)


Credit markets did not buy the dip as exuberantly as stocks…


Silver gained but gold dropped modestly…



Charts: Bloomberg

Bonus Chart: 1987 Deja vu – Melt-up before the crash?

via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Two Thumbs Up For California’s Bare Hand Ban Repeal

Foodies of California, rejoice:
The state senate just passed a bill to ensure that bartenders,
sushi chefs, and others can legally prepare food like normal
people. That is, without wearing gloves.

The Associated Press
A.B. 2130
this afternoon “passed its final legislative hurdle…
with a 32-0 vote” and is “now heading to the California governor’s
office” to be signed into law.

Why was this little piece of legislation necessary? Last year
California’s very same public servants, in both the senate and
unanimously voted in favor
of a
“glove law”
to require those who handle ready-to-eat foods to
wear gloves or use tongs – or else face misdemeanor charges. The
new law, which instead simply requires people to “minimize bare
hand and arm contact with nonprepackaged food” will be
implemented on July 1, the same day the old one was supposed to
take full effect.

Like so many other regulations, the glove law seemed perfectly
reasonable until closely inspected.

“This law, which seems to be really focused on the Subways and
Chipotles of the market, now affects your most well-trained and
experienced chefs who have mastered their craft and have never had
any issue,” Jordan Bernstein, a Los Angeles-based attorney at
Michelman and Robinson who represents some of California’s top
chefs and eateries
Reason TV earlier this year. “They’ve been using their
hands for 30 years and now this really throws them for a loop.”
Likewise, bartenders would have had to wear the goofy gloves just
to garnish a bloody mary.

The glove law had
, but created a regulatory headache to obtain the
proper approval to make food without some latex in the

“We want laws that promote public health, not a deterrent for
business. … I am committed to working with the restaurant
community to roll back the glove law so we can move [toward]
meaningful conversation on food safety,”
Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who introduced the

Watch Reason TV’s coverage of the glove law mess here:

from Hit & Run

Obama Asks For $500 Million To Equip Syrian Rebels As The ISIS Juggernaut In Iraq Spreads

It is going from bad to worse for the Iraqi government, whose armed forces according to at least one unconfirmed media report, have suffered major losses.

Perhaps confirming this, is the report from Reuters that overnight ISIS continued it southern creep toward Baghdad, and has now reached a town that is just an hour from Baghdad which is home to four natural gas fields on Thursday, “another gain by Sunni insurgents who have swiftly taken large areas to the north and west of the Iraqi capital.”

The overnight offensive included Mansouriyat al-Jabal, home to the gas fields where foreign companies operate, security forces said. The fighting threatens to rupture the country two and a half years after the end of U.S. occupation.

Meanwhile, the Jihadists continue to consolidate their territories not only in the middle of the country but key transit points to Syria where as we reported yesterday, al-Qaeda forces in the two countries merged after ISIS forces and troops from the al Nusra front combined in at least one city. ISIS now control several border posts with Syria and have stolen U.S.-made weapons from Iraqi forces.

Iraq, however, has not been completely paralyzed in light of the oncoming juggernaut and overnight Iraqi forces launched an airborne assault on rebel-held Tikrit on Thursday, landing three helicopters with commandos in a stadium for what appeared to be their boldest counter-attack yet against Sunni insurgents who have rampaged through the north.

Eyewitnesses said battles were raging in the city, hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein, which fell to Sunni Islamist fighters two weeks ago on the third day of a lightning offensive that has given them control of most majority Sunni regions.


The helicopters were shot at as they flew low over the city and landed in a stadium at the city’s university, a security source at the scene said. The government did not immediately respond to requests for comment and by evening the assault was still not being reported on state media.


The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said fierce clashes ensued, centered around the university compound.


Ahmed al-Jubbour, professor at the university’s college of agriculture, described clashes taking place inside the colleges of agriculture and sports education.


“I saw one of the helicopters land opposite the university with my own eyes and I saw clashes between dozens of militants and government forces,” he said.

Perhaps the reason why the air force merely used helicopters and not airplanes is because as we also reported previously, the Iraqi air force “has only two modified Cessna aircraft.

Regardless, for now Baghdad appears to be safe unless of course ISIS manages to run over the Haditha Dam, which as we explained yesterday, is the second largest in Iraq and a critical source of drinking water for the capital. Should the Jihadists hold it hostage, or worse, release the contained water, the flood, or merely the lack of bearable living conditions in Baghdad, will promptly force the local population to evacuate thus opening up the path to the critical energ-rich areas in the south.

We will cross that bridge once we get to it. For now the far bigger focus appears to be on Syria whose eastern portions, as the following AFP map shows, is effectively ISIS territory with the al Qaeda group now controlling all the key border crossings on the Iraqi side.

Which perhaps explains why, literally seconds ago, and likely attempting to pivot from the disastrous events in Iraq, Obama is once again focusing on Syria. According to AP, President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $500 million to train and arm vetted members of the Syrian opposition.

The military training program would deepen the Obama administration’s involvement in the more than four-year conflict between rebels and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. If approved by Congress, the program would supplement a covert train-and-assistance program run by U.S. intelligence agencies.The Senate Armed Services Committee has already approved a version of the sweeping defense policy bill authorizing the Defense Department to provide “equipment, supplies, training and defense services” to elements of the Syrian opposition that have been screened. The Senate could act on the bill before the August recess.


The president hinted at the increased support for the opposition forces during a commencement address at West Point last month.


“In helping those who fight for the right of all Syrians to choose their own future, we also push back against the growing number of extremists who find safe haven in the chaos,” Obama told the graduating cadets.

But wait, didn’t Obama do just this a year ago only to find that the arms were going into the hands of Al Qaeda extremists – essentially the same ones the US will be waging war against any minute in Iraq?  Well yes. But this time Obama has a fail safe plan.


Oh, it’s just the “moderate” terrorists Obama will be arming. Not the more radical types. But how Obama will make the distinction? Well, that’s what polling is all about. To wit: “Excuse me, would you describe yourself as a moderate or extreme al-Qaeda jihadist. Answering affirmatively to the former assures you your own US-made Humvee and a few thousand bullets to shoot at US soldiers across the border in Iraq.

While we wish we were joking, this sadly describes the current all too real state of US diplomacy in the middle east.

via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

President Obama Answers “The Peoples” Questions – Live Feed

Not like there is much to discuss but President Obama is hosting a Town Hall meeting in Minneapolis where “the people” will be allowed to ask questions of his ‘little-less-than-omnipotent’ self. As he said in his introduction…he’s feeling loose and will  “make it up as he goes along.”


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Meddling House Republican Tries to Stop “Irresponsible” Local DC Marijuana Decriminalization Law

An amendment that would make it impossible for the District of
Columbia to lessen penalties for marijuana possession — and
possibly to legalize the drug — passed in the House Committee on

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), who proposed the amendment in
committee, said that his background in medicine motivated his
efforts to block the District law.

“As a physician, I have read study after study on the
devastating effects of marijuana use, especially on developing
brains of teenagers,” Harris, who is an anesthesiologist, said in a
statement. “Congress has the authority to stop irresponsible
actions by local officials, and I am glad we did for the health and
safety of children throughout the District.”

Read the full story here

from Hit & Run

Why Financial Reporters Are Clueless: They Copy And Paste Keynesian/Wall Street Propaganda

Submitted by David Stockman of Contra Corner blog,

This morning’s Q1 GDP revision might have been a wake-up call. After all, clocking in a -2.9%—-cold winter or no—it was the worst number posted since the dark days of Q1 2009. Well, actually, it was the fourth worst quarterly GDP shrinkage since Ronald Reagan declared it was morning again in American 30 years ago.

Stated differently, 116 of the 120 quarterly GDP prints since that time have been better. Even when you adjust for the Q1 inventory “payback” for the bloated GDP figures late last year, real GDP still contracted at a -1.2% annually rate.

Still, within minutes of the 8:30AM release, the Wall Street Journal’s news update did not fail to trot out the “do not be troubled” mantra. Not only did “…early second-quarter data indicates the economy has improved this spring as warmer weather helped release some pent-up demand” , but the reader was also advised in a declarative sentence that the US economy’s real growth capacity is far higher, implying that Q1 results were some kind of freakish aberration:

…growth over the first six months of the year likely fell below….. the U.S. economy’s longer term growth rate of just over 3%.

Well, here’s real GDP since the turn of the century. The average real growth rate is about 1.8%—-barely half the cited figure.  So where does the 3% growth rate for “potential GDP” come from, then?  The answer is that its Keynesian writ, and the pretext for the Fed’s endless monetary “accommodation” .



But doesn’t an actual 14-year trend trump theories that have become self-evidently irrelevant and macro-models that have been chronically wrong?  In fact, the 3% potential GDP growth narrative is mocked by the fundamental arithmetic of true economic growth—-which is to say, labor hour gains and capital investment.

During 2013 the private business economy generated 194 billion labor hours—the same figure as 1998.  Likewise, real investment in productive plant and equipment assets since 2000 has barely inched forward at a 0.8% annual rate—-or by less than 30% of its pre-2000 trend rate. In light of these virtually zero growth fundamentals, how could the Keynesian 3% potential GDP expansion model be presented as an axiomatic given?

So too with the winter weather bugaboo.

Residential investment …..fell by a 4.2% pace in the first quarter, revised from the previous estimate of a 5% fall. The housing market rebound, an important growth driver earlier in the recovery, was derailed in late 2013 by cold winter weather and rising mortgage rates.

Well, winter must have started in October.




When the daily narrative is this lame it is no wonder that our happy talk financial system drifts toward the wall. The Cool-Aid drinkers have simply lost touch with reality.

via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden