Bill Clinton Confirms “Wants Economic Role” In Hillary’s Administration

Is this why stocks are slipping? Following Hillary's hint last night that she would like to put her husband in "charge of revitalising the economy, because you know he knows how to do it," Bill confirmed the farce this morning, admitting he has asked for an "economic role" in his wife's adminstration. As Yves Smith so eloquently noted, after having institutionalized the neoliberal economic policies that have enriched the 1% and particularly the 0.1% at the expense of everyone else, Hillary Clinton wants to give the long-suffereing citizenry an even bigger dose. Good luck America.

As she said in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky:

"My husband, who I’m going to put in charge of revitalising the economy, because you know he knows how to do it,” Clinton said in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, on Sunday. “And especially in places like coal country and inner cities and other parts of our country that have really been left out.

And now Bill has confirmed the 'great news':

  • *BILL CLINTON SAYS HE'S ASKED FOR ROLE IN WIFE'S ADMINISTRATION
  • *BILL CLINTON SAYS HE WANTS ECONOMIC ROLE

As NakedCapitalism.com's Yves Smith notes, this plan is revealing, and in not a good way…

There Goes Hillary as “Most Qualified Candidate Evah”

Since when does a supposedly super competent elected official use their spouse in a policy design and implementation capacity outside of existing bureaucratic role and capacities? In banana republics and the Clinton presidency. And remember how well that co-presidency thingie worked out? Hillary’s big special project, health care reform, was such a bomb that it was over 20 years before the idea could be revived. And after that debacle, she retreated from taking on high-profile tasks and moved in the direction of a more traditional First Lady role.

Needless to say, if Hillary doubts she can get the job done with her Cabinet and if needed, a czar here or there, and needs to bring in Bill too, this is an admission that her vaunted experience is not what it is cracked up to be. Hillary has the classic resume of someone who has failed upward: a series of every-splashier job titles, but with no or negative accomplishments.

For instance, I was told about a friend’s mother, who is the prototypical Hillary voter: retired financial services industry professional, liberal, Jewish, very very well off. A couple of years ago, she decided she wasn’t so keen on Clinton: “She likes war too much.” She nevertheless asked a friend of hers who was a Clinton bundler to tell her what Clinton had achieved as Secretary of State. The response? A few necdotes about how she’d been a more inclusive manager.

Bill as Big Shiny Object

This prospective appointment suggests Hillary she feels pressed enough by Sanders and Trump to give Bill a more prominent campaign role so as to remind voters of how great things were in the 1990s. In reality, she can’t propose policies that will appeal to both “moderate Republicans” and progressives. In other words, they should just trust Bill and not worry about pesky details.

Hillary Doubles Down on Failed Neoliberal Policies After Kinda Sorta Distancing Herself From Them.

As average wages have stagnated since the mid-1970s, and the salient characteristic of the Obama “recovery” was that the top 1% gained in income at the expense of all other groups, it behooves candidates to make plausible-souding noises about what they will do to straighten out what went wrong. Since the Clinton-Obama program was all of a muchness (Obama brought back the Clinton economics team, after all), and Clinton defends the Obama administration’s record regularly, hauling Bill out of mothballs is a way to pretend things might change (by virtue of the 1990s being so far away the campaign will reimage it in magic pixie dust) when the message to the cognoscenti is that nothing will change, save maybe bigger-scale looting. Expect “revitalization” to consist heavily of “public private partnerships”.

Let’s consider a few of the Clinton-era policies that Hillary supported then but has disowned more recently:

Trade deals. Hillary supported Nafta was a huge promoter of the TPP until it was clear it was becoming a liability. Now she wants some not very clearly articulated changes made.

 

Social Security. Bill, in true “only Nixon can go to China” fashion, was prepared to push for the privatization of Social Security. He’d even worked out a deal with Newt Gingrich. But Monica Lewinsky intervened. The nation owes her its gratitude.

 

Hillary has made noises meant to sound as if she intends to strengthen Social Security as a social safety net, but are troublingly vague. She has said she will not privatize it, but that she intends to “preserve and strengthen” it. But does that mean benefits or the funding of the system? Recall that Bill appointed Janet Yellen to head the Council of Economic Advisers. Yellen was and remains a forceful proponent of chained CPI, which is a stealthy way to lower benefits in real terms by having them lag inflation (particularly as experienced by seniors, who are over-exposed to medical cost increases) even more. Similarly, one of Hillary’s innocuous-sounding Trojan horses for “fixing” Social Security is to effectively means test benefits by increasing taxes on the wealthiest recipients. That moves Social Security away from being a universal safety net toward being a welfare program…..and welfare programs have this nasty way of being cut. Never forget Lambert’s second rule of neolibearlism: “Die faster.”

 

Bank deregulation. Lest you have forgotten or are too young to have lived through it, please have a look at Watch Bill Clinton, Larry Summers, and Phil Gramm Have a Love Fest Over Repeal of Glass Steagall to remind yourself of how utterly convinced Team Clinton was of the benefits of letting banks free to roam and forage on their own. We know how that movie ended.

 

Clinton embraced the idea of the primacy of banking enthusiastically. Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin, in one of his early moves, raided the Exchange Stabilization Fund, a kitty created during the Depression to defend the dollar if needed, to instead rescue Mexican banks (to which firms like Morgan Stanley were overexposed, see Frank Partnoy’s Fiasco for details) when Congress nixed a bailout. Clinton reappointed Ayn Rand stalwart Alan Greenspan, who let a thousand derivatives bloom despite a derivatives crash in 1994-1995 that destroyed more value than the 1987 crash. Needless to say, that also led to the infamous fight with Brooksley Born of the CFTC who had the temerity to suggest she was considering regulating credit default swaps.

 

It was Greenspan who also decided the stock market was part of the Fed’s job (per a May 2000 Wall Street Journal story describing how for years Greenspan had had bright young Fed economists try to figure out what determined the general level of stock prices). And he also institutionalized the Greenspan put, of quickly lowering rates any time the Market Gods got unhappy, but was nowhere as concerned when markets got frothy. That turned the traditional role of the Fed, described by William McChesney Martin as “taking the punch bowl away when the party starts getting good” on its head.

 

Destructive debt reduction. Bob Rubin and Clinton himself took misguided pride in the reduction of Federal debt outstanding during the Clinton administration. In fact, the only time for a currency issuer to run a surplus is when the economy is in danger of overheating, as in when unemployment is very low, wage growth is high and labor has strong bargaining rights. The last time we had those conditions was in the 1960s, when Johnson was unwilling to raise taxes to fund an unpopular, despite warnings from both Keynesians and Milton Friedman. Economists are still using the excuse of fighting that now 50 year old war (whose severity was greatly amplified by the 1970s oil shock) as the excuse for continuing to squeeze labor.

 

The results of the Clinton surpluses was the early 2000s recession, which Greenspan saw as sufficiently serious that he pushed real interest rates negative for an unprecedented nine quarters (the norm in past downturns was one). That in turn did more to stimulate leveraged speculation in assets (hedge and private equity funds, and investment in residential housing) than real economy investment. As we wrote at the time, corporations were actually net savers, an unheard of development in an expansion, while households ran at zero or even negative savings levels, which was another unprecedented and unhealthy development.

 

On a broader basis, the undershooting of federal deficit spending meant some other sector – households, businesses, or the export/import sector – had to take up the slack. It was the household sector, which showed rising debt loaned in the 1990s, which dropped modestly (but stayed well above their pre-Clinton era levels) before exploding in the early 2000s through the crisis. Household debt growth is unproductive, yet Clinton era policies encouraged it.

So American voters are told they should welcome the return of the Clinton dynasty in the White House. Those outside the 1% who understand how the Clintons undermined their economic well-being have every reason to be leery. Like the Bourbons, they appear to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

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This Is Goldman’s Primer On The Most Critical Crude Oil Prices

While we are not sure if the market has finally had time to actually read Goldman’s oil note from Sunday night (posted here at the same time) and understand that far from bullish Goldman actually warned that the market rebalancing is taking far longer and as a result is lowering its 2017 price targets, there was one additional curious highlight in the report: Goldman’s breakdown of critical prices bands for oil which actually is a useful guide for how the broader market (if devoid of momentum-chasing algo traders) would respond with oil trading in any given price interval . 

  • Below $30/bbl is the price range when inventories near storage capacity. This risk has passed in our view absent a sharp reversal in global growth.
  • Below $40/bbl, producers respond by aggressively slashing spending and future production. This threshold was made explicit by the US credit agencies when they downgraded 15% of US E&Ps to high yield earlier this year. We no longer need to be in this range unless the systemic disruptions reverse (Nigeria, Libya) or low-cost producers surprise to the upside once again in 2016 or 2017.
  • Between $40/bbl and $50/bbl is the muddle through. It’s the range (1) that most non-OPEC producers budgeted for 2016, and (2) where US producers on aggregate are not ramping up activity: some are focusing on drawing down their well backlog while the aggregate rig count continues to decline. This is where prices will remain through 2Q.
  • Above $50/bbl is where activity will start to ramp up although operational frictions and levered balance sheets will slow this activity initially. This threshold has been explicitly stated during US earnings releases and is also consistent with the notable increase in hedging with calendar 2017 prices near $50/bbl. The ongoing open access to capital creates the risk that activity can ramp up meaningfully more near $50/bbl than we expect, with a US E&P raising equity this past week to ramp up its drilling activity. We also see risks that brownfield capex spending increases near this threshold, as producers seek to maximize returns and cash flow.
  • Near $60/bbl is when new projects will be sanctioned and shale activity will accelerate, which we do not require until late in 2017 in our view.

And since Goldman is now assumed to be “bullish” (which it actually isn’t), we are delighted to take the other side of the trade and expect a repeat of the summer of 2015 price action as we noted previously: peak prices for the next few months, then another sharp drop as supply shortages are eliminated and as a flood of new oil hits the market just in time for the Chinese credit-bust slowdown.

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A Nation Of Housing ‘Haves’ & ‘Have-Nots’

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Geography charts the financial destiny of households, at least in terms of housing.

Everyone who follows the statistics of rising income and wealth inequality knows we're becoming a nation of haves and have-nots. What's not being discussed is the role of housing.

Let's start by recalling that for the vast majority of bottom-95% American households, the primary asset is the family home. (The wealthy, not coincidentally, own businesses and income-producing assets.)

Back in 2000, many homes around the U.S. could be purchased for $93,000. It was a substantial sum, but at 2.2 times median household income of $42,128 that year (and less than 2X median family income), it was affordable. (source: U.S. Census Bureau Income Data for 2000)

The conventional down payment (20% of the price) of roughly $19,000 was substantial, but within grasp of a two-income household that lived below their means and scrimped and saved for a few years.

According to the BLS inflation calculator, if the $93,000 home had kept pace with inflation, it would now be worth $128,600 in 2016. Since median household income is now $57,263, the $128,600 home is 2.24 times median household income–in the same ballpark as valuations in 2000. (source: March 2016 median household income via Doug Short)

Guess what a nothing-special sold in 2000 for $93,000 home in a nothing-special S.F. Bay Area neighborhood just sold for. Hint: guess high. How about triple the inflation-adjusted value of $128,000 or $384,000– 4 times the original purchase price of $93,000.

Not even close. The house just sold for $897,000, almost 10 times the 2000 valuation. This is not 2 times median household income; it's 15 times median household income. The conventional down payment of $180,000 is beyond the reach of any household that didn't inherit substantial wealth or get the down payment from wealthy parents.

The down payment of $180,000 exceeds the total wealth of most households.

As for saving up $180,000 for the down payment–only households in the top 5% can even hope to save such a sum after many years of scrimping and saving.

Compare the family wealth of a household that bought a house for $93,000 in 2000 and finds it's now worth $130,000, and the household that finds their home is now worth $900,000. After fifteen years of paying the mortgage and inflation-matching appreciation, the first family may have home equity of around $50,000 to $55,000–a nice sum to help fund retirement, but not enough to insure there will be equity to distribute to heirs once the owners have passed on.

The second household has seen its $19,000 down payment and modest mortgage payments balloon into a cash-out valuation in excess of $850,000. This equity is large enough to not only help fund a comfortable retirement; it's enough to fund cash purchases of homes in lower-cost regions for several offspring.

Imagine the leg-up offered to the children of the second household when their parents' housing windfall enables them to buy a home for cash. If the $850,000 equity was wisely husbanded, it could fund two home purchases (in lower cost areas) and the college expenses of a few grandchildren.

The second household has the advantages of unearned wealth simply from buying a home in a housing bubble area. The children of the first household won't be able to buy a house for cash from the equity of their parents' home–assuming there is any equity left after the parents' retirement expenses are paid.

The offspring of this family will have to save up a down payment (or qualify for a subsidized mortgage), even if they do inherit some percentage of their parents' home equity. They will have to make 30 years of mortgage payments to own their home free and clear.

They may well remain renters for life if they choose to live in high-demand, high-valuation regions such as the S.F. Bay Area or NYC.

The second household's offspring could live mortgage-free, and have a nest egg to invest in their children. Again, this requires wise management of the $850,000 equity, but the generational wealth that could be transferred (if it isn't squandered) will widen the already large gap between the prospects of the two households.

Of course bubblicious valuations will likely decline, but even a 50% drop would still leave the second household with a $450,000 home and a mortgage well under $50,000. Even if this family holds onto the house and never sells it, the equity is available via home-equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or second mortgages.

Geography charts the financial destiny of households, at least in terms of housing. Hot housing markets (San Francisco Bay Area, West Los Angeles, Brooklyn, etc.) were once affordable to everyday middle-class households. Now they are only affordable to wealthy foreigners bringing bucketloads of cash or to the top slice of upper-income households, i.e. those with incomes in excess of $200,000 or more annually.

Those who bought homes in these areas when they were still affordable (the year 2000 or earlier) are reaping gains in wealth that remain unimaginable and unattainable to middle-class households outside these rarified high-demand housing markets.

Housing is yet another driver of our increasingly have/have-not economy.

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Live Feed: Paris Protesters, Riot Police Clash Over Labor Law

Recently France’s government used an obscure article of its constitution to bypass parliament on labor reform proposals. Ultimately the reforms make it easier lay workers off, and allows for an increased work week.

As we said at the time, protests and public anger will only intensify after this unprecedented legal maneuver was implemented by an increasingly more unpopular government. Today, protesters have once again taken to the streets of Paris once again, and are being met by tear gas.

Tuesday’s rally in the French capital is part of a general strike called by seven trade unions across the country. This is the sixth demonstration against the “El Khomri law,” named for French Labor Minister Myriam El Khomri. The law extends maximum working hours, and cut holidays and breaks as the government attempts to liberalize France’s labor market.

As RT reports on site, “There are thousands of people out here and it is important to say that not everyone is from trade unions as it is a very diverse crowd. “There are students here, there are the usual participants from Nuit Debout [Rise Up At Night] and there are also troublemakers who have come to start violence with the police and this is when the violence erupts.”

Live Feed:

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The “Longest Uninterrupted Smart Money Selling Streak In History” Extends To 16 Weeks

Last night, following 15 consecutive weeks of client selling, we asked – rhetorically – if today the selling by BofA’s smart money clients would stretch to a new record 16 consecutive weeks.

Earlier today we received the BofA update, as well as the answer: a resounding yes.

Here is BofA:

Last week, during which the S&P 500 fell 0.5%, BofAML clients were net sellers of US stocks for the 16th consecutive  week—continuing the longest uninterrupted selling streak in our data history (since ’08).

 

There was some good news: the magnitude of outflows has been lessening for the past three weeks, with last week’s $1.2bn in net sales the smallest in ten weeks. Then again, the selling had declined on 5 previous occasions in the past 4 months and never actually broke to the positive.

Net sales were led by hedge funds, a reversal from institutional client-led selling in the prior nine weeks. As we speculated last month, we wonder how much of this is forced selling as a result of inbound and rising redemption requests. If that is the case, it sets up hedge funds for an unpleasant feedback loop where more redemptions force lower prices, leading to more redemptions and so on.

BofA continues:

Institutional and private clients were still sellers as well, but sales by these groups were both their smallest since Feb. Net sales were entirely in large caps last week, as both small and mid-caps saw net buying. Buybacks by our corporate clients decelerated last week, and month-to-date are tracking below typical May levels. Year-to-date, buybacks are tracking slightly above 2015 levels but below 2014 levels.

What did the smart money sell (and in some cases buy)?

Net sales were led by Consumer Discretionary stocks, where misses from several retailers caused a sell-off in the sector last week. Health Care saw the next-largest outflows; this sector continues to have the longest selling streak at eleven consecutive weeks, hurt by a positioning unwind and political uncertainty in an election year Financials and Telecom stocks, plus ETFs, saw net buying last week; Telecom has the longest buying streak of any sector at three consecutive weeks (and is the only sector which has seen cumulative inflows year-to-date). Based on four-week average trends, where flows are less volatile, in addition to Telecom, Energy is now also seeing net buying after clients had sold this sector since late February.

 

Next, the rolling 4 week average trends by sector:

  • Net buying: Telecom since late April
  • Net selling: Tech since late Jan.; Staples since early Feb.; Industrials since mid-Feb.; Financials since late Feb; Materials and Health Care since mid-March; Consumer Discretionary since late March, Utilities since early April, ETFs since late April.
  • Notable changes in trends: Energy saw a reversal to net buying after net sales since late Feb.

 

Finally, on the topic of slowing down corporate buybacks, BofA confirms this.

The four-week average trend for buybacks by corporate clients suggests a bigger seasonal slowdown in buybacks than what we have seen the last few years at this time.

Now that even buybacks are slowing down, just who is it that is offsetting the relentless selling by not only the smart money, but also retail investors which as we showed last week sold the most US stocks in the past month since the August 2011 US downgrade?

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As Insurance Losses Mount So Do Refusals: “Sorry, We Don’t Take Obamacare”

Submitted by Michael Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

A McKinsey study shows Obamacare insurers lost money in 2014 and the losses doubled in 2015.

Amazingly, the study concludes there’s nothing to worry about because “30 percent of insurers nationwide were profitable.”

Meanwhile, outright refusals to accept Obamacare mount. “Sorry, We Don’t Take Obamacare” is now a frequent response.

Losses Pile Up

The Hill reports Study Shows ObamaCare Insurers’ Losses Grew in 2015.

The study from McKinsey & Company finds that in 2014, insurers had a margin of minus-4.8 percent, translating to an overall loss of $2.7 billion on the individual health insurance market, which includes ObamaCare’s marketplaces.

 

The study finds those losses roughly doubled in 2015 to between minus-9 and -11 percent margins, based on preliminary data.

 

Still, the study finds that not all insurers lost money. In 45 states, there was at least one profitable insurer in the market in 2014, and 30 percent of insurers nationwide were profitable.

 

“The individual market has little risk of entering a classic insurance ‘death spiral’ as long as the federal government continues to offer subsidies,” the study states, adding that “there will likely continue to be a large, viable individual market.”

Second Class Patients

The New York Times tells the sad tale of an increasing number of “Sorry, We Don’t Take Obamacare” responses to those seeking medical assistance.

AMY MOSES and her circle of self-employed small-business owners were supporters of President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. They bought policies on the newly created New York State exchange. But when they called doctors and hospitals in Manhattan to schedule appointments, they were dismayed to be turned away again and again with a common refrain: “We don’t take Obamacare,” the umbrella epithet for the hundreds of plans offered through the president’s signature health legislation.

 

Though their insurance cards look the same as everyone else’s — with names like Liberty and Freedom from insurers like Anthem or United Health — the plans are often very different from those provided to most Americans by their employers. Many say they feel as if they have become second-class patients.

 

Compared with the insurance that companies offer their employees, plans provide less coverage away from patients’ home states, require higher patient outlays for medicines and include a more limited number of doctors and hospitals, referred to as a narrow network policy. And while employers tend to offer their workers at least one plan that allows them coverage to visit doctors not in their network, patients buying insurance through A.C.A. exchanges in some states do not have that option, even if they’re willing to pay higher premiums.

 

Some of the problems may have been predictable. When designing the new plans, for-profit insurers naturally tended to exclude high-cost, high-end hospitals with whom they had little clout to negotiate discounts. That means, for example, that as of late last year none of the plans available in New York had Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in their network — an absence that would be unacceptable to many New York-based employers buying policies for their employees. Another issue is out-of-state coverage, which many A.C.A. plans don’t offer aside from emergencies, and which is routinely offered in policies from companies — especially large ones — with workers in more than one state.

 

As a result, many parents who were excited that they would be able to keep their children on their policies until age 26 have discovered that this promise has gone unfulfilled. When Sara Hamilton of New York was shopping on the exchange for a plan to cover her and her two young-adult children — who live in distant states — she discovered that none of the plans covered doctor visits in those places.

 

In 2013, Angie Purtell of Tega Cay, S.C., bought a gold plan offered by Coventry Health Care. When notified that the plan would double its monthly premium the following year, to nearly $1,000, she went shopping again on the state exchange and chose a Blue Cross silver plan for $500. It was branded “Choice.”

 

But when she tried to visit her longtime doctor using the new plan, she found she could not. The doctor’s practice, while in South Carolina, was not covered because it is affiliated with the Carolina Medical Center, a few miles over the border in Charlotte, N.C.

Service Refused

 

Hey! We don’t serve their kind here. They’ve got Obamacards.

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Gartman: “We Were Fully, Completely And Totally Wrong”, Sees Bear Market In “Catholic Global Terms”

When we reported yesterday, in our daily novelty humor post about the relentless flipflopping of “world-renowned” commodity guru…

… and CNBC Fast Money staple Dennis Gartman, that the newsletter seller said he was “quietly, but steadily, in our own account… our retirement funds here at TGL and the only money we manage but money that is really rather important to us, obviously!… we are turning bearish of equities“, we warned “beware the squeeze.”

The market proceeded to explode higher.

Many have asked us if, as a result of yesterday’s monkeyhammering, Gartman has now flipflopped back to bullish, something which would prompt a flood back into bearish positions. Well, here is the answer, straight from the horse’s mouth, because frankly we have no idea what something like “catholic global terms” means.

SHARE PRICES ARE HIGHER IN BROAD GLOBAL TERMS as our International Index has risen 44 “points” or 0.5% over the course of the past twenty four hours, as eight of the nine markets comprising our Index that were open have risen while only one… the market in France…was lower. We shall make no excuses: we utterly and completely and totally and 100% missed yesterday’s rally, expecting Friday’s weakness in the US and the global markets to carry through with further weakness yesterday. We fully, completely and totally expected the modest support on the charts that we thought might exist just below Friday’s close to be taken out to the downside, and we were fully, completely and totally wrong. There is no reason to mince words; there are no excuses to be made, nor should there be. We were wrong… obviously and utterly and we shall do well and our best to simply acknowledge that fact.

 

Does this mean then that we shall turn bullish of equities?  Shall we cast aside our beliefs that the highs made one year ago in broad, catholic terms are suddenly to be thought of as within reach and likely to be taken out? Of course not. We are still of a mind that those highs are inviolate; that the fact that equites in broad, catholic global terms remain in a bear market and that we are to trade quietly but accordingly, erring modestly bearishly of equities in those same terms; but… and this is a large and very important but… US stocks remain the best of the lot and if we are to err bearishly we should be erring so via derivatives that are global in orientation, not in US based derivatives.

 

* * *

 

For the year-to-date, we are up 3.9%, having given back sizeable profits over the course of the past two weeks. We are still profitable, but certainly our sums of out-performance over our International Index and the S&P have narrowed appreciably:

And there you have it: Gartman remains globally short of stocks, in catholic terms. Trade accordingly.

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Who Bought And Sold Apple In The First Quarter

Much was made of Berkshire’s unexpected infatuation with AAPL yesterday (which was not actually driven by Buffett but by one of his new ex-hedge fund heirs, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, who have “shown a willingness to wade into other corners”), which catalyzed the recently beaten down stock’s biggest surge in months.  Not as much was made of the selling in AAPL in the first quarter, but perhaps it should have been because while the Top 20 buyers of AAPL stock added a grand total of 101.5 million shares, the Top 20 sellers liquidated 50% more, or 157.5 million.

Additionally, if one adds up all the changes in AAPL stock as of March 31 as reported per the latest batch of 13F, there was a grand total of 58.7 million net AAPL shares sold, which explains the company’s declining stock price4 in the quarter.

Finally, for those curious who the top 20 buyers and sellers of AAPL stock were in the first quarter, here is the full breakdown.

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Industrial Production Stuck In Longest Non-Recessionary Slump In The Past Century

A significant downward revision for March (from -0.6 to -0.9% MoM) enabled April to beat handsomely (+0.7% vs +0.3% exp.) pleasing headline-tracking algos. While this is the biggest monthly jump in Industrial Production since Nov 2014 – all thanks to the biggest spike in Utilities since 2007; the year-over-year tumble continues with IP -1.07% YoY for the 8th month in a row. Industrial production has never fallen for this long – in 96 years – without the US economy being in recession.

The monthly pickup was thanks to Utilities:  The increase of 5.8 percent in the output of utilities was its largest since February 2007, when it leapt 6.2 percent. In April, electric utilities and natural gas utilities expanded 5.4 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.

But year-over-year, this is the 8th monthly plunge in a row…

 

The longest streak of losses without a recession since records began in 1920…

 

Of course none of that matters… until it does…

 

Charts: Bloomberg

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