Skip to main content

Opening Bell: 5.17.17

Markets are and are not reacting to Trump-Comey news; Elon Musk's Boring Company revealed; porn is a scourge on our nation's capital; and more.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

Here's What the Latest Trump-Comey News Is Doing to Markets (BBG)
“A further deterioration in the U.S. political climate may hurt sentiment more broadly,” Citigroup Inc. analysts including Johanna Chua wrote in a note. “Despite a still-supportive fundamental backdrop for emerging markets, investors are likely to be reluctant to add risk to portfolios just yet,” they said, noting that up to now currencies from developing nations have been stable.


The stock market 'already assumes' a Trump impeachment, says strategist Boris Schlossberg (CNBC)
"Why such a muted reaction in all the markets against the news today? And perhaps it's not because the market thinks there's a constitutional crisis but it already assumes impeachment," Schlossberg said on "Squawk Box." "If you have President Pence and a Republican Congress, you have a much greater chance for a very capital-friendly agenda."

The New York Stock Exchange is slowing down trading for a key market (BI)
Just to revisit how it has all gone down, this bullet point guide might help:
- IEX applied for exchange status with a novel 350-microsecond speed bump
- NYSE pushed back aggressively
- IEX won stock exchange approval
- NYSE decided to introduce a speed bump to one of its four markets to compete with IEX
- IEX pushed back
- NYSE won approval

Tech Stocks Surge as Hedge Funds Bail Out (BBG)
In a quarter when Apple Inc., Inc. and Alphabet Inc. rose three times as fast as the market, regulatory filings show hedge funds were net sellers of a combined 7.5 million shares. On paper, that’s $600 million of lost upside since March 31, since each stock has kept rising.

Rich Retirees Are Hoarding Cash Out of Fear (BBG)
Americans are dying with more money than they used to, adding to the increasing inequality that flows from inherited wealth. United Income analyzed the estates of people who died between 2000 to 2002, and compared them with those who died between 2010 to 2012. Although the later group had just lived through a financial crisis and worldwide recession, their estate values were 130 percent higher.

Traders are using a clever trick to make money from the most boring market in years (BI)
For the first piece of evidence that the VXX is a glorified short vehicle, look no further than its biggest shareholders. As MRA points out, they're mostly market makers, with hedge funds few and far between. As for the the everyman retail investor, MRA thinks they're "highly unlikely" to have piled into the VXX given how much shares outstanding have surged in recent years. "We lean towards the belief that nobody is long VXX, and that the ETN simply exists to be shorted," Pravit Chintawongvanich, the head of derivatives strategy at Macro Risk Advisors, wrote in a client note.

Quadruple-Levered ETF? SEC Hits Pause on Its Approval of an Exotic Investment (WSJ)
“I was surprised they [the staff] let them go,” said Amy Doberman, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP who was previously general counsel of ProShares, a leveraged ETF provider. “They are certainly not any less risky. I cannot imagine they are going to be any less susceptible to the impact of volatility that caused issues with the other [leveraged] funds.”

The Boring Company (Elon Musk)
To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels. Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight and won't fall on your head. A large network of road tunnels many levels deep would fix congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew (just keep adding levels). The key to making this work is increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more – this is the goal of The Boring Company.

Elliott brings a ‘prosecutorial’ approach to activist investing (FT)
Mr Pollock chafes at the accusation of short-termism that is sometimes levelled at activists. Elliott will often be invested in a trade for five years, and it never seeks unnecessary public fights, he says. “We have no interest in having our interactions with a company become public just for the sake of it. It usually becomes public after a series of conversations.”

Can You Guess How Much This Piece of Art Is Worth? (BBG)

Not Going Online Is the New Going Online (VICE)
If "I'm not on Facebook" used to be a hipsterism, it increasingly looks set to become a mainstream concern. By 2013 the number of adults who said they'd taken extended or permanent breaks from Facebook sat at around 61 percent. As Facebook continues to raise eyebrows over its privacy policies, the ground for a continuing exodus grows more fertile. It's totally plausible, if not logical, to see how quickly leaving social media could be adopted by some as a counterculture.

A Union Station ad screen played PornHub videos Monday night (WaPo)
Finally, an employee of the fast-casual restaurant Roti came over to the screen, and instructed another person on how to shut off the digital display, according to the woman who captured the incident on video. That woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she did not want an article about porn to come up when people Google her name, said other travelers took out their phones to record, too.



Opening Bell: 11.11.16

The Trump effect on world markets; Elizabeth Warren's watchdog facing Old Yeller treatment; Jeff Bezos reconsidering blasting Trump into space; and more.


Opening Bell 11.9.16

Trump shock rattles world markets; guns and pharmas surge on election news; Chinese stock that sounds like “Trump Wins Big” reacts accordingly; and more.


Opening Bell: 10.12.17

Donald Trump has an interesting theory about the stock market; Goldman wants you to bet on the next crisis; Wall Street is in fantasyland; and more.


Opening Bell: 2.2.17

Dan Loeb boards the Trump train; Snapchat's secrecy annoys bankers; Trump's doctor divulges hair-growth secrets; and more.


Opening Bell 11.10.16

Scaramucci compares Trump job offer to leaving his favorite bodega; Flash Crash guy pleads guilty; Trump presidency presages bonfire of financial regulations; and more.


Opening Bell: 4.6.17

Steve Cohen has officially given up; Gary Cohn actually...wants Glass-Steagall?; Putin is NOT a gay clown; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 2.10.17

The flash crash trader lost all his flash cash; Bridgewater is like basketball; boyfriend got shot over a cold taco; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 5.11.17

Tax reform is headed the way of the Comey; hedge fund traders probed for fibbing about bonds; porn star vs sharks, round two; and more.