S&P 500 bull market now arguably the oldest ever [Reuters]
S&P futures pointed to a slightly lower open one day after the benchmark index set an all-time intraday high that slightly exceeded the previous one set in late January.
Wall Street is widely considered to be in a bull market that started on March 9, 2009, when investors grappled with the global financial crisis that had vaporized over half of the U.S. stock market’s value. Since then, the index has more than quadrupled.
Now after nine years and five months, investors are debating when, not if, the current run-up in stock prices will end.
Michael Cohen Says He Arranged Payments to Women at Trump’s Direction [NYT]
Mr. Cohen acknowledged the illegal payments while pleading guilty to breaking campaign finance laws and other charges, a litany of crimes that revealed both his shadowy involvement in Mr. Trump’s circle and his own corrupt business dealings.
He told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payments to the women were made “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” implicating the president in a federal crime.
“I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principal purpose of influencing the election” for president in 2016, Mr. Cohen said.
Manafort convicted on 8 counts; mistrial declared on 10 others [WaPo]
The jury convicted Manafort on eight of the 18 counts against him and said it was deadlocked on the other 10. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III declared a mistrial on those charges.
Wearing a black suit, Manafort stood impassively, his hands folded in front of him, and showed little reaction as the clerk read the word “guilty” eight times. As through most of the three-week trial in Alexandria, Va., Manafort, 69, showed no emotion as he looked at the six women and six men who convicted him.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's new reform bill would ban members of Congress from owning individual stocks [CNBC]
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) delivers a major policy speech on at the National Press Club in Washington, August 21, 2018. Sen. Warren wants to ban Congress and White House staff from owning individual stocks
18 Hours Ago | 01:12
Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to ban members of Congress and the White House staff from owning individual stocks — and replace them with government-managed investment accounts.
Those are just two of the dozens of proposals dotting the Massachusetts Democrat's sweeping new legislative package, the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act, which she unveiled Tuesday. Warren said the bill is designed to "eliminate the influence of money in federal government."
SEC Could Face Backlash if Elon Musk Is Exonerated [Bloomberg]
Actions probed by the SEC aren’t typically so public and the agency prefers to keep it that way until it concludes whether laws were broken. The opposite has happened with Tesla, which has quickly become the highest-profile inquiry of SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s tenure. One resulting sentiment within the SEC: The agency will take a beating from politicians and in the media if Musk avoids a sanction, a person familiar with the matter said.
“This is so visible that it’d be hard for the SEC not to do something,” said James Cox, a professor at Duke University School of Law. “There’s a lot of pressure on the SEC here.”
Turkey’s Meltdown Hits Japanese Mom-and-Pop Investors [WSJ]
Individuals have snapped up Uridashi, high-yielding bonds marketed to households that are frequently denominated in foreign currencies like the lira, Brazilian real and South African rand. These aren’t highly leveraged instruments, but usually regular bonds. However, they offer juicy returns thanks to elevated interest rates in emerging markets.
The appeal is obvious after years of rock-bottom rates. A recent online offer from Rakuten Securities touted a 23.1% yield on lira debt issued by the European Investment Bank. That echoes the 10-year yield on Turkish government bonds of 20.9%, and is far above the 0.1% available on benchmark Japanese government debt.
Share price slide for Asian tech giants challenges investors [FT]
Shares in Hong Kong-listed Tencent, an internet and gaming group, have dropped 14 per cent in the year to date. About $150bn has been erased from its value since shares hit a peak of HK$474 in January. Shares in e-commerce site Alibaba, which is set to report its earnings on Thursday, have had a muted performance, up 2 per cent this year, while internet services conglomerate Baidu has dipped 4 per cent.
Analysts said the share price slump had been sparked by broader emerging market weakness in recent months. The Chinese-US trade war that has taken root since April has rattled investors, while a strengthening dollar and rising US interest rates have prompted fund flows out of emerging markets.
‘Usain Bolt Of Pugs’ Wins Third Straight Sprint Championship [HuffPo]
The four-legged cutie won her third straight international 50-meter title for pugs on Saturday in Berlin, according to reports.
The 4-year-old smushed-face sprinter finished in 5.866 seconds to defeat dozens of others in the time trial.
German broadcaster DW says she’s been called “the Usain Bolt of pugs.”