Jens Weidmann, head of Germany's Bundesbank, said the European Central Bank must soon consider when to end its stimulus scheme, though it is appropriate for it to remain in place for now. This has been a source of ongoing debate for several months, with several bank officials saying an end should be timetabled and the ECB responding that there are no plans to do so.
US Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta says he has "found no principled legal basis" to delay the effective date of his department's fiduciary rule beyond June 9. "Respect for the rule of law leads us to the conclusion that this date cannot be postponed," he said.
London Stock Exchange Group CEO Xavier Rolet says any move to take euro clearing out of London could cost banks and investors using off-exchange interest-rate contracts €100 billion. "Strip out euro clearing and you lose these efficiencies, potentially increasing cumulative trading costs by €100 billion over five years," Rolet writes in an op-ed.
Brazil's equities and currency continued losing value Monday amid an intensifying corruption scandal involving business-friendly President Michel Temer. The Bovespa stock index fell 2% and Brazil's currency, the real, declined 0.9%.
The Utilities SPDR (XLU) is clearly one of the leading sectors in 2017 because it is trading at its highest level of the year. XLU, by the way, is the only sector SPDR that hit a year-to-date high Monday. The chart shows XLU correcting into November 2016, breaking out in December and then consolidating from mid-March to mid-May. This consolidation just ended with an upside breakout and the breakout signals a continuation of the bigger uptrend.
-- Arthur Hill, CMT
Paolo Sironi of IBM Watson Financial Services says he expects more advisors to charge an hourly fee, rather than a percentage of assets under management, as margin comes under pressure. Sironi predicts success for advisors who automate back-office processes as much as possible so they can focus on client service.
Auto-loan delinquencies increased to 3.82% in the first quarter from 3.52% in Q1 of 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The increase comes despite high employment and low interest rates, indicating "there a subset of people that shouldn't have gotten loans," Standard Life economist Jeremy Lawson says.
Sears Holdings will close at least 30 more stores, in addition to the 150 locations announced earlier this year, including 18 Kmart stores and 12 Sears locations. "At the beginning of the year we said we would continue to strategically and aggressively evaluate our store space and productivity, and accelerate the closing of some unprofitable stores," said Sears spokesman Howard Riefs.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has joined the Securities and Exchange Commission in creating provisions to protect whistleblowers from employer retaliation. Specifically the rules prohibit companies from forcing employees to sign confidentiality agreements or gag orders prohibiting them from speaking with CFTC officials and allow the agency to take civil anti-retaliation action against firms.
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