Stock Market Erases Trump Plunge But S&P 500 Hits Alarming Milestone

By CCN: The US stock market has reclaimed all of Monday’s massive Trump-induced trade war selloff, returning valuations to previous highs that are utterly unsustainable over the long-term.

President Trump triggered a 3% market selloff on Monday, after saying that he would effectively double down on the China trade war.

American manufacturers oppose tariffs because they have drawn an equivalent Chinese response – hence the term “trade war” – reducing foreign demand for American-made products. They also lead to increased costs for US consumers.

Yet the stock market roared back over the next three days, culminating in today’s 214.66 point Dow Jones Industrial Average rally. What’s going on?

Investors Wisen Up to Trump’s Jawboning

There are two reasons for this bounce-back.

First, the market is starting to realize that Donald Trump is playing the long game with China. Trump is no idiot. He’s a master strategist who understands the negative impact that a trade war creates on US manufacturers and consumers.

Trump’s trade war strategy is part of a holistic foreign relations policy with China.

Geopolitics is a game of intersecting webs, where pressure in one area – such as tariffs – can induce an opponent to behave differently in other areas. China is such a powerful global presence that merely viewing the trade war in a vacuum misses that Trump likely has a broader strategy in play.

The market figured this out, and after the emotional selling burst on Monday, cooler heads prevailed

FOMO: Why the Market Keeps Going Up

There’s another factor in this market recovery: FOMO. This fear of missing out on a big rally drives hedge funds and institutions right back into the market after a selloff.

That’s because the overall US economy is booming. GDP has increased an average of 3% over the past five quarters, the labor force participation rate has been stable as unemployment has declined, small business optimism remains high, and wages are rising.

With all that going for America, investment dollars are more likely to get back into the market than sit on the sidelines.

Yet it’s surprising – and dangerous – that money continues to flow into equity markets considering how insanely overpriced it remains.

Stock Market Now Second Most Expensive in History

The Schiller P/E Ratio, which measures the price-to-earnings ratio based on average inflation-adjusted earnings from the previous 10 years, remains at its second highest in history, at 30.2.

stock market price/equity ratio chartstock market price/equity ratio chart

The stock market hasn’t been this expensive since the dot-com bubble. | Source: Multpl

The only other time the market has been more overvalued was during the 1999 dot-com bubble when the Schiller P/E ratio hit 44. The other high water mark was on Black Tuesday in 1929, when it hit 30.

How out of whack is the Schiller P/E ratio at 30.2? The mean is 16.6, meaning the market is almost twice as high as the average since 1870.

The Stock Market’s Dirty Secret: Growth Is Driven by Debt

Hiding behind all this liquidity flooding into both the economy and the market is a dirty little secret. Huge chunks of this money have been borrowed.

With the Fed holding rates at historic lows for much of the past decade, cheap capital has been drawn down by everyone from institutions to the American consumer.

This chart shows the relationship between the amount of margin debt on Wall Street and the S&P 500. They are highly correlated. While margin debt is not at the $670 billion level it hit last year, it remains high at $580 billion.

The S&P 500 has an uncomfortable correlation with margin debt levels. | Source: Advisor Perspectives

Even more alarming is this chart, which shows real growth in debt and market value. The market is up 125% since 1997, on the back of a whopping 250% increase in debt.

This debt/growth correlation is unsustainable. | Source: Advisor Perspectives

This all points to a crash at some point. Invest wisely.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

Walmart Raises Prices amid Trade War, Should Focus on American Made

By CCN: The trade war between the United States and China is on, and some of the country’s biggest retailers are starting to feel the burn. The latest victim of Trump’s tariffs is Walmart, which says customers can expect price increases on some of its stores’ most prominent items thanks to tax hikes on products imported from China. The retailer reportedly stated that it would do everything in its power to “keep prices low,” but customers should expect to pay more over the coming weeks.

Without China in the Picture, Americans Can Expect to Pay More

While the statement doesn’t mention which specific items will go up, executives are reportedly working with product suppliers to try and spread costs over multiple items so customers experience less financial strain on certain products.

Walmart Should Focus on American-Made Products

Despite its size, Walmart is a company that stands to be less affected by these tariffs than other retailers given that most of its business comes from grocery-related sales. Most of the fresh produce and other food items offered by Walmart stores are not imported and are likely to remain unaffected.

Meanwhile, big-box retailers like Walmart should look at a situation like this as an opportunity to change and potentially focus more on American-made products. Walmart, unfortunately, has been slow to react. The company says that approximately 26% of its items will still be brought in from China-based factories and manufacturers. Thus, more than one-quarter of the retailer’s overall goods stand to be priced higher thanks to the tariffs.

This is small beans, however, compared to other retailers such as Target, which allegedly imports about 34% of its products from China. Other ventures, like Amazon, likely stand to lose out the most when it comes to America’s trade war with its counterpart in Asia.

In early 2017, it was estimated that more than 200,000 sellers on Amazon were based in China, and that number has increased heavily since then. It is also estimated that China’s stake in Amazon is somewhere around 25%, and China-based sales through Amazon more than doubled in the year 2015.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that many of the products sold through these Chinese companies are counterfeit or copied from items that are not easily patentable, and this presents something of a moral conundrum as well as an economic one. No doubt Trump’s trade war can limit the existence of such items; but if the battle goes all out, it can be argued that Amazon’s products may be hit the hardest, especially in the beginning.

Retailers Like Amazon May Have Bigger Bruises

Given present conditions, apparel, footwear, and travel goods companies could lose a lot from the tariffs. China accounts for approximately 41% of all apparel products in the U.S. It also represents more than 70% of all shoes and footwear and nearly 85% of all travel-related products.

Meanwhile, Macy’s already told customers that they can expect prices to spike on certain items thanks to new tariffs.

At press time, Walmart’s stock is up by slightly more than 2% on solid earnings, trading at nearly $102 per share.

Yahoo chart Yahoo chart

Investors are more focused on Walmart’s earnings beat than rising prices. | Source: Yahoo Finance

John McAfee Bashes Bitcoin and Ethereum but Touts Adorable Dogecoin

By CCN: John McAfee is famous for predicting that the bitcoin price will hit $1,000,000 at some point or he’ll eat his own appendage. What you might not know is that he dislikes Ethereum and doesn’t even care that much for BTC, either. Yes, the reason is as silly as you might have hoped. Meanwhile, similar to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, McAfee has a soft spot for meme-fueled cryptocurrency Dogecoin.

John McAfee Is “Merely Predicting” Bitcoin’s Rise, Doesn’t Care For It

He’s got a point. Ethereum is a mouthful. His methodology also brings bitcoin into his crosshairs, and it turns out despite his bullish attitude for the price, McAfee has always been a Doge man.

If we analyze this extremely complex methodology, certain truths arise. Buterin is certainly a slender man and as it turns out on occasion fits the profile of dressing oddly.

Crypto Community Adores John McAfee Wisdom

I’m not sure we need much more proof than that photo to understand John McAfee’s concerns. It is refreshing to see the tech provocateur giving us some meaningful insight like this. After the Satoshi Nakamoto storyline fizzled out, things had been a little dull on planet McAfee.

Ethereum Price Buoyant Despite Investors Strange Clothing/Buterin’s Weight

Ethereum chartEthereum chart

Despite the dress sense of its bulls, ETH/USD is looking strong. | Source: CoinMarketCap

Despite John’s concerns, the price of Ethereum has been going wild. Currently trading around $265, ETH/USD has been riding on bitcoin’s coattails to significant effect. News that a little more than 350 individuals control 1/3 of the supply of ETH has done little to dissuade investors from piling into BTC’s more volatile offspring. There are evidently plenty of strangely dressed individuals to keep the price well supported.

McAfee’s Hearty Sounding Coins Are Elusive

We can only speculate on which “hearty sounding coins” McAfee’s friends use. Certainly, Nano is out. Nothing about Litecoin sounds meaty. Anything with “bit” in it fails the test, so the bitcoin spinoffs are gone. Digibyte sounds microscopic. Meticulous research brings us to No. 19 on CoinMarketCap, as it is evident that John McAfee must be talking about Cosmos. What could be heartier than a name meaning “the universe seen as a well-ordered whole”? But alas, on closer inspection, Cosmos’ symbol is the sub-microscopic ATOM.

If anyone can compile a list of the meatiest coin names, it could be a great investment aid. Unfortunately, unless McAfee helps us out all we can do is “hodl” Doge and hope for another tip. Can you imagine how much John must like Fat Doge?

The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

Trump Unveils A New Immigration Plan That Is Going Nowhere

President Donald Trump offered a broad outline of his administration’s new dead-on-arrival immigration plan Thursday, seeking to rake in more money for border enforcement while restricting family-based migration and upping the number of visas for skilled workers.

“The Democrats are proposing open borders, lower wages and frankly lawless chaos,” said Trump in a speech from the White House Rose Garden. “We propose an immigration plan that puts jobs, wages and the safety of American workers first.” He outlined a “Build America Visa,” which would prioritize younger workers as well as those with valuable skills and offers of employment.

But the plan is likely to go nowhere.

The proposal, which has yet to be filed as legislation, combines elements of reform long advocated by immigration hard-liners like White House adviser Stephen Miller and U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who rail against both the rising levels of unauthorized migration and the way the legal immigration system is structured. It is also the product of White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s attempts to broker a compromise on one of the most vexing issues Congress has faced over the last decade.

The effort at compromise didn’t extend to Democrats, who control the House of Representatives and hold enough seats in the Senate to block legislation. Some have already dismissed the proposal, which lacks protections for so-called Dreamers who came to the U.S. as kids. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said the failure to include Dreamers makes it “pretty much a nonstarter.” Plus, Democrats and have little incentive to cooperate with Trump ahead of the 2020 elections, which could give them a shot at broader immigration reform.

This is not the administration turning over a new leaf and deciding they want to get serious about fixing our immigration system.”
Tom Jawetz, vice president at the Center for American Progress.

“This is not the administration turning over a new leaf and deciding they want to get serious about fixing our immigration system,” said Tom Jawetz, the vice president of immigration policy at the progressive group Center for American Progress. “And there’s no one who’s going to be inclined to believe that.”

Trump has insisted he wants to help Dreamers, but ended a program to protect them, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and previously proposed granting them legal status only in exchange for border wall and major legal immigration cuts. This time, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday morning that Dreamer protections were too “divisive” to be included.

“That’s one of the things that seems to divide people very quickly and was left out on purpose,” she told reporters. 

Dreamer advocates consider the omission a sign that the White House doesn’t see helping them as a priority. “This proposal shows a callousness towards immigrant youth [and families],” said Sanaa Abrar, advocacy director at the immigrant youth organization United We Dream. “Their game plan from the beginning has been to deport members of our community.”

Even before the rollout, both reporters and some Republican politicians had begun to frame the plan as a way to rally the GOP behind a set of principles rather than push a bill through Congress. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has worked on bipartisan attempts to reform immigration in previous years and chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, where immigration legislation typically gets its first hearing, said Thursday that the “White House proposal is not designed to become law,” according to CNN.

“If it doesn’t get bipartisan support, there’s no chance,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said. “But we’ll work to get bipartisan support.”

Jawetz called the proposal “a huge nothingburger,” saying it contains nothing that would actual solve the country’s immigration problems. 

America’s current system of immigration allows family members to sponsor relatives for immigrant visas, which account for about 65% of immigration visas issued annually, according to the National Immigration Forum. The priority on family unification was set into law with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, but the trend has existed for most of U.S. history. Members of Trump’s own family emigrated to the U.S. to reunite with family members.

Under Trump’s proposal, however, the legal immigration system would reserve some 60% of immigrant visas for applicants with higher levels of education or job skills the administration views as desirable, according to The New York Times. Those seeking entry would also have to demonstrate English language fluency and pass a civics test.

They are willing to throw away immigrant families by ripping them apart and getting rid of family immigration.”
Amanda Baran, Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the idea of a “merit-based” immigration system “condescending” in a press conference Thursday morning. “Are they saying family is without merit?” she asked. “Are they saying that most people who have come to the U.S. in the history of our country are without merit because they don’t have engineering degrees?”

While the move away from family-based immigration and the lack of a DACA fix alienates Democrats, it’s unclear whether the shift in the legal immigration system goes far enough for the most hard-line conservative voices who have influenced Trump.

The concept of limiting family-sponsored immigration already has traction among some conservatives who aim to restrict both authorized and unauthorized migration. But the RAISE Act, proposed by Cotton and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in 2017 with Trump’s endorsement, would have slashed the total number of immigration visas by about 50%.

The plan floated by Trump, on the other hand, would keep the overall number of migrant visas issued each year intact, according to preliminary reports.

The lack of total cuts to legal immigration led Center for Immigration Studies Director Mark Krikorian, a well known advocate for reducing all forms of immigration, to call the plan “out of touch with the president’s base,” in a piece for the National Review.

Trump rose to political prominence by sounding the alarm over a crisis at the border at a time when illegal crossings stood at their lowest levels since the early 1970s. But on his watch, unauthorized crossings have skyrocketed, largely because of an uptick of Central American families and children who often seek asylum and cannot be swiftly deported.

And his administration has been criticized for its cruel treatment of this group, from separating nearly 3,000 families to detaining children for record amounts of time. On Wednesday a 2 ½ -year-old migrant toddler died after being detained by Border Patrol, making him the fourth minor to die over the past six months while in government custody.

Political leaders from both parties agree that the situation at the border amounts to a “crisis,” though Republicans have tended to frame it as an assault on law and order, while Democrats describe it as a humanitarian problem. Either way, the plan offered Thursday does little to address it.

Trump’s proposal to stem the flow of immigrants at the border includes plans to screen out “meritless” asylum claims. And while he didn’t elaborate on specifics, he highlighted a proposal by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that would increase detention times for families and enable immigration officials to send unaccompanied children from Central America back to their home countries.

Advocates say neither of these changes will be effective deterrents and that the “merits-based” system reveals the Trump administration’s inhumane attitude toward asylum-seekers.

“This is a family values party,” said Amanda Baran from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. “[Yet] they are willing to throw away immigrant families by ripping them apart and getting rid of family immigration.”

Igor Bobic contributed reporting.

Ethereum Price Jumps to 8-Month High After Bitcoin Plunges $645

By CCN: Bitcoin’s breathtaking rally has dominated the headlines in recent weeks, but today it’s the second-largest cryptocurrency’s turn to enjoy the spotlight. The ethereum price surged as high as $281.77 on Thursday, launching ETH to an eight-month high.

Ethereum Price Finally Joins the Crypto Party

The cryptocurrency asset witnessed massive capital influx into its market when its frontrunner bitcoin began to correct from its overbought territory. The inverse correlation signified that bitcoin investors were hedging into the ether market, a theory further validated by ETH’s 16% appreciation against bitcoin in the last 24 hours, as shown in the chart below.

ethereum price chartethereum price chart

The ethereum price rose more than 15% against bitcoin. | SOURCE: COINMARKETCAP.COM

The bitcoin price, as CCN reported, doubled during a breakneck 45-day bull run, bringing its gains for 2019 to an impressive 119.26%. The move allowed the cryptocurrency to break above several crucial resistance targets, the last being $8,000, to reclaim a nine-month high of $8,391 on Bitstamp.

The ethereum price, meanwhile, held relatively flat. The cryptocurrency failed to catalyze a massive rally like bitcoin did – at least until May 11 when it suddenly popped more than 20%. The surprise upside movement matured into a full-fledged interim bull run, and ETH ultimately soared 63.59% in just six days.

Notably, the bitcoin price corrected lower today, plunging more than 7.5% to an intraday low at $7,746. As of the time of writing, BTC/USD stood at $7,941 for a daily loss of around 2%.

Hardly Any New Money is Entering Ethereum

Ethereum’s sudden boom prompted many in the crypto media establishment to give credit the cryptocurrency’s improving fundamentals. The blockchain project received boosts from both Microsoft and JPMorgan, each of whom has interfaced with ethereum to various degrees. However, the majority of new money that entered the ETH markets came from other cryptocurrencies – not fiat.

The volume report of the past 24 hours showed that ETH/USD markets accounted for just 5.5% of all ethereum trading. Similarly, euro markets recorded just 1.13% of overall ETH volume.

More than 50% of all ethereum trading volume came from BTC and tether (USDT) markets, suggesting that traders were merely cashing in on arbitrage opportunities between bitcoin, ethereum, and various altcoins rather than bringing new money into the cryptocurrency market.

Disclosure: The author holds bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, litecoin, XLM, and BNB in his portfolio.

Shocking! Bitcoin Wins the Trade War as Chinese Investors Pile In

By CCN: Bitcoin is on a tear as the price of the flagship cryptocurrency has gone supersonic in 2019. It is widely believed that bitcoin’s remarkable rally is a result of booming institutional interest in the cryptocurrency, as investors are looking for alternative asset classes to park their funds at a time when the stock market is in turmoil and the global economy is on edge.

But it looks like institutional buying isn’t the only catalyst driving bitcoin’s price. The Chinese are reportedly piling into bitcoin, believing it to be a safe investment at a time when the yuan is taking a hit thanks to the U.S.-China trade war.

China Suddenly Loves Bitcoin

The Chinese government has a hostile approach toward bitcoin, delivering blow after blow to the cryptocurrency industry in general. From shuttering exchanges to outlawing ICOs and considering a ban on mining activities, the Chinese government has made it clear that it doesn’t love crypto.

But the Chinese people are counting on bitcoin a time when the yuan is crumbling under the pressure of the trade war.

The Chinese yuan slipped to its lowest level in the last six months earlier this week after the country announced countermeasures against Trump’s tariffs.

The yuan suffered its steepest single-day drop since last July after China announced that it will impose tariffs in the range of 5% to 25% on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. Analysts believe that the Chinese are dumping the yuan in favor of BTC.

According to David Cheetham, the chief market analyst at trading platform XTB cited in Yahoo Finance:

“Rather than investors seeking out inherently risky assets as safe havens, a more likely explanation is the recent drop in the Chinese yuan and the expectation of a further depreciation when Beijing seeks to make exports more attractive in response to the latest round of U.S. tariffs.”

Dovey Wan, who is the co-founder of crypto holding firm Primitive Ventures, has a similar view.

Traders Confirm the Chinese Are Buying Crypto

The Chinese government has stringent measures in place to prevent the dumping of yuan, limiting the yuan’s outflow to just $50,000 a year.

But bitcoin gives them a way to circumvent that limit despite a ban on cryptocurrency exchanges, with the help of over-the-counter dealers and peer-to-peer exchanges such as LocalBitcoins.

According to Philippe Bekhazi, CEO of crypto trading firm XBTO cited in Forbes:

“I’ve talked to a bunch of traders on the ground in Hong Kong. There’s a booming business in stablecoins because people are getting money out of China and Hong Kong.”

Not surprisingly, weekly bitcoin volumes on LocalBitcoins have spiked. In March, China was the fifth-largest country in terms of bitcoin volumes on the peer-to-peer platform. What’s more, a closer look indicates that Chinese bitcoin buying on LocalBitcoins has gathered pace in recent weeks.

LocalBitcoins volumes in ChinaLocalBitcoins volumes in China

Chart showing higher LocalBitcoins volumes in China in recent weeks | Source: Coin Dance

If the U.S.-China trade war takes a turn for the worse, the price of bitcoin can spike further and possibly reclaim the peak $20,000 level once again.

Dow Defies Trade Drama as Booming Jobs Data Spellbinds Wall Street

By CCN: The Dow and broader U.S. market raced deeper into recovery mode on Thursday after a pair of blue-chip companies reported better than expected quarterly earnings and fewer Americans applied for jobless benefits last week.

Dow Extends Blockbuster Rally; S&P 500, Nasdaq Follow

All of Wall Street’s benchmark indexes reported significant growth on Thursday, mirroring a strong pre-market session for Dow futures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 272 points, or 1.1%, to 25,820.11.

Dow Jones Industrial Average price chartDow Jones Industrial Average price chart

The Dow Jones Industrial Average extends its recovery on Thursday on stronger than expected corporate earnings. | Chart via Yahoo Finance.

Dow blue-chips Walmart Inc. (WMT) and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) rose sharply after the companies reported better than expected quarterly earnings.

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks gained 1.2% to 2,885.90. All 11 primary sectors recorded gains. Financials and materials were the largest percentage gainers on Thursday.

Strong performances in communication services and information technology propelled the Nasdaq Composite Index higher. The tech-driven average rose 1.3% to 7,921.89.

U.S. Labor Market Tightens

jobless claims fell amid a tightening labor marketjobless claims fell amid a tightening labor market

The U.S. labor market is on firm footing as jobless claims decline in the week ended May 11. | Source: Shutterstock

The U.S. labor market tightened much more than expected last week, further validating the Trump administration’s economic recovery.

Economists at the Labor Department said the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 212,000 in the week ended May 11. Analysts were calling for a drop to 220,000.

A strong labor market provides a source of optimism for investors concerned that the global economic slowdown will soon hit American shores. Recessionary headwinds are being kept under control despite ongoing trade tensions with China and signs of a manufacturing downturn at home.

The U.S. housing market has been bogged down in a multi-year slowdown due to rising interest rates and higher home prices. Housing starts and building permits picked up last month, which may offer the struggling market a temporary reprieve.

Starts rose 5.7% in April to a seasonally adjusted 1.235 million units, the Department of Commerce reported Thursday. Building permits, which are a proxy for future construction plans, edged up 0.6% to a 1.296 million-unit pace.

Click here for a real-time Dow Jones Industrial Average price chart.

EPA Watchdog Finds Scott Pruitt Racked Up $124,000 In ‘Excessive’ Travel Costs

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and his staff racked up nearly $124,000 in “excessive” travel costs, according to a lengthy report issued Thursday by the agency’s internal watchdog.

Investigators reviewed 40 trips that Pruitt either took or canceled over a 10-month period in 2017, which they concluded cost taxpayers just shy of $1 million. The report found $123,942 in wasteful spending on dozens of first- and business-class fights for Pruitt and his personal security detail.

“Actions need to be taken to strengthen controls over Administrator travel to help prevent the potential for fraud, waste and abuse,” the EPA’s Office of Inspector General wrote in the 84-page report.

The review concludes that 16 of Pruitt’s 40 trips as EPA chief included stops in his home town of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It also documents the EPA’s “unjustified use of non-contract air carriers” and improper approval of hotel accommodations that cost as much as 150 percent the per diem rate.

Investigators recommended the agency consider taking steps to recover the improper travel costs. 

Then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifying before a Senate subcommittee on May 16, 2018. 

Then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifying before a Senate subcommittee on May 16, 2018. 

In a statement accompanying the report, Acting EPA Inspector General Charles Sheehan called the agency’s travel program “a persistent area of concern.”

“In this most recent report, the OIG found, among other lapses, that funds were spent without sufficient justification on first- and business-class travel for former Administrator Pruitt and his staff,” he said. “If the agency’s internal controls over travel aren’t strengthened, abuses may continue to occur at great cost to EPA programs and taxpayers.”

The EPA’s press office responded to the report by emphasizing that the $123,924 figure is an estimate. It said the agency has “a longstanding delegation to allow staff to approve travel other than coach-class.” The agency added it “believes that the trips were authorized by an appropriate official, making cost recovery inappropriate.”

Several Democratic lawmakers were quick to slam the former EPA leader. 

“The American people already knew that Scott Pruitt’s tenure was a disgrace, and now they have even more evidence ― six figures worth of it,” Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said in a statement. “Mr. Pruitt’s lavish tastes, and his use of taxpayer money to finance them, have become a punchline. But this isn’t a joke, and the Trump administration should take it seriously and take responsibility.”

Pruitt resigned in July 2018 under a cloud of ethics scandals. He faced at least 18 federal investigations. 

Senate Confirms Judge Who Said Planned Parenthood ‘Kills Over 150,000 Females A Year’

WASHINGTON ― The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Wendy Vitter to be a lifetime federal judge, despite outcry from Democrats over her extreme anti-abortion views.

The Senate voted 52 to 45 to give Vitter, 58, a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Every Republican but one, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), voted for her. Every Democrat present voted against her. 

Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), all currently running for president, did not vote. (The full vote tally is here.)

Vitter, who is general counsel to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans and the wife of former Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), drew fierce opposition from Democrats because she is a vocal opponent of abortion rights.

“Planned Parenthood says they promote women’s health,” Vitter said in a 2013 speech in protest of a new Planned Parenthood clinic in New Orleans. “It is the saddest of ironies that they kill over 150,000 females a year. The first step in promoting women’s health is to let them live.”

During her Senate confirmation hearing in April 2018, Vitter repeatedly avoided saying whether she still agrees with that speech. She also didn’t disclose this speech to senators in her background materials submitted ahead of her hearing, which is a no-no.

Wendy Vitter equated abortion with murder, falsely suggested a link between abortion and cancer, and endorsed distributing ma

Wendy Vitter equated abortion with murder, falsely suggested a link between abortion and cancer, and endorsed distributing materials in doctors’ offices saying birth control leads to violent death. Republicans just made her a lifetime federal judge.

Another detail Vitter didn’t disclose to the committee: that she had moderated a panel at a 2013 anti-abortion conference peddling misinformation about false links between abortion and cancer. She also urged audience members to tell their doctors to put brochures in their waiting rooms that would falsely claim birth control leads to “violent death.” Vice News uncovered these missing materials ahead of Vitter’s confirmation hearing, and they were turned over to the committee.

“All I’m looking for are judges that are fair and impartial,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told Vitter in her hearing. “They need to exhibit judgment, not to mention common sense. Ms. Vitter’s public endorsement of these obvious falsehoods … and her urging of the audience to distribute materials containing such obvious lies shows she lacks the judgment for a lifetime appointment.”

Vitter has also taken heat for not saying whether she agreed with the landmark civil rights case that desegregated U.S. public schools, Brown v. Board of Education.

Ms. Vitter’s public endorsement of these obvious falsehoods … and her urging of the audience to distribute materials containing such obvious lies shows she lacks the judgment for a lifetime appointment.
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)

Vitter is the second of President Donald Trump’s controversial judicial nominees to get confirmed this week. The Senate confirmed Kenneth Lee, 43, on Wednesday to a lifetime seat on U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Republicans confirmed Lee over the objections of both of his home-state senators and despite his previous offensive writings on sexism, AIDS, LGBTQ rights, slavery and Native Americans.

Trump is racking up judicial confirmations at a breakneck pace. To date, Republicans have confirmed two of his Supreme Court justices, 65 of his district court judges and 40 of his appeals court judges ― more than any president has gotten through by this point in his first term.

Crypto Bears Cave: 3 Altcoins with Bullish Potential Like Parabolic Bitcoin

By CCN: It has been almost a year and a half since bears took over crypto markets. Bitcoin took a massive beating as it shed 84% of its value. Other large-cap coins shared more brutal fates. Ethereum, Litecoin, and EOS were all devalued by more than 90%. Last year was full of trials and tribulations for retail investors. Thankfully, the ordeal is finally over.

With bitcoin’s unbelievable run over the last few days, altcoins such as Ethereum, Litecoin, and EOS have responded with massive technical breakouts. This prompted us to declare that the crypto winter of 2018 is now behind us.

Ethereum Breakout Accurately Mirrors Bitcoin’s Price Action Before the Parabolic Run

Before bitcoin ignited its current parabolic run, it first painted a large ascending triangle pattern on the daily chart. It took the market five months before it broke out of the pattern. When it did, the coin’s value skyrocketed by almost 95% in a month and a half. The breakout marked bitcoin’s technical reversal.

BTCUSD chartBTCUSD chart

The technical reversal from an ascending triangle prompted a monster bitcoin run | Source: TradingView

Surprisingly, Ethereum is closely following in bitcoin’s footsteps. It also spent around five months printing a large ascending triangle on the daily chart. Now that it broke out of the pattern, it appears to be launching its own parabolic run.

ETH ChartETH Chart

Ethereum appears to be in the same parabolic trajectory as bitcoin | Source: TradingView

Only time will tell if Ethereum will also go parabolic, but one thing’s for sure: it is no longer in bear territory.

Litecoin and EOS Unmistakeably Showing Similar Bullish Structures

Other large caps are following bitcoin’s leadership. Litecoin and EOS have printed the exact same reversal pattern on the longer time frame. Even more impressive, both altcoins have breached the neckline of the reversal structure to indicate the end of the downtrend on the macro perspective.

LTC ChartLTC Chart

Litecoin’s inverse head and shoulders breakout on the weekly chart | Source: TradingView

In the above chart, you will see that Litecoin is breaking out from a massive inverse head and shoulders pattern which has a 90% success rate. It took the market 11 months to generate this structure. That’s a lot of time to build a base in crypto. This reminds us of the phrase, “the longer the base, the higher the space.”

Another market that’s escaping bear country is EOS. Like Litecoin, it also broke out from a large inverse head and shoulders pattern on the weekly chart. The structure took nine months to build. The base-building time horizon may be a couple of months short compared to Litecoin’s, but it is still a considerable amount of time. It actually might just be enough to serve as the foundation of the next bull run.

EOS ChartEOS Chart

EOS breaking out from nine-month-long accumulation | Source: TradingView

With these technical breakouts, we are convinced that the crypto winter of 2018 is finally over. As large-cap altcoins show strength, mid- and low-cap coins are likely to follow suit just like in the last bull run. Sure, there may be dips and corrections, but it is highly doubtful that we generate new lows anytime soon.