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Asset Markets Are Tanking

Posted on September 20, 2021

Stock futures dip after Dow notches three straight losing weeks for first time in 2021

U.S. stock futures dipped in overnight trading Sunday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average turned in three straight weeks of losses for the first time since September 2020.

Futures on the Dow shed 114 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 futures fell 0.3% and Nasdaq 100 futures ticked 0.2% lower.

Stocks have struggled in September, a seasonally weak month for the market.

The Dow closed Friday's regular session 166.44 points, or 0.5%, lower at 34,584.88. The S&P 500 shed 0.9% to 4,432.99 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.9% to close at 15,043.97.

The S&P 500 saw its biggest trading volume Friday since July 19, more than doubling its 30-day average volume. Friday coincided with the expiration of stock options, index options, stock futures and index futures — a quarterly event known as “quadruple witching.”

All three major averages are negative for the month, but still sit less than 3% below their all-time highs.

The Federal Reserve's highly anticipated September meeting is set to occur this week. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold a press conference Wednesday at the conclusion of the two-day meeting. Investors are awaiting insights about the Fed's tapering of its easy monetary policy.

CNBC

China Property Fear Spreads Beyond Evergrande, Roiling Markets

Is this the correction we've all been anticipating (since like 2016)?


Covid-19 vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds is safe and shows ‘robust' antibody response, Pfizer says

In a highly anticipated announcement, Pfizer said on Monday a Phase 2/3 trial showed its Covid-19 vaccine was safe and generated a “robust” antibody response in children ages 5 to 11.

These are the first such results released for this age group for a US Covid-19 vaccine, and the data has not yet been peer-reviewed or published. Pfizer said it plans to submit to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization soon.

The trial included 2,268 participants ages 5 to 11 and used a two-dose regimen of the vaccine administered 21 days apart. This trial used a 10-microgram dose — smaller than the 30-microgram dose that has been used for those 12 and older.

“The 10 microgram dose was carefully selected as the preferred dose for safety, tolerability and immunogenicity in children 5 to 11 years of age,” Pfizer said.

Participants' immune responses were measured by looking at neutralizing antibody levels in their blood and comparing those levels to a control group of 16- to 25-year-olds who were given a two-dose regimen with the larger 30-microgram dose. Pfizer said the levels compared well with older people who received the larger dose, demonstrating a “strong immune response in this cohort of children one month after the second dose.”

“Further, the COVID-19 vaccine was well tolerated, with side effects generally comparable to those observed in participants 16 to 25 years of age,” the company said.

A Pfizer spokesperson also confirmed that were no instances of myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation that has been linked with mRNA vaccines.

Pfizer said these data will be included in a “near-term submission” for EUA and the companies will continue to accumulate the data needed to file for FDA approval for people ages 5 to 11.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is currently approved for people age 16 and older, and authorized for use in people ages 12 to 15.

CNN

Hurry up already.


Only 3% of prehistoric humans mated with their cousins — it’s 10% today!

LEIPZIG, Germany — Inbreeding is practice people often link to the distance past and prehistoric humans. However, a new genetic study finds only three percent of prehistoric people were the offspring of cousins. For comparison, researchers say that number is actually ten percent today.

The findings come from a genomic analysis of 1,785 individuals who lived over the last 45,000 years. Sex between cousins or second cousins has become over three times more common, according to an international team working on the project.

“Parental relatedness of present-day humans varies substantially across the globe, but little is known about the past,” writes lead author Dr. Harald Ringbauer of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and his team in the journal Nature Communications.

Where did prehistoric humans mate with their cousins?

Previous studies have pointed to modern humans being the descendants of “extreme inbreeding” between close relatives over the years. However, the German team found our ancient ancestors rarely chose their cousins as mates.

Only 54 individuals from the sample showed typical signs of their parents being cousins. Dr. Ringbauer says the results are “surprising.”

Moreover, there were no clusters of cousins mating, indicating that these incidents were sporadic events. Notably, even for hunter-gatherers who lived more than 10,000 years ago, unions between cousins appear to have been the exception.

Study Finds

If anything points to “We're DOOMED,” it's this.


Former Joint Chiefs chair: Nothing unusual about Milley’s contacts with China

“Having communications with counterparts around the world is routine,” Michael Mullen said.

Michael Mullen, former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Sunday said there was nothing abnormal about the reported conversations between Gen. Mark Milley and his counterparts in China.

According to authors Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Milley reached out to China in the waning days of the Trump administration, attempting to reduce tensions by assuring China that no American attack was imminent — and asking that China shouldn’t do anything without consulting the U.S. military leadership.

“I didn’t consider that abnormal at all,” Mullen told host Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week.“

“Having communications with counterparts around the world is routine,” said Mullen, who was chair of the joint chiefs from 2007 to 2011.

Mullen said what he found most “worrisome“ about the reports involving Milley, which come from a new book by Woodward and Costa called “Peril,” was that China interpreted the situation in American politics to suggest that an attack was possible.

“It speaks to the need to have these open communications so that we don't miscalculate,” Milley said.

Mullen also said that it appeared that Milley was in a difficult situation all around during the waning days of President Donald Trump’s presidency, given the descriptions of instability and domestic chaos at the time in Washington.

“I don't know the specifics of it per se,“ Mullen said, “but certainly that kind of situation as it's depicted, would make it that much more difficult, and you're on this line between the Constitution and serving the president, and I sense he was there quite a bit.”

He added about Milley: “I know him well enough to know he would really try to do the best thing for our country and I think he did that.“

Politico

Prediction: Milley will resign.

And Trump will run for POTUS in 2024.


France’s Macron to talk to Biden amid crisis over submarines

PARIS (AP) — President Emmanuel Macron will speak in the coming days with President Joe Biden in what will be their first contact since a major diplomatic crisis erupted between France and the United States over a submarine deal with Australia, an official said Sunday.

The phone call is at the request of Biden, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said, adding that there was “shock” and “anger” at first. But now it’s time to try to move forward, he said.

What the French now call a “grave crisis” erupted over the sudden, surprise end to a 2016 contract worth at least $66 billion between France and Australia to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines. Instead, Australia signed on with the United States and Britain for eight nuclear powered submarines. France insists it was not informed of the deal in advance.

France recalled its ambassadors from the United States and Australia in a sign of the seriousness of the crisis.

“What’s at play in this affair, this crisis … are strategic issues before being commercial issues,” Attal said in an interview on BFMTV. “The question is … the forces present, the balance, in the Indo-Pacific where part of our future is at play, and our relations with China.”

The deal by the United States reflects the American pivot toward the Indo-Pacific region, seen as increasingly strategic as China bolsters its influence there.

France feels the deal steps on its feet in a region where it has long had a strong presence that it, too, is working to bolster, in addition to a five-year contract with Australia.

“France is a country of the Indo-Pacific,” Attal said, noting the French territory of New Caledonia, the French citizens living in the region and military forces based there.

AP

What? The US gave Australia a better deal and the onus was on Australia to tell France “no deal.”

Why is this an issue? Did we hurt France's feelings? Maybe they'll thank us when we bail their asses out again?


Gabby Petito's remains believed to be found, while search for her missing fiancé shifts focus

Police found human remains believed to be missing woman Gabby Petito on Sunday in Wyoming, a tragic discovery that could nonetheless help answer questions about what happened to the 22-year-old.

Now, the case turns to the search for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who returned home to Florida without her earlier this month, declined to talk to investigators and then went missing last week. The search for him had centered on a nature reserve near his home, but North Port Police said Monday the search has shifted in focus.

“At this time, we currently believe we have exhausted all avenues in searching the grounds there,” North Port Police spokesperson Josh Taylor said Monday.

Petito and Laundrie had been road-tripping in a white van through the American West this summer, all while regularly posting photos and stories to their social media pages with the hashtag #vanlife.

Those posts abruptly stopped in late August, though. Laundrie returned to his home in North Port, Florida, with their van but without Petito on September 1, according to police. Petito's family reported her missing on September 11.

CNN

I haven't been following this story much, but why did it take 11 days for her family to report her missing (after her boyfriend returned home)? Did they not know he came back without her?

I don't know. But it's pretty clear he's Suspect #1.

This story saddens the hell out of me.


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