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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Balance With OPEC Shifted To Surplus, Beige Book Shows Expansion, and Insider Trading Schemes

  • The U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced that the goods and services deficit was down almost $10 billion, from $50.6 billion in March. April exports were ~$190 billion, or ~$2 billion more than March. Imports were $7.8 billion less than March. The report also showed a deficit increase of $6.4 billion to 89.1 billion with China. Additionally, and perhaps most salient, the "balance with OPEC countries shifted from a deficit of $1.5 billion to a surplus of $6.2 billion." 
  • The Beige Book was released. The report, which is consolidation of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts, says economic activity expanded from early April to late May. The pace of growth increased in all areas except Dallas and Atlanta. This is just the kind of data Yellen would need to see prior to the June meeting in order to commit to a rate hike.
  • The SEC announced charges against day trader Steven Fishoff, his brother-in-law Steven Costantin, his friend and neighbor Ronald Chernin, and his friend Paul Petrello, also a former day trader who resides in Florida. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey also filed criminal charges against the foursome. The SEC alleges that the four were engaged in a $4.4 million insider trader scheme which involved at least 15 stocks. Evidently, the group posed as portfolio managers in order to get information out of investment bankers with insider information in exchange for business. Ballsy.