|Dow||-5.43 to 17,875.42|
|S&P 500||-4.29 to 2,076.33|
|Nasdaq||-7.09 to 4,910.23|
|10-YR Yield||-.011 to 1.893%|
|Gold||-$8.50 to $1,210.10|
|Crude Oil||+$1.65 to $53.79|
Ted Cruz got the ball rolling. Now Rand Paul is throwing his hat in the ring!
The Kentucky senator officially announced his Republican candidacy in Louisville earlier today. Originally more of a fringe candidate appealing mostly to the Tea Party wing, he is aiming to be more electable in the 2016 race.
Paul’s platform is more libertarian than other candidates. He rails against excessive government spending, warns about over-involvement in foreign affairs and conflicts, and condemns federal intrusion in personal affairs.
|Rand Paul’s platform is more libertarian than other candidates.|
Critics say he too closely resembles his father, Ron Paul. He proved unable in the past to attract a wide enough legion of voters in past runs at the White House.
But Rand Paul plans to blitz several important states in coming days, including New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, and Nevada. The goal: Make the case he can pull together a broader coalition of backers, including youth voters and minorities who have traditionally leaned Democratic.
Regardless of whether you think Paul will be our next president, one thing is certain: The Republican field is getting more and more crowded every day. Additional candidates are likely to declare in the next few weeks, and that means the campaign season will be in full swing before you know it!
So where do you stand on Rand Paul? Do you like his ideas? Or think he isn’t ready for prime time? Is he a better candidate than Cruz? Bush? And what about potential Democratic opponents like Hillary Clinton? Share your thoughts at the Money and Markets website when you have a minute!
|Our Readers Speak|
Did Iran get the better of us in this latest round of negotiations? Are we going to keep losing the global currency war? You weighed in on both of those debates online in the last 24 hours.
Reader Gary B. said there could be a lot more going on behind the scenes than we know when it comes to the nuclear compact. His view:
“Any chance this Iranian nuke deal is just ‘window dressing’ for U.S. concessions to be conceded to Iran ‘off the record’? Especially since the Saudis are intentionally disengaging the U.S. as their most preferred customer and seeking other allies worldwide? Whereas Iran has hundreds of billions of barrels of proven oil reserves which they desperately need to sell at a much higher price than the current price offered?
“The next major conflict: The world of Islam against the other world of Islam … and oil becomes very scarce.”
Reader Donald L. added that we botched the process entirely, saying: “I can say with certainty that U.S. negotiators broke every rule in the book dealing with the Iranian nuclear problem. Space does not permit commenting in detail, but I will note the Iranians probably regard the effort as the best deal since the Dutch bought Manhattan. Unfortunately, we are the Indians and will have to live with it.”
Finally, Reader Chuck B. noted the crazy patchwork of policies we are pursuing in the Middle East. He said: “The U.S. supports Iran, Assad and the Shias against ISIS, and it’s Sunnis in Syria and Iraq; and supports Saudi Arabia and the Sunnis against Iran and the Shias in Yemen.
“Result: No sensible Middle Easterner (and by extension, no one in the world) can trust the Obama administration to do anything but what it deems politically most advantageous anywhere. That of course includes here in the U.S. The Republican wannabes seem cut from the same cloth.”
|“The history of past non-proliferation deals with longtime enemies is one of repeated failure.”|
Thanks for the comments! I sure am having a hard time making sense of our Middle Eastern policy as well. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to compare Secretary of State John Kerry to Neville Chamberlain, I don’t think this deal (as currently structured) means “peace for our time” with Iran. After all, the history of past non-proliferation deals with longtime enemies (think North Korea) is one of repeated failure.
As for the greenback, Reader Howard said he thinks the Fed will ultimately have to follow up with action (rather than talk) if it wants the dollar lower. His view:
“The Fed continues to cause damage with this strategy of wording when they don’t have a credible answer. The U.S. dollar is being bid up by speculation of a rate increase when this would only cause a meltdown. Dollar futures have priced in a rate increase, which is damaging our exports. I believe the only choice they have to lower the dollar is to print more. We will see what happens though.”
Any ground we didn’t cover well enough for you? Want to add your own thoughts on Iran, the dollar, or something else you saw on the website? Here’s the link for you!
|Other Developments of the Day|
Shipping firm FedEx (FDX, Weiss Ratings: A) said it would buy TNT Express NV (TNTEY) of the Netherlands for $4.8 billion. The price represented a 33 percent premium to where TNT was trading before the news hit the tape. FedEx said the stronger dollar, and TNT’s attractive ground operations in Europe, made the deal attractive – and it sent FedEx shares almost 3 percent higher on the day.
Speaking of M&A, data management firm Informatica (INFA, Weiss Ratings: B) is going private in a transaction funded by Permira Advisers LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Total cost: $5.3 billion. A deal had been rumored for a while, in part because of pressure from activist hedge fund Elliot Management.
Israel continued its full-court press against the U.S.-led nuclear deal with Iran, listing specific objections to the preliminary agreement reached in Switzerland. Israel wants much tighter limits on uranium enrichment and storage, amid other things. But the Obama administration maintains that pushing for extra concessions would cause Iran to back out of the current deal.
Duke University snagged its fifth national title in men’s college basketball last night. Duke beat Wisconsin 68-63, bringing the 2015 March Madness tournament to a close.
As always, your comments on these or other stories out there is welcomed at the website!
Until next time,