Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures down 0.5% to 7,012.00
  • Dow Average down 1.0% to 31,834.11
  • Aussie little changed at 0.6940 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield fell 6.7bps to 2.9226%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 5bps to 2.95%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 6bps to 3.51%
  • Gold spot up 0.8% to $1,852.30
  • Brent futures up 5.0% to $107.55/bbl

Economic Events

  • 10:30am: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1.5 Billion 70-Day Bills
  • 11am: (AU) May Consumer Inflation Expectation, prior 5.2%

Stocks slid as data signaled US inflation will remain high for quite some time, adding to worries the Federal Reserve may unleash further tightening measures that could tip the economy into a recession.

Remarks from Fed Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic didn’t help sentiment either as the official said he’s open to “moving more” on rates if inflation persists at elevated levels. The S&P 500 erased gains and dropped to its lowest since March 2021. The Treasury curve flattened, with the gap between two- and 10-year yields narrowing.

Traders seem to agree that a 75 basis-point hike isn’t likely, according to pricing in federal-fund futures markets. But they did increase bets that the Fed will roll out another half-point hike in September — following increases of that size in June and July. The US central bank lifted rates by a half-point last week and Fed Chair Jerome Powellsignaled that similar increases are on the table for the next two meetings, while pushing back against making a larger move.

While annual measures of consumer prices cooled slightly from March — signaling a peak that economists expected — the details of a report Wednesday painted a more troubling picture as monthly figures advanced more than forecast. Services costs accelerated while inflation for most goods remained stubbornly high, underscoring the persistence and breadth of price pressures.

Other News

A House subcommittee will hold its first hearing open to the public on UFOs in more than 50 years next week, with two top intelligence officials set to testify.

On May 17 at 10 a.m., the House Intelligence Committee’s Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee will delve into details on reports of ‘unidentified aerial phenomena.’ Such high-level conversations have for the past half century been reserved for closed-door meetings among high-ranking military officials.

‘The American people expect and deserve their leaders in government and intelligence to seriously evaluate and respond to any potential national security risks — especially those we do not fully understand,’ the panel chair, Rep. André Carson, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ronald Moultrie, the Pentagon’s top intelligence official, and Scott Bray, the deputy director of naval intelligence, will testify before the panel.

Last June, Congress requested a report on ‘unidentified aerial phenomena,’ and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) offered a preliminary assessment focusing on 144 incidents dating back to 2004. DNI was only able to explain one.

The report said data was ‘largely inconclusive’ but most of the incidents definitely involved ‘physical objects.’  Many of the sightings were reported by military pilots.

In 18 of the incidents, spotters ‘reported unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics.’

‘Some UAP appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernible means of propulsion,’ the report said. ‘In a small number of cases, military aircraft systems processed radio frequency energy associated with UAP sightings.’

After the woefully insufficient report, the Pentagon created a new office to study such incidents – the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG).

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said the purpose of next week’s hearing was to shed light on ‘one of the great mysteries of our time and to break the cycle of excessive secrecy and speculation with truth and transparency.’

The last time Congress had such a hearing was in 1970, when the Air Force closed down Project Blue Book, a public investigation into UFOs spearheaded by then-House Republican minority leader Gerald Ford.

In 2017, Lue Elizondo, a senior staffer at the Pentagon, rose to fame after he helped leak to the New York Times extraordinary videos from US fighter jets of tic tac-shaped UFOs moving with incredible speed and agility near aircraft carriers off the East and West coasts in 2004 and 2015.

Elizondo ran a secret government UFO monitoring program in Reid’s department until 2017, but left the $22million government program after what he has termed excessive secrecy and internal opposition to the project.

Elizondo, a former UFO secret program chief in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (OUSD), has said he quit the Pentagon and helped leak the ‘tic tac’ videos because his military bosses refused to acknowledge his severe security concerns over these powerful ‘craft’ violating US airspace.

Elizondo said last June when the report detailing 144 incidents was released to Congress that it was just the tip of the iceberg, that it was important to consider all possibilities, including extraterrestrial or trans-dimensional origin.

‘This is something that could involve outer space, interspace, or the space in between, and that’s why we’ve always said keep all options on the table,’ he said on Fox News last June.

‘The more we learn about this remarkable universe we live in, the more we realize our current understanding of the construct of the cosmos is constantly changing and evolving with new information and new knowledge that we get,’ added Elizondo.

‘People jump to speculation that it’s from the Pleiades or something like that, when in fact one of the hypothesis when I was in AATIP was this could be as natural to Earth as we are, but we are just at a point where technologically we aren’t advanced enough we can collect information on it and begin to try to figure out what it is,’ he said.

‘There’s been another hypothesis that these things are possibly from underwater and as outlandish as it may seem, there is some anecdotal evidence that supports all of these observations, so what we want to do is try to get as much data on the table as we can before we start eliminating,’ said Elizondo.

(Daily Mail)