Here is a look at what traders are watching as we kickoff trading in the second quarter of 2017.

From Art Cashin:  On this day in 1954, a somewhat strange and rather ironic meeting took place. The Secretary of State stood up to address a secret but bi-partisan meeting of eight key leaders of Congress. The Secretary of State was John Foster Dulles and the President was, of course, Dwight Eisenhower. 

Dulles told the congressmen that France was on the verge of losing its war with communist guerrillas in Indochina. Dulles laid out a proposal for a quick military strike that would help the French; change the war and bottle up communism. The legislators saw both the logic and opportunity. But would we go it alone? Would we aid the French without UN approval or a flood of allies? 

The Senate Minority Leader, a Democrat, said he would not come along without a UN resolution or a cluster of allies. For weeks, Dulles tried secretly for a UN resolution or allies to aid the French with a quick decisive military move. 

Despite these efforts, neither France nor Dulles could persuade the UN (Russian veto, you know) nor mount a coalition. The Senate Minority Leader opted out. No military move occurred. 

Ten years later, that Senate Leader, Lyndon Baines Johnson had become the President. He poured hundreds of thousands of troops and munitions into Indochina – now called Vietnam, in a vain attempt to regain an initiative once lost. 

History is filled with ironies. There’s no sense crying over spilt wine. 

The markets spilled neither wine nor blood Friday. They mostly meandered throughout the day in mild negative territory as stocks closed the first quarter with a whimper. 

Agenda Rethink And Late Sellers Lead To Mild Negative Close – The Dow opened lower as concern about delays in moving the Trump agenda continued to bother traders. That was confirmed by weakness in the financials who had hoped to benefit from regulatory relief. 

Another point of weakness was in the auto dealers and other auto related areas. The albatross here was continuing concern about growing delinquencies in the auto loan area. Falling used car prices were also a factor. 

Small caps rose and multi-nationals saw some selling after Secretary Wilbur Ross said we are already in a decade long trade war and are just now coming to the ramparts. 

We had noted in the Comments there was a lot of speculation that the end of quarter would see broad selling as funds paired back stocks that had risen a bit disproportionately in the quarter. 

That concern gained validity when the first look at the market on close imbalances (circa 2:00) showed nearly a billion dollars to sell on the bell. Bids canceled and prices dropped smartly. 

The Dow recouped a bit as the sell imbalances grew smaller. Then, late in the session, the sell indications began to grow again and the Dow fell smartly and sharply to close at the lows of the day. 

It was all done on relatively low volume and advances actually beat declines nearly 3 to 1. 

Overnight And Overseas – In Asia, markets generally bounced as the new quarter began somewhat confused by the China holiday. 

In Europe, things were more mixed. London was up a shade on Brexit buzz while markets on the continent were mixed to a touch lower. 

Crude remains above $50 and is up a few pennies. Gold is off a bit. The euro is flat while yields are off a tick or two. 

Consensus – Various China related markets closed today or tomorrow for respect for Ancestors Day. All eyes on Washington this week to see if the gang can shoot straight on an item or two. Stay wary, alert and very, very nimble.

***The KWN audio interview with Andrew Maguire has now been released and you can listen to it by CLICKING HERE OR ON THE IMAGE BELOW.

***ALSO JUST RELEASED: Greyerz – London’s Terrifying $64 Trillion Rabbit Hole In A World Headed For Total Collapse CLICK HERE.

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