Pentagon Strengthens Cyber Command, Oil Rallies After Strong Employment Figures
August 08, 2016
Obama administration is preparing to elevate the stature of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command; Senate Democrats call to cancel recess to push through funding to deal with the Zika virus; Fed reported the first increase of 2016 of the Labor Conditions Market Index (LCMI) in July; Oil rallied 2.9% in New York after OPEC’s president predicted that the current bear would be short-lived and that strong U.S. employment would drive demand for riskier assets.
- The Obama administration is preparing to elevate the stature of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, signaling more emphasis on developing cyber weapons to deter cyber attacks. Under the plan being considered at the White House, the U.S. Cyber Command would become known as a “unified command” equal to combat branches of the military such as the Central and Pacific Commands. The unit would be separated from the National Security Agency, which would give Cyber Command leader a larger voice in arguing for the use of both offensive and defensive cyber tools in future conflicts. Both organizations would be based at Fort Meade, MD, however, and would be led by the same officer, Navy Adm. Michael Rogers. The Cyber Command was launched in 2010 and is now subordinate to the U.S. Strategic Command.[Reuters]
- Senate Democrats call to cancel recess to push through funding to deal with the Zika virus. More than 40 Senate Democrats sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan in an effort to reconvene the chambers to combat Zika, after Democratic legislators previously blocked a bill that would appropriate $1.1bn to deal with the virus due to objection over language in the measure that would have defunded certain components of Planned Parenthood. The Zika crisis grew more urgent last week, however, when the government confirmed the first case of the virus in the continental U.S. that was transmitted locally in Florida. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has also urged Congress to reconvene to deal with Zika in his home state. Senate Democrats call Republicans’ partisan maneuvering in public health crisis is “unacceptable.”[Politico]
Economic Indicators & News
- In its July reading of the Labor Conditions Market Index (LCMI), the Fed reported the metric’s first increase during 2016. The LCMI was up one-point to 1.0, much higher than June’s revised reading of minus-0.1, as non-farm payrolls have risen a more-than-solid 255,000 and 292,000 over the past two months. The LCMI reading remains muted after significant contraction in 1Q16, indicating stabilizing employment after a period of significant volatility. The index is a broad aggregator of 19 separate labor market indicators used by policymakers to gauge economic health.[MarketWatch]
- Oil rallied 2.9% in New York after OPEC’s president predicted that the current bear would be short-lived and stronger-than-anticipated U.S. employment would drive demand for riskier assets.10-year Treasury yield fluctuated near a six-week high as equities in emerging markets climbed on optimism that central bank stimulus and a strengthening American economy will sustain growth and demand for natural resources. Crude futures advanced to $43.02 a barrel after tumbling in the prior week while copper and other industrial metals advanced on signs of global resilience. The British pound extended losses with plans for Bank of England to engage in quantitative easing and Japan’s yen moved lower on speculative investing.[Bloomberg]