As many of you know, I do not normally respond to or discuss daily news bits because in most cases it's just noise unless you are a day trader. And if that's the case, my advice to you is to take your money to Vegas instead, as your odds will be better and you will have a much better time.
However, because I recently released a rather lengthy market update to Intelligent Investor and Market Forecaster subscribers that was somewhat contingent on developing events, I wanted to provide an update to the situation in the Middle East so that subscribers can factor these developments into the rough scenario analysis discussed in this report. For whatever it is worth, I have not altered my position published in this recent report.
Libya –there doesn’t seem to have been a ton of developments overnight. Most of the country is now under the control of rebels, but Gadhafi’s most experienced troops are massed in Tripoli to defend the capital (Misrata, Libya’s 3rd largest city, fell on Thurs). Rebel forces are en route to Tripoli in what could wind up being a final showdown for the Gadahi government. There is some fear that Gadhafi could use weapons of mass destruction on his own people, inc. chemical ones. There was speculation late in trading on Thurs that Gadahafi had been shot, although it doesn’t look like that story was true. Rebels believe the Libyan leader is traveling throughout the country and in hiding.
Libya - Kadhaf al-Dam, a close aide and cousin of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, has resigned from "all his official functions."
Libya - Libyan Prosecutor General Abdul-Rahman al-Abbar said on Friday he had resigned and joined the opposition.
Libya – sanctions considered; UN Sec Council meeting on Fri; EU Prepares For Possible Libya No-fly Zone; Italy Prepares 'Military Operation' To Rescue Italians In Libya. France and the U.K. will submit a proposal for an arms embargo and other measures to the UN Security Council today.
Bahrain - Bahraini yields, CDS fall on political dialogue hopes - Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said on Thursday a national dialogue would include "all walks of people", including a hardline Bahraini opposition figure who has been pardoned.
Yemen – the government stepped up security ahead of a planned rally; opposition and pro-government groups will participate in the Fri rally.
Iraq – a “day of rage” protest has been planned for Fri in Baghdad and other cities around the country.
Saudi Arabia – the Saudi government’s $35B “royal gift” to the country on Wed has failed to placate activists. Investors are still wary ahead of Mar 11, when protests are planned in Saudi Arabia.
Afghanistan – US forces have started to withdraw from Pech Valley, an area that was fought hard over these past few years and which had been considered strategically important. “Afghan officials worry that the shift of troops amounts to an abandonment of territory where multiple insurgent groups are well established”.
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