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A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web

The International Energy Agency published a comprehensive report on global crude fundamentals which formed a Rorschach test where both bull and bears can support their positions. Bulls will point to falling global oil stockpiles and bears will emphasize low compliance with OPEC production cut targets,

"IEA Cuts Estimates for Crude Needed From OPEC in 2017, 2018" – Bloomberg

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"Oil stockpiles falling as supply cuts take hold, says IEA" – Financial Times

"Oil drops 1 percent as IEA sees slow market rebalancing" – Reuters

"@georgikantchev OPEC compliance to the oil output deal fell to new low of 75% in July: @IEA #oott" – (chart) Twitter

"@MauroIppolito #IEA says OECD stocks fell in June by 19.3 mln barrels to 3.021 billion on strong refinery runs and #oil product exports #OOTT " – Twitter

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An S&P study concludes that the performance of active U.S. fund managers is even worse than we thought once adjustments are made for merged and closed fund portfolios,

"One-year returns vary, but the performance is more consistent once you compare funds to the benchmarks over the course of 10 or 15 years. Less than 8% of all large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap equity funds outperform over the course of 15 years. When you look at all domestic funds — including the comparatively better-performing value funds and real estate funds — against the S&P 1500 index, the vast majority (82%) still underperform over the long haul."

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"This chart will give stockpickers everywhere nightmares" – Business Insider

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Hedge fund superhero Ray Dalio is recommending that investors buy gold to hedge rising market risks,

"Gold advanced to the highest in two months as the spike in tensions between the U.S. and North Korea fanned demand, with hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio flagging rising risks, including "two confrontational, nationalistic, and militaristic leaders playing chicken with each other." .. Dalio recommends investors consider placing 5 percent to 10 percent of their assets in gold as a hedge against political and economic risks."

"Gold Buoyed as Hedge Fund Titan Sees Leaders `Playing Chicken'" – Bloomberg

"RAY DALIO: Risks are rising, and everybody should put 5% to 10% of their assets in gold" – Business Insider

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"Jeff Gundlach buys S&P 500 puts, eyeing gold" – (July 27) CNBC

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Two reports detail the speed bumps on the road to electric vehicle ubiquity,

"Why Electric Cars Aren't Taking Over Yet" – Bloomberg (video)

"Electric vehicle realities" – Kaminska, FT Alphaville

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Tweet of the Day: @SBarlow_ROB NBF: "Canada: HELOCs fuel the surge in consumer credit" – (chart) Twitter

Diversion: "The Russian spies who raised us: The Vavilov brothers were born in Canada to deep-cover Soviet agents, so Ottawa stripped them of their citizenship. Inside their fight to finally come home." – Macleans

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