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What We Read Today 19 December 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

The Troll Hunters (Adrian Chen, MIT Technology Review)  Hate is having a sort of renaissance online, even in the countries thought to be beyond it.  This article reports on a group of vigilantes doing investigative research "to expose racists, creeps, and hypocrites".   The author asks:  "Have they gone too far?"


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Econintersect News Briefs:

Trucking Tonnage Index Surges in November 2014

Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) trucking index increased 3.5% in November following an increase of 0.5% for October. From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello:

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How the Shrinking of the Labor Force Might Impact Your Community

by Andrew A. Pack - Bridges, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

One trend that will continue to affect the future of economic and workforce development in the United States at a local, state and national level in the coming years is the status—continued decline or possible increase—of the labor force participation rate. This rate impacts the vitality of local and state economies and has many national implications as it continues to fluctuate. Many experts debate the future of this rate. As baby boomers retire, many expect the rate to continue to decline. But with the likelihood of better economic times and improved job prospects ahead, more people may re-enter the labor force.

Pack image

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Fuel Economy Standards Have Increased the Rate of Technology Adoption

from the Chicago Fed

Many countries are tightening passenger vehicle fuel economy standards. The literature on passenger vehicle standards has used structural models to estimate their welfare effects. There is now empirical evidence on the effects of recently tightened fuel economy standards on technology adoption. Specifically, changes in the rate and direction of technology adoption, that is, the extent to which technology is used to increase fuel economy at the expense of other vehicle attributes. It was found that recent U.S. and European standards have both increased the rate of technology adoption and affected the direction of technology adoption.

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Historical Echoes: Santa Claus as Legal Tender

by Megan Cohen - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

From 1793 until 1861, when the U. S. Treasury Department was given exclusive rights to produce legal tender, thousands of different styles of bank notes were created by U.S. banks. The banks all based their currencies on standardized units, but in most every other way the notes differed wildly - colorful versus monochromatic, and graphics ranging from stock images to almost any concept one could imagine.

Blog_santa-bill_450x184b

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Bank Owners and Managers Have Mixed Incentives to Hold Capital

from the Kansas City Fed

Banks finance their loans and other assets with a mix of deposits, debt, and equity capital. Maintaining adequate capital is important for banks because it absorbs losses and protects them from failure. Capital also protects the financial system and overall economy from the costs that can arise from bank failures. For example, one of the reasons policymakers were concerned about financial stability during the financial crisis was low capital ratios - the ratio of equity capital to total assets - at some of the largest banks, which led to government programs to provide capital to these banks.

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Rosetta is Making a Splash Again, But Results Show Comet's Water not the Same as Earth's

by Monica Grady, The Conversation

The first results on comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko obtained by instruments on-board the Rosetta spacecraft have been announced – and they are, literally and figuratively, a deluge of information!

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Infographic of the Day: A Beginner's Guide to Airbrushing

Airbrushing is an amazing art form, and can be a very lucrative business as well.

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The Best-Selling Christmas Albums

from Felix Richter, Statista.com
by Niall McCarthy

When it comes to America's best selling Christmas albums, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kenny G. comes first on the list with "Miracles: The Holiday Album".

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Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Growth Marginally Strengthens in December 2014

Of the three regional manufacturing surveys released to date for December, two show manufacturing softer this month - and this Kansas City Fed Survey which improved.

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12 December 2014: ECRI's WLI Declines Moderately and Remains in Contraction

ECRI's WLI Growth Index declined and has remained in negative territory for 9 weeks. This index is forecasting a slight business cycle contraction in 1Q2015. Obviously the markets do not share ECRI's view the business cycle is taking a downturn. ECRI also released their coincident and lagging indices this week and is discussed below.

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Taxing Capital Income - Federal Tax Treatment Affects Investment Incentives

from the Congressional Budget Office

The federal tax treatment of capital income affects investment incentives, both for the amounts invested and for allocations among assets. When tax rates are high, investors require higher before-tax rates of return and thus forgo investments with lower returns that they otherwise would have made. Current law produces significant variations in the taxation of capital income from different investments, thus leading investors to require higher before-tax rates of return on some investments than on others. Those differences reduce economic efficiency—the extent to which resources are allocated to maximize before-tax value.

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Firm Charged with Treating Vulnerable Older Investors as ATM Machines

from the Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Staten Island, N.Y.-based firm, its former president, and two sales representatives involved in a fraudulent boiler room scheme targeting seniors to invest in speculative start-up companies.

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Rail Week Ending 13 December 2014: Growth Spurt Within a Strong Growth Cycle

Econintersect: Week 50 of 2014 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) improved according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. The rate of growth continues to be very strong in all of the rolling averages reported below.

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U.S. Household Gasoline Expenditures in 2015 on Track to be the Lowest in 11 Years

by Tom Doggett and Russ Tarver, U.S. EIA

The average U.S. household is expected to spend about $550 less on gasoline in 2015 compared with 2014, as annual motor fuel expenditures are on track to fall to their lowest level in 11 years. Lower fuel expenditures are attributable to a combination of falling retail gasoline prices and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks that reduce the number of gallons used to travel a given distance.

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Fed's Balance Sheet 17 December 2014 Sets New Record High

Total Fed Balance Sheet

Fed's Balance Sheet week ending balance sheet was $4.462 trillion - up from the record $4.452 trillion for week ending 19 November 2014 and up from the $4.448 trillion for week ending 10 December.  The balance sheet has insignificantly declined from its peak. Note that on the 29 October 2014, the Federal Reserves governing board (FOMC) stated that .....

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Infographic of the Day: The Culinary Similarities Between Thai and Lao Cooking

Warning: Contents of this infographic will make you hungry!

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Wikipedia Raised $50+ Million Last Year

by Felix Richter, Statista.com

If you visited Wikipedia lately, and chances are you did, you probably came across a big banner asking for your help to keep Wikipedia alive in its current (ad-free) form.

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13 December 2014 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Marginally Improves and Remains Near Historic Lows

Blue Line 4 Week Average

The market was expecting the weekly initial unemployment claims at 288,000 to 300,000 (consensus 295,000) vs the 289,000 reported. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 299,500 (reported last week as 299,250) to 298,750. Rolling averages under 300,000 are excellent.

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Death and Injury Rates of U.S. Military Personnel During the Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan

from the Congressional Budget Office

In Operation Iraqi Freedom, which ended on August 31, 2010, some 3,482 hostile deaths occurred among U.S. military personnel and 31,947 people were wounded in action (WIA). More than 1,800 hostile deaths occurred during Operation Enduring Freedom (in Afghanistan and surrounding countries) through November 2014; about 20,000 more people were wounded in action.

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SEC Charges Avon With Bribing Chinese Officials

from the Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged global beauty products company Avon Products Inc. with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by failing to put controls in place to detect and prevent payments and gifts to Chinese government officials from employees and consultants at a subsidiary.

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17 December 2014 FOMC Meeting Statement: Looks Like the Low Federal Funds Rate Is Here to Stay

Econintersect: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) - the board of directors of the Federal Reserve - seemed to have a lot of discussion and word engineering in their meeting statement relative to when to start raising the Federal Funds rate. Some pundits  were expecting forward guidance in the meeting statement to say that the Federal Funds rate would rise sooner than later (because of the improving economy), but instead the statement was re-worded to say later than sooner:

Based on its current assessment, the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy. The Committee sees this guidance as consistent with its previous statement that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time ....

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Infographic of the Day: How to Make Money Using YouTube

There are countless methods to make money online.

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How Fear Of Occupy Wall Street Undermined the Red Cross' Sandy Relief Effort

Special Report from ProPublica

by Justin Elliott and Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica

In the days after Superstorm Sandy, relief organizations were overwhelmed by the chaos and enormous need. One group quickly emerged as a bright spot. While victims in New York's hardest hit neighborhoods were stuck in the cold and dark, volunteers from the spontaneously formed Occupy Sandy became a widely praised lifeline.

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NATO capability reductions & cost cutting. A step too far?

from Felix Richter, Statista.com
by Niall McCarthy

According to a report by Roland Berger, Nato forces have endured drastic cuts over the past decade and a half.

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Possible Alternatives to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

from the Congressional Budget Office

More than six years after the federal government took control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, policymakers are weighing a comprehensive overhaul of the mortgage finance system that could shrink or eventually close the two entities and create a system with more private capital. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were originally chartered as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to ensure a stable supply of credit for residential mortgages nationwide. They operate in the secondary (or resale) market where they buy mortgages from the financial institutions that make the loans (thus ensuring that those institutions have a source of funds to originate new mortgages). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac then pool those loans to create mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), which they guarantee against defaults on principal and interest payments by borrowers and sell to investors.

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Gold Mining Investment Scheme Charged with Making Misleading Statements that Mines Would Yield Millions of Dollars

from the Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against two individuals and their companies behind an alleged gold mining investment scheme based in Miami.

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Econintersect Analysis:

What’s Wrong with Heterodox Economics Journals?

by L. Randall Wray, New Economic Perspectives

I just came across a very interesting bit of research, A Guide to Paradigmatic Self-Marginalization: Lessons for Post-Keynesian Economists by Leonhard Dobusch and Jakob Kapeller; you can find it here.

I realize this is not going to be of interest to many of our readers, as it is a sort of “inside the halls of academia” analysis. What the authors do is to look at the strategies of editors running the top orthodox and the top heterodox journals in economics. Actually it might be a bit unfair to label these strategies, as the authors do not mean to imply that editorial policy knowingly pursues the strategies. Instead, the article looks at the ex post results.

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The Mystery of Bottomless Reserves

Investing Daily Article of the Week

by Robert Rapier, Investing Daily

When I first went to work for ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), I worked on technology development. I had spent the previous seven years working in the chemical industry, and didn’t know all that much about the oil industry. My first job at ConocoPhillips was helping with a gas-to-liquids process in which we took natural gas and converted it into diesel, in a process very similar to that in Shell’s (NYSE: RDS-A) Pearl GTL plant in Qatar.

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December 2014 Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Declines Retracing Last Month's Spike, Index Remains Relatively Strong.

Written by

The Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey growth declined but remains well into expansion territory for the tenth month in a row. Key elements remain in expansion. 

Full story »


November 2014 Leading Economic Index Continues Its Strong Growth Pattern.

Written by

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. improved 0.6% over last month. The index growth has been on a solid growth trend.

Full story »


Stratfor: The United States and Cuba Begin Restoring Relations

by STRATFOR

The United States and Cuba on Dec. 17 took their most assertive step in several decades toward normalizing relations. The most important announcements concerned the resumption of high-level political discussions focused on renewing formal diplomatic ties between the countries, which have been nonexistent since 1961. Cuban and U.S. officials will hold high-level meetings in the coming months, and the two countries will work toward establishing embassies in Havana and Washington. The United States will also immediately relax some sanctions on trade and travel to Cuba.

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Taper Tantrum Redux

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (54)

Written by , KeySignals.com


“No More Tantrums.”
“They’re creepy and they’re cookey.
The Statements are quite spooky.
Their policy is flukey.
Yel – lens F-O-M-C.”
(Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (52) “Deathly Hallows”)

Following on, from the October FOMC meeting, the Fed smoothly eased into tightening mode. Janet Yellen formally confirmed that tightening mode has been entered, at the Bank of France conference in Paris a few weeks later; and also warned that this period would involve considerable volatility.

Full story »


November 2014 Sea Container Counts Continue to Show Rapid Contraction of Exports

Written by

Export container counts continue to weaken, which is a warning that the global economy is slowing. Export three month rolling averages continue to decelerate - being in negative territory year-over-year. This is a headwind for 4Q2014 GDP. Container counts are a good metric to gauge the economy.

Full story »


November 2014 CPI Annual Inflation Rate Falls 0.4% to 1.3%

by Doug Short and

The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) year-over-year inflation rate which remained constant at 1.7% for the previous 3 months dropped to 1.3%. Energy prices decreased whilst food increased partially countering energy's decline. The year-over-year core inflation rate declined 0.1% to 1.7%, and remains under the targets set by the Federal Reserve.

Full story »


Always Remember: Balance of Payments Must Balance

My Reading of the FT on China’s “Turning Away from the Dollar”

by Michael Pettis, China Financial Markets

The Financial Times ran a very interesting article last week called “China: Turning away from the dollar”. It got a lot of attention, at least among China analysts, and I was asked several times by friends and clients for my response.

Full story »


Residential Building Sector Not Good in November 2014, Obvious Deceleration in the Averages.

Written by

Residential building permits were not good. Even construction completions outnumbered permits (showing that the future is darkening as there will be less homes to build). All data is decelerating.

Full story »


Stratfor: Viewing Russia From the Inside

by George Friedman

Last week I flew into Moscow, arriving at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. It gets dark in Moscow around that time, and the sun doesn't rise until about 10 a.m. at this time of the year — the so-called Black Days versus White Nights. For anyone used to life closer to the equator, this is unsettling. It is the first sign that you are not only in a foreign country, which I am used to, but also in a foreign environment. Yet as we drove toward downtown Moscow, well over an hour away, the traffic, the road work, were all commonplace. Moscow has three airports, and we flew into the farthest one from downtown, Domodedovo — the primary international airport. There is endless renovation going on in Moscow, and while it holds up traffic, it indicates that prosperity continues, at least in the capital.

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Yes Virginia - - -

Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (55)

Written by , KeySignals.com


“Yo-Ho-Ho!”

Coming out of G20 a couple of weeks ago, the message from policy makers was that Santa Claus still exists and will deliver record equity index closing prices for Christmas. Slightly less credible, were the stories that allegedly he will also deliver economic growth and low inflation. There were nearly 1000 growth requests on Santa’s G20 list this year, submitted by the wide eyed policy makers of the member nations[i]; which apparently add up to a $2 trillion global stimulus package[ii].

Full story »


Transformation: The Onrushing Digital Age will Change Everything

Written by

The modern era has witnessed two great periods of transformation that have radically changed the global economy and the very nature of human existence. The first was the Industrial Revolution, which started in England in the late 18th century and began to gain steam as industrialization spread to the United States and Germany and ultimately to the entire developed world.

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December 2014 Empire State Survey In Contraction for the First Time in Almost Two Years

Written by

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell significantly (14 points), and entered contraction for the first time in nearly two years. Key internals were also in contraction.

Full story »


November 2014 Industrial Production Strong - Above Expectations

Written by

The headlines say seasonally adjusted Industrial Production (IP) improved. Econintersect‘s analysis agrees  - and the unadjusted rolling averages are accelerating from positive backward revisions. 

Full story »


The Collapse of Oil Prices and Energy Security in Europe

by Ugo Bardi, Resource Crisis

Ladies and gentlemen, first of all, let me say that it is a pleasure and an honor to be addressing this distinguished audience today. I am here as a faculty member of the University of Florence and as a member of the Club of Rome, but let me state right away that what I will tell you are my own opinions, not necessarily those of the Club of Rome or of my university.

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Misunderstanding 'Liquidity Trap'

Fixing the Economists Article of the Week

by Philip Pilkington

I have long complained that the likes of Paul Krugman have grossly misinterpreted the meaning of the term ‘liquidity trap’. These economists seem to think that we are currently in a liquidity trap despite the fact that yields on bonds are extremely low across the board.

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The Imprecision of Volatility Indexes

by Rohini Grover and Ajay Shah, ajay shah blog

A remarkable feature of options trading is that it reveals a forward-looking measure of the market's view of future volatility. This was first done by CBOE in 1993 with the S&P 500 index options, with an information product named `VIX' which reveals the market's view of future volatility of the US stock market index.

Full story »


Macroeconomics Finally Gets Interesting

by John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

“The future is already here – it's just not very evenly distributed.” – William Gibson, Hall of Fame science fiction writer

Since I began writing this letter some 15 years ago, I’ve always done an annual forecast letter, generally in the first week of January. That letter is typically the most-read issue of the year, and I spend more time thinking about it than any other letter. I typically take the last week of the year off from writing just to concentrate on my research, and I often begin to compile my reading material the first week in December, which the calendar tells us is now. Helping me this year will be my associate Worth Wray and a few members of the Mauldin Economics team, and of course my many friends and readers.

Full story »


Is the November Headline Employment Gains Too Good to be True?

Written by

Last week I penned that the BLS Jobs Situation Was Strong in November 2014 for the Establishment Portion But the Household Portion Shows Almost No Jobs Growth. The establishment portion showed job gains of 321,000 whilst the household portion showed job gains of 4,000. One question is whether this real discrepancy throws some cold water on the general belief that jobs growth is becoming fairly strong in the USA. Some think any government release is manipulated.

Full story »


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FOREX NEWS by DailyForex

Asian Stocks, Crude Up

Asian stocks rose Thursday, extending a global surge in equities as the regional index headed for its steepest two-day advance in 13 months. Crude oil pared a fourth weekly decline, while the euro traded near a two-year low and wheat fell.

SNB Move Sends Swiss Franc Lower

On Thursday, the Swiss National Bank warned investors that it intended to intervene in the FX markets with the introduction of a negative interest rate, specifically -0.25% on certain deposit accounts with high balances, in order to discourage investors from buying the safe haven Swiss Franc.

Consistent Fed Sparks Stock Rise

To anybody who has been following financial news for any length of time, the “news” that the US Federal Reserve intends to follow a patient approach to raising interest rates does not qualify as news at all.

S&P Surges; Asian Stock Rally

Asian shares rallied on Thursday after U.S. stocks enjoyed their strongest session this year as the Federal Reserve sounded upbeat on the economy and promised to be patient in removing policy stimulus.

USD Rally Resumes as Uncertainty Weighs

After a short recess from the Dollar’s prolonged rally, the greenback has swung back into positive territory, edging higher as investors await a policy statement from the Federal Reserve Bank.


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Econintersect Investing:

Near-term Bearish Bond Yield Outlook

US 10-year Treasury Note Yield Daily Chart Analyses

by Erik McCurdy, Prometheus Market Insight

The following technical and cycle analyses provide short-term forecasts for the 10-year Treasury note yield. For intermediate-term outlooks see the latest intermediate-term forecast and for long-term outlooks see the latest long-term forecast.

yield-caption

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Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 19 December 2014

U.S. stocks extend gains on Fed assurances; Dow gains 0.15%

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

U.S. stocks finished a three-day rally on Friday as investors continued to applaud the Federal Reserve's commitment to be patient when deciding when to hike interest investing.com-logorates.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 rose 0.15%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.46%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.36%.

The S&P 500 VIX index, which measures the outlook for market volatility, was down 1.90% at 16.49.

Read more »


The Importance of Disciplined Profit-Taking

Online Trading Academy Article of the Week

by Sam Evans, Online Trading Academy

Many years ago in the very first trading class I ever took, my instructor told us a vital truth about the markets: Trading is simple but far from easy. Looking back I don't think I really took much notice of the vital importance behind what he said to us all in the classroom that day. I was more interested in getting to the "good stuff," that being the strategies and the charts! Now, some eleven years later it really makes complete and utter sense to me. In fact, I make a point of telling my own students the exact same thing whenever I am teaching them the ways of trading.

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The Other Problem for Bond Investors

Sungarden Investment Research Article of the Week

by Rob Isbitts, Sungarden Investment Research

For a while now, my firm and I have been devout in alerting our clients and blog subscribers to the issues that will confront them as investors if/when the more than three decades of generally falling U.S. interest rates reverses itself. But what if they don't rise much for awhile, and instead stay around where they are? Is that a victory for bond bulls and does it make those warning about an eventual bond bear market a bunch of Chicken Littles? Hardly. Because regardless of where rates go on high-quality bonds, the math of bonds works against investors who are in or nearing retirement.

Read more »


Investing.com Technical Summary 18 December 2014

p>Investing.com Technical Analysis (as of Thu, 18 December 2014 05:00pm EDT)

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

Below, technical overviews and analysis for key stock indices, commodities and currency pairs, investing.com-logobased on market activity at the close of the 18 December 2014 U.S. session. This information is a comprehensive summary derived from simple and exponential moving averages along with key technical indicators shown for specific time intervals.

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Potential Cyclical Top Forming in Stock Market

by Erik McCurdy, Prometheus Market Insight

Fueled by a historic amount of direct stimulus from the Federal Reserve, the cyclical bull market in stocks that began in 2009 accelerated into an unsustainable advance, creating a massive equity bubble and causing investment risk to increase to one of the three highest readings during the past 85 years.

Read more »


Will There be Support for Oil Around $55?

by EconMatters, EconMatters.com

Bearish Sentiment Priced In?

The futures contract for January 2015 has gone from $102 a barrel in July to $57 a barrel today, a $45 dollar a barrel discounting of price in less than six months. Much of this move is based upon bearish sentiment and future expectations for oil supplies along with bearish headlines coming out of OPEC Members and the exiting of the long side of the market (Players stepping away) and a huge short trade pushing prices lower. But the question is has too much bearish sentiment been priced in too fast? Well let's look at some EIA Inventory Data for trying to put some actual data footholds if you will on the subject.

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S&P 500: Short-term Outlook 16 December 2014

by Erik McCurdy, Prometheus Market Insight

Technical Analysis

The index closed moderately lower yesterday (Tuesday 16 December 2014), retreating further from recent highs of the cyclical bull market from 2009 and moving below congestion support in the 1,980 area. Technical indicators are extremely bearish overall, strongly favoring a continuation of the decline from last week.

bear-snarl

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Investing.com Technical Summary 16 December 2014

Investing.com Technical Analysis (as of Tue, 16 December 2014 05:00pm EDT)

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

Below, technical overviews and analysis for key stock indices, commodities and investing.com-logocurrency pairs, based on market activity at the close of the 16 December 2014 U.S. session. This information is a comprehensive summary derived from simple and exponential moving averages along with key technical indicators shown for specific time intervals.

Read more »


Stock Traders Herded Like Sheep

by Chris Ebert, Zentrader

The Future is Not Predictable

The job of a stock market trader may seem simple; learn how to predict when stock prices will go up or down, and then buy at low prices and sell at high prices. Alternatively, since stock prices have tended to rise in the long run, despite temporary declines, buying stocks and holding them for several years - investing - may seem like an almost-guaranteed method of ensuring that the selling will occur at a higher price, without the need to make the predictions involved in short-term trading.

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Precious Metals Corner:

Short-term Outlook for Gold 16 December 2014

by Erik McCurdy, Prometheus Market Insight

Technical Analysis

Gold closed near unchanged yesterday (16 December 2014), holding near support at the lower boundary of the uptrend from November. Technical indicators are effectively neutral overall, suggesting that direction is in question.

gold-coinsand-little-bars

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Live Market Commentary:

Market Commentary: Santa Claus Rally Sends Investors Into Party Mode

Written by

Closing Market Commentary For 12-19-2014

The averages started climbing late in the afternoon to +0.5% only to fall precipitously, losing session gains, but closing out its second-best week of the year. The oils rose plus 5% for the session and gold fell below 1194.00.

By 4 pm investors were enjoying the 'spoils' of the Santa Claus rally and are in a party mode.


Read more »








Video of the Day:

The US Patent and Trademark Office recently declined a trademark application for the Norwegian underwear company, Comfyballs. The reason they gave was that the name was "too vulgar" even though they've approved of several other ball-related trademarks recently.

video of day picture







Forex Trader:

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 19 December 2014

U.S. stocks extend gains on Fed assurances; Dow gains 0.15%

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

U.S. stocks finished a three-day rally on Friday as investors continued to applaud the Federal Reserve's commitment to be patient when deciding when to hike interest investing.com-logorates.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 rose 0.15%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.46%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.36%.

The S&P 500 VIX index, which measures the outlook for market volatility, was down 1.90% at 16.49.

Follow up:









Econintersect Opinion:

Welcome to the New Depression

by James Rickards, Daily Reckoning

The United States is living through an economic depression that began in 2007. It's part of a larger global depression, the first since the 1930s. This New Depression will continue indefinitely unless policy changes are made in the years ahead.

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The Leeches Want to Cure Anemia

U.K. Pols Again Demand Sacrifices from the Poor to Feed the Rich

by Rodger Malcolm Mitchell, www.nofica.com

We've keep hoping you Brits, being older than us, also would be wiser. So, we published:

How the debt hawks will destroy the U.K. Monday, Jun 7 2010 and Foolishness across the ocean. Will the UK attempt mass economic suicide? Monday, Oct 31 2011 and How the UK teaches America about economics Wednesday, Dec 5 2012 and many other posts detailing the absolute need for central government deficit spending, and the goal of the deficit hawks: Widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.

Read more »


The Fed Met This Week Facing Alarming Bond Market Bubble

by EconMatters, EconMatters.com

The Bond Market Bubble is Reaching Epic Proportions

The 10-Year Bond now has a Yield of 2.08% right before the all-important Fed Quarterly Meeting and Press Conference this Wednesday, the 10-Year basically lost 24 basis points in a week, and mind you the week right after the strongest Employment Report (a positive 321,000 jobs added for the month) since the Financial Crisis, capping what has been a remarkable year in added jobs to the US economy, even wages spiked 0.4 % with strong upward employment revisions for the prior months.

Read more »


US 2nd District Court of Appeals Issues the Economic Equivalent of the Dred Scott Decision

from Jesse's Cafe Americaine

In their zeal to exonerate some Wall Street wiseguys associated with the infamous insider trading ring involving SAC Capital, the sophists on the 2nd US Court of Appeals, located in lower Manhattan near Wall Street, just issued the equivalent of the Dred Scott decision for US markets.

"Although the government might like the law to be different, nothing in the law requires a symmetry of information in the nation's securities markets." Barrington Parker, 2nd U.S. Circuit of Appeals Judge

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Four Reasons I Won't Have a Prostate Cancer Blood Test

by Ian Haines, The Conversation

Cancer Council Australia and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia yesterday released new draft guidelines to help GPs counsel men who ask about prostate cancer tests. They advise GPs to explain the pros and cons of testing and, if the man wants to proceed, to give him a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test every two years between the ages of 50 to 69.

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Orion: to Boldly Go, so Long as the Wind Blows Fair and the Weather Holds

by Monica Grady, The Conversation

Generations of mariners have spent time anxiously watching the weather, waiting for the right conditions. It seems that despite all the high-tech advances we’ve made, spacecraft are still subject to the vagaries of the weather.

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Religions

Written by

After discussing Civilizations and Human Races, let's focus on religions, political correctness notwithstanding.

Note: all my articles under the framework of WMDs, Germs, and Economies are for two main purposes:

1) Predicting the future, 25 years ahead.

2) My next book "China vs. America".

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J.D. Alt: Golden Age Just Around the Corner

by Dirk Ehnts, Econoblog101

J.D. Alt has published a very nice text recently that sums up the problem of popular delusions regarding money. This is a three page version of what could be a 200 pages book, namely the argument that the (US) government does not face a budget constraint and hence neither privatization nor austerity policies make sense.

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To Cut Carbon Emissions and Keep the Lights on, it has Got to be Nuclear Power

by Malcolm Grimston, The Conversation

An experiment in liberalising power markets has been underway in the UK since the 1980s and three phases can be identified. The first ran from around 1989 to 1999, beginning with the privatisation of the generating industry and grid and ending by giving customers the freedom to shop around for their supplier.

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The Answer to the Unemployment Problem Is More Jobs

by L. Randall Wray, New Economic Perspectives

Dean Baker, everyone's favorite progressive economist (mine, too), has an interesting take on our unemployment problem.

Give more paid vacations.

The idea is that if all the employed work less, employers will need to hire the unemployed to produce what the already employed won't be producing while sunning themselves on Florida's beaches.

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