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04May2015 Market Close: Markets Close Higher, But Down Off Morning Highs

Written by Gary

Wall Street was up on Monday afternoon, adding to gains from Friday, as investors bought beaten-down healthcare stocks and Berkshire Hathaway led finance stocks higher.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Upstarts Eat McDonald's Lunch

Ahead of the Tape: Fast food and fast money mix with Noodles & Co., Potbelly and others as McDonald's flounders.

U.S. Banks Expect Rise in Energy-Sector Loan Defaults

Banks in the U.S. are bracing for defaults on loans to the oil and gas sector amid low oil prices this year, according to a Federal Reserve survey.

Joseph Lechleider, a Father of the DSL Internet Technology, Dies at 82

Mr. Lechleider helped invent DSL technology, which enabled phone companies to offer high-speed web access over their infrastructure of copper wires.

Vanguard Claims Title of World's Largest Bond Fund

Pimco's flagship Total Return fund ceded its title as largest bond mutual fund to rival Vanguard Group, according to April data released by both companies.

Volumeless Stocks Test Record Highs On Downbeat Data

Last week's message to TPTB... (appears to have been heard loud and clear)...

Another day, another rally on even weaker volume (with UK and Japan away on holiday) and shitty data... Spot The Difference...

after China's dismal data, Germany's surprise, and US Factory Orders printing weakest YoY growth run since 2008...

Small Caps spurted higher at the open - thanks to Gartman's suggestion of shorting - but the excitement faded back as the day wqore on...

Social Media never bounced...

And Shale plays stumbled on Einhorn but that was an awesome opportunity to BTFD!

Factory Report Shows Increase in Orders and Investment

Orders increased 2.1 percent after seven monthly declines, the Commerce Department reported Monday

McDonald's reset to change structure, cut costs, boost franchises

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp's new chief executive officer said on Monday he would reorganize business units, sell restaurants to franchisees and cut costs in a bid to turn the fast-food chain into a "modern, progressive burger company."

Europe Moving Toward Single Digital Market

If proposals become law, companies like Netflix could offer services without making separate licensing deals in 28 countries.

Comcast's Broad Appeal for Investors

Comcast now has more broadband subscribers than video subscribers. And that isn't a bad thing.

"But Still There Is Faith In The Central Bank..."

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,


It was another time. Another era. Another superpower.

Great Britain's was the largest economy in the world in 1873. And it showed.

The British pound dominated world trade and was the most widely used reserve currency on the planet.

And London was the undisputed epicenter of global finance.

There was more money in London, in fact, than in just about every other major financial center in the world combined.

Britain was clearly at the top of the world.

But in 1873, a financial reporter named Walter Bagehot published a book that shined a huge spotlight on some of this phony prosperity.

Bagehot was Editor-in-Chief of The Economist at the time. He was a brilliant finanical thinker, and the book, Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market, was his masterpiece.

For example, the book describes how, even though the British banking system was the most widely used and powerful in the world, it was dangerously overleveraged:

"There was never so much borrowed money collected in the world as is now collected in London," writes Bagehot.

He further shines a huge spotlight on the risks of illiquidity, describing how Britain's largest banks only held a very small percentage of their customer's f ...

Greenlight's Einhorn slams oil frackers at Sohn conference

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who often moves a stock simply by speaking its name, on Monday kicked off the year's most prominent investment conference by laying out a case against oil frackers, arguing these companies drill "lots and lots of holes" and burn through plenty of cash.

Supreme Court Accepts Case on Electricity Regulation

The court is to decide if a federal agency can promote "demand response," in which users cut consumption at peak times in return for price breaks.

GM CEO Barra confident about value of company's stock

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Reuters) - General Motors Co's chief executive said on Monday she is confident the company will convince investors of the value of holding on to GM's stock, which has dropped nearly 9 percent since mid-March despite a $5 billion share buyback plan.

Great Wall Has No Moat for SUVs

Chinese car companies such as Great Wall are finally gaining market share with economical SUVs. Such good times won't last.

McDonald's Chief Promises Turnaround in a Restructuring

Steve Easterbrook, the new chief executive of the fast-food company, spoke of an "urgent need to reset this business" in a video message on Monday.

Ben Bernanke: On The Way From Hero To Zero?

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum via,

Bernanke Keeps Cashing In - PIMCO Finds Some Use for the Ex-Fed Chairman too

We recently wrote about Ben Bernanke's deft moves to make some coin from his former position as the US chief central economic planner by getting a job as a consultant for highly leveraged hedge fund Citadel (see "The Courage to Cash In" for details). As we have pointed out on this occasion, it is a virtual certainty that contrary to the press releases on the matter, Citadel didn't hire Bernanke for his revolutionary economic insights or his forecasting prowess. If that were indeed the reason for employing him, Citadel might as well shoot itself in the head.


Two years ago the Atlantic celebrated Bernanke as the "hero who saved the global economy" by the expedient of printing truckloads of money and suppressing interest rates to zero. Today the WSJ is telling him to "stop blaming others for his mistakes".

The reason why large financial companies are prepared to pay big bucks for the advice of formerly high-ranking monetary bureaucrats are the latter's contacts to and insights into the bureaucratic apparatus and its workings. This revolving door syndrome it is a well-known feature of modern-day corporatism and as such certainly worth criticizing. As we have pointed out, we are not begrudging Bernanke that he is finally getting a real job outside of the ivory tower and the bureau ...

Rosy Factory Report, and Solid Earnings, Nudges the Market Higher

The Dow and the S.&P. 500 each gained 0.3 percent on a day of modest good news, including a solid rebound in factory orders.

Norway Oil Fund Sheds More Coal Assets

Norway's sovereign-wealth fund has exited most of its holdings in pure-play coal mining companies, as lawmakers of the Scandinavian nation debate whether to restrict or even ban it from investing in certain fossil-fuel industries.

Wall St. higher led by health, finance stocks

(Reuters) - Wall Street was up on Monday afternoon, adding to gains from Friday, as investors bought beaten-down healthcare stocks and Berkshire Hathaway led finance stocks higher.

IMF Splinters From Rest Of Troika, Threatens To Cut Off Greek Funding

At this point it's become fairly obvious to even the most casual observer that Greece is headed for some manner of default. The only real question is who gets shorted and when, as well as a relatively new question: which debt will Greece will default on first (just because it has so many choices).

After a decree to sweep excess cash from local government coffers to the central bank didn't go entirely as planned, Athens was forced to delay pension payments by 8 hours last Tuesday, prompting retirees to storm a pension fund board meeting, and at least one official recently claimed that even if a deal had been struck yesterday, there simply was no way â€" logistically speaking â€" that Greece could possibly make its May 12 payment of €780 million to the IMF.

Now, FT is reporting that the IMF may refuse to disburse its part of the remaining €7.2 billion Athens would theoretically receive if negotiations produced a breakthrough unless the country's European creditors agree to write-off a portion of their Greek debt. Here's more:

Greece is so far off course on its $172bn bailout programme that it faces losing vital International Monetary Fund support unless European lenders write off significant amounts of its sov ...

Investors Shouldn't Dote on BofA Chair Vote

Bank of America's decision to allow a shareholder vote on combining the chairman and CEO roles is a welcome sop to investors. But it doesn't resolve bigger questions for the stock.

Fed's Evans: rate hikes could start sooner, if kept slow

COLUMBUS, Ind. (Reuters) - With U.S. inflation uncomfortably low and the unemployment rate still too high, the Federal Reserve should hold off on raising short-term interest rates until early next year, a top Fed policymaker said on Monday.

GE ties up with Qualcomm, Apple in new lighting business bet

(Reuters) - General Electric Co on Monday announced collaborations with Qualcomm Inc and Apple Inc as it uses digital technology and the growing appetite for data to reinvigorate its 130-year-old lighting business.
< ...

GE boss to meet EU antitrust chief probing Alstom deal: source

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - General Electric's CEO will meet Europe's antitrust chief on Tuesday, according to a source, in what is expected to be a push for unconditional EU approval for its 12.4-billion-euro ($13.8 billion) bid for an Alstom business.

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