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22Oct2015 Market Close: Markets Close Higher On Upbeat Corporate Financial Reports And The ECB Stimulus Program

Written by Gary

Markets closed higher with the SP500easing up 2955 before backing down fractionally. The Sp500 hit a two-month high on stronger-than-expected corporate results from companies including McDonald's and cues from the European Central Bank about extending its stimulus program.

The US dollar also closed higher at its resistance and investors are wondering if this is a one time spurt?

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Alphabet, formerly Google, reports 13 percent rise in revenue

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc, known until recently as Google Inc, reported a 13 percent rise in quarterly revenue, boosted by strong advertising sales driven by YouTube and mobile search.

U.S. prosecutor abandons insider trading case against SAC's Steinberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The federal prosecutor in Manhattan said on Thursday he would move to dismiss charges against Michael Steinberg, formerly a top portfolio manager at SAC Capital Advisors, and six others who were convicted in an alleged insider trading scheme.

Caterpillar forecasts lower profit, sales in 2016

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc on Thursday forecast a drop in 2016 sales and profit as the outlook for global mining, drilling and construction activity remained bleak, and posted lower third-quarter earnings.

Valeant shares continue slide since Citron report

(Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc's share slumped for the second straight day on Wednesday, a day after influential shortseller Citron Research said the Canadian drugmaker used specialty pharmacies to create "phantom sales".

Oil retraces early gains; stockpile worry, dollar weigh

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil gave back most of its gains to trade flat on Thursday as worries about high U.S. crude inventories offset early support from a gasoline rally and technical charts calling for higher prices.

McDonald's stock hits record high as turnaround takes hold

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp shares hit an all-time high on Thursday after Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said a rebound in quarterly restaurant sales showed that his turnaround plan is starting to work.

United Airlines' acting CEO aims to reassure investors amid strong results

NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Airlines on Thursday tried to dismiss concerns that executive shake-ups have left an amateur team running its business, promising better service for travelers and minimal expansion in 2016 for investors worried about weak demand.

With Fiat Chrysler pact approved, UAW now eyes GM and Ford

DETROIT (Reuters) - The United Auto Workers union said on Thursday that its members ratified a four-year labor contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV by an overwhelming majority, after rejecting a previous contract proposal last month.

Presenting America's New Debt Ceiling: $19,600,000,000,000

Even as the bond market has been rather concerned about another possible debt ceiling showdown as we showed before, and which earlier today prompted the Treasury to announce the purposefully dramatic step of postponing the auction of 2 Year Notes next week, the reality is that one way or another, with an equity-driven wake up call for the GOP or without, the debt ceiling will be raised.

The only question is how much.

As a reminder, the reason why the total US debt held by the public hasn't budged from $18.1 trillion since March 16, 2015 is because that is when the last debt ceiling limit was hit. In the seven month since, the US Treasury has been cruising along on emergency cash measures, even as the total debt - if only for reporting purposes - has not budged (in reality it has grown by about half a trillion).

It will budge very soon, because no matter what the outcome of the upcoming week of debt ceiling negotiations, one thing is certain: the US has to be able to borrow more in order to survive.

And as The Hill reported, when one gets beyond the traditional posturing, the outcome will be the following:

The House is expected as early as Friday to vote on a conservative debt-limit proposal even though chances are slim that the plan can pass the Senate.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told the GOP conference on Wednesday that he is expecting a vote on the Republican Study Committee (RSC) plan that

3 Things: Worse, Worst, Or Worst-er

Submitted by Lance Roberts via STA Wealth Management,

Do You Need A Recession For A Bear Market

It has often been quoted in the media and by mainstream analysts that economic recessions are the root cause of "bear markets" in stocks. However, is that really true?

George Soros once discussed the idea of "reflexivity" suggesting that:

"Reflexivity sets up a feedback loop between market valuations and the so-called fundamentals which are being valued. The feedback can be either positive or negative.

Negative feedback brings market prices and the underlying reality closer together. In other words, negative feedback is self-correcting. It can go on forever, and if the underlying reality remains unchanged, it may eventually lead to an equilibrium in which market prices accurately reflect the fundamentals.

By contrast, a positive feedback is self-reinforcing. It cannot go on forever because eventually, market prices would become so far removed from reality that market participants would have to recognize them as unrealistic. When that tipping point is reached, the process becomes self-reinforcing in the opposite direction. That is how financial markets produce boom-bust phenomena or bubbles. Bubbles are not the o ...

Finance Professor "Invests" In Jim Cramer's "Buy Right Now" Portfolio, Loses Money On 72% Of Stock Picks

On April 6, just as the market was topping out, Jim Cramer wrote a column laying out what he called were "49 Stocks to Buy Right Now" which he qualified as "stocks that are clearly marked as winners no matter what, because they are domestic and because they do well precisely in this kind of environment."

He further rammed his picks down the throats of anyone gullible enough to actually listen to Cramer by saying that "every single one of these companies reported excellent last quarters, and with no exceptions their charts are pretty much perfectly made for this downturn.... You would not be able to get into these stocks without this selloff, and all of these companies are simply not going to skip a beat because of what came out on Friday."

One person decided to test just how "made perfectly for this downturn" Cramer's stock choices really were.

On April 6, a retired Professor of Finance in Southern Illinois, David England, unveiled the "Cramer Challenge" when he bought $1,000 of each security on Cramer’s list (in a paper-trade account of course - because in this day and age, everyone "trades" virtually, plus who would actually risk real money listening to Cramer) at the close of the following day.

England further put his own money on the table with his Gentleman’s Challenge. His offer was that after six months (October 7, 2015), if more of Cramer’s stock picks were up than down, England would pay for Cramer to fly from New York to Marion IL, put him up in a local Holiday Inn, and treat him to dinner. Cramer was to return the favor in New York, if more than half of his picks were down.

Cramer never responded to the wager offer.

England proceeded to tack the portfolio’s ...

"All Kinds Of Mayhem Will Let Loose" As Strongest El Nino In Decades Looms

September was officially the warmest ever recorded around the globe (the 7th time this year a month has set a record) as El nino is back in a big way. As Bloomberg reports, its effects are just beginning in much of the world -- for the most part, it hasn't really reached North America -- and yet it's already shaping up potentially as one of the three strongest El Nino patterns since record-keeping began in 1950. Expect "major disruptions, widespread droughts and floods," warned a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, adding that without preparation, "all kinds of mayhem will let loose."

September was the warmest ever recorded around the globe, the seventh time this year a month has set a record for average global temperature

. As CBS reports,

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last month's global temperature was 60.62 ...

Stocks Surge; Dow Exits Correction Territory

Stocks pushed higher Thursday, boosted by signs of loosening monetary policy in Europe and a raft of third-quarter earnings reports in the U.S.

ECB's Draghi Signals Boost to Stimulus

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi suggested the bank is prepared to undertake another big stimulus package that could include more bond purchases and a cut to the already negative deposit rate.

Inside Swiss Banks' Tax-Cheating Machinery

Dozens of Swiss banks have been spilling their secrets to the Justice Department this year about how they encouraged U.S. clients to hide money abroad.

The Wall Street Journal: House leaders unlikely to propose bill linking debt-ceiling increase to conservative issues

House Republican leaders are unlikely to bring up a bill that would tie a debt-ceiling increase to several other conservative policy proposals, underscoring the party's deep divisions over how to tackle the debt ceiling.

What drove the Q3 growth in McDonald’s U.S. business?

McDonald’s experienced comparable-store growth in the U.S. during the third quarter, its first such increase in years.

Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks rally after Draghi eases fear of sluggish global growth

U.S. stocks marched sharply higher in early Thursday trading amid a barrage of quarterly results, strong economic data.

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