There was alot to ponder today, but the market participants likely left town for Thanksgiving. Still this was a big day for economic releases - most falling within expectations except for consumer spending which was soft, We wish all of our readers Happy Thanksgiving and hopefully a day of rest tomorrow.
Todays S&P 500 Chart
The Market in Perspective
Here are the headlines moving (and in today's case not moving) the markets.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that bigger U.S. banks would have an extra year to calculate a capital requirement known as the supplementary leverage ratio for stress testing.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - NXP Semiconductors N.V. has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy Freescale Semiconductor Ltd, a deal worth $11.8 billion, on condition that it sell its radio frequency power business, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.
(Reuters) - Pacific Investment Management Co and other investors have sued Citigroup Inc over the bank's alleged failure to properly monitor toxic securities backed by more than $13.8 billion of mortgage loans, resulting in $2.3 billion of losses.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co and its law firm need not turn over privileged documents to drivers hoping to show that the automaker intended to commit a crime or fraud by concealing defective ignition switches in their vehicles, a Manhattan federal judge ruled on Wednesday.
(Reuters) - Deere & Co on Wednesday reported a drop in quarterly earnings that was not as steep as Wall Street expected and gave a less dire outlook than analysts had feared, saying it was well-positioned to weather a worsening slump in demand for its farm equipment.
(Reuters) - United Continental Holdings Inc is offering pilots a 13 percent pay increase in 2016 in a contract that would put them at or near the top of the U.S. airline industry's pay scale, Bloomberg reported, citing two people briefed on the plan.
CAMAGUEY, Cuba (Reuters) - When Julio Manzini decided two years ago to name his small restaurant McDonald's after the famous fast-food chain , he had no idea it could cause any trouble. He has since been frightened into removing the name.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending barely rose in October as households took advantage of rising incomes to boost savings to their highest level in nearly three years, pointing to moderate economic growth in the fourth quarter.
While so much hope is pinned on El Nino relieving California's drought in early 2016, climatologists suggest tempering that optimism a little as what is really needed is snow. "Since it has been dry for so long, people get excited," says one hydrologist, but, as Bloomberg reports, without snow "the notion of fully recovering from the drought is extremely unlikely," as if the storms come in as rain, or the mountain snow can't pile up high enough, a lot of water will be lost.
California is in its fourth year of drought and almost the entire state is abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Improvement is possible. However, the drought will certainly go into a fifth year, according to the forecast from the U.S. Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. As Bloomberg reports,
The drought relief for California widely expected from El Nino in early 2016 will be far more effective if a chill descends soon -- ideally with a bit of snow.
"If we can get some snow on the ground and some cold nights, it will set up the snowpack and get cool air pooling," said California State Climatologist Mike Anderson.
Cool air, especially at high altitudes, will help ensure snow falls and stays on the ground in the mountains through the winter, as needed to supply the state's reservoirs. While that may seem like a non-issue given the height of the mountains and the tradition of heavy snows there, recent years have seen some worrisome trends.
The bull market in U.S. equities has narrowed over the past 6 months as strength has become concentrated in large cap stocks. Recently, strength has narrowed even among those large caps.
One common theme in these pages (and others) over the past 6 months has been the narrowing of participation in the equity bull market. That is, the rally has persisted among the major averages, but fewer and fewer stocks are rallying alongside. This dynamic is possible, of course, due to the uneven weighting of most stock indexes. The largest stocks, either by market cap or by price, have the greatest impact on the performance of the indexes. And those big-cap stocks have shown little propensity thus far to slow down. However, just recently, we are seeing the narrowing of the rally even among these large cap stocks.
We touched on this trend earlier this month, pointing out that the "Equal-Weight" version of the Russell 1000 Large-Cap Index had been lagging behind the "market cap-weighted" version since this past May. That is evidence that even the average large-cap stock has failed to keep up with biggest of those stocks. Further, we illustrated in a chart that while the Russell 1000 cap-weighted Index was back near its May levels, the Equal-Weight Index, i.e., the average stock, had not only lagged, but was down some 6% over that time.
Today's Chart Of The Day takes that contrast even further by looking at the relative ratio between the Russell 1000 Equal-Weight Index and the cap-weighted version. As of Friday, that ratio had dropped to its lowest level since the inception of the Russell ...
A new video posted online shows armed men around an alleged Russian pilot who seems to be unconscious and immobile. His face is bruised and bloodied. The men seem to be happy and are praising Allah, with some regretting that they hadn't burned him on the spot.
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