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15Dec2015 Market Close: Markets Close Higher Ahead Of The Fed's FOMC Meeting Tomorrow, Expect Heavy Volatility

Written by Gary

US averages rose for a second session as a 3% surge in oil prices lifted battered energy stocks and fueled a rally in the battered energy sector. The S&P energy sector was the best performer on the index, the SP500 closed over one percentage point higher with the DOW closing up triple digits. Tomorrow will be interesting to see if the US dollar can suppress further Gains in prices of crude after the FOMC meeting.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Oil up second day as covering support stops slide to 11-year low

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices rose for a second straight day on Tuesday as short-covering and technical support halted a slide to 11-year lows, but the market remained fundamentally weak from oversupply, traders and analysts said.

White House says no excuse for budget deal not being completed quickly

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There is no excuse for not quickly completing a spending bill being negotiated by U.S. lawmakers to finance the government through September 2016, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Tuesday.

U.S. GAO dismisses Lockheed protest of $6.75 bln Oshkosh Army deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Tuesday dismissed Lockheed Martin Corp's protest of a $6.75 billion Army contract for next-generation Humvees to Oshkosh after Lockheed said it would take the issue to federal court.

U.S. regulators seek more concessions to OK Halliburton-Baker Hughes deal

(Reuters) - Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc said U.S. antitrust officials were not satisfied with the concessions they offered to win approval for their proposed merger, and that officials said they would assess further proposals.

Swiss banks to pay $130 million, avoid charges on aiding U.S. tax evasion

(Reuters) - Three Swiss banks, including a unit of France's Crédit Agricole SA , will pay a total of more than $130 million to the U.S. Justice Department to avoid possible prosecution for helping Americans evade taxes, the department said on Tuesday.

Equities climb as oil bounces; Fed decision nears

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets rallied on Tuesday as oil prices bounced from multi-year lows, though investors braced for the possibility for more volatility with a widely anticipated increase in U.S. interest rates due later this week.

Fed opens meeting to put an end to crisis era policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eight years after a devastating recession opened an era of loose U.S. monetary policy, the Federal Reserve on Tuesday began a two-day meeting at which it is expected to turn in the other direction and raise rates in an increasingly normal economy.

Steadily firming U.S. inflation supports Fed rate hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Underlying U.S. inflation pressures rose in November, which could give the Federal Reserve more confidence to raise interest rates on Wednesday, even as renewed weakness in gasoline prices kept overall consumer prices in check.

Pre-Fed Pandemonium - "Confident" Traders Buy Stocks, Dollars, Crude; Dump Bonds & Protection

Artist's impression of The Fed statement and press conference tomorrow...

Stocks, Crude, and USDJPY were loving it...

Cash stock indices gapped open then went nowhere...

Equities ran on the back of the algos to the stops at Thursday's pre-3rd Avenue collapse... then faded...

Breadth was not buying it...

FANGs ended the day very weak...

Smith & W ...

Did Saudi Arabia Just Clear The Way For An Invasion Of Syria And Iraq?

And now, a further turn for the absurd...

While it's still far from common knowledge among the Western public that Washington's closest allies in the Mid-East are funding, arming, and otherwise enabling the Sunni extremists (including ISIS) battling for control of Syria and working to destabilize Iraq, the massacre that unfolded earlier this month in San Bernardino has managed to focus some much needed attention on the role Saudi Arabia plays in promoting extremism.

As we noted in the immediate aftermath of the California mass shooting, the fact that Tashfeen Malik spent 25 years in Saudi Arabia living with a father who, according to family members who spoke to Reuters, adopted an increasingly hardline ideology as time went on, underscores the fact that the puritanical, ultra orthodox belief system promoted by the Saudis is poisonous. That's not a critique of Islam. It's a critique of Wahhabism and the effect it has on the minds of those who are inculcated by Saudi culture.

Here's an excerpt from "Saudi Arabia Is Underwriting Terrorism. Let's Start Making It Pay," by Charles Kenny:

For years since 9/11, U.S. and Western officials have mostly looked the other way at all this ideological support for extremism: Saudi oil was just too important to the global economy, even though many of these Saudi petro-dollars were underwriting repression at home and the growth of Salafist fundamentalism abroad.

This support for radicalism abroad should come as little surprise given that Islamic State is an ideological cousin of Saudi Arabia's own state-sponsored extremist Wahhabi sect "which the country has spent more than $10 billion to pr ...

The Stunning Explanation How "That Ford Truck" Ended Up In ISIS Hands

Almost exactly a year ago, the media world was abuzz when as we reported then, a picture posted by Ansar al-Din Front, an Islamic extremist brigade, and which promptly went viral showed a Ford F250 truck with a "Mark-1 Plumbing" decal on the door and a militant standing in the bed firing the anti-aircraft gun.

And while most moved on quickly from this story, for one person the picture had a dramatic and scarring effect: the owner of said Mark-1 Plumbing company, a Texan by the name of Mark Oberholtzer, who as many know by now, is suing a Texas Ford dealership (Charlie Thomas Gord) for more than $1 million in financial losses and damages to his company's reputation, as a result of this pickup truck which he once owned, ending up with Islamic militants fighting in Syria's civil war.

As CNN summarizes, "all Mark Oberholtzer wanted to do was upgrade his ride. What he got instead was a world of trouble from half a world away."

"By the end of the day, Mark-1's office, Mark-1's business phone, and Mark's personal cell had received over 1,000 phone calls from around the nation," Oberholtzer's lawyer wrote in the lawsuit, filed December 9 in Harris County, Texas. "These phone calls were in large part harassing and contained countless threats of violence, property harm, injury and even death."

Oberholtzer said this wouldn't have happened if the dealership had jus ...

Stocks Rise Ahead of Fed Decision

A rally in oil prices lifted battered energy stocks, propelling the market higher the day before the Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates for the first time since 2006.

Rising Rates Risk New Distortions

Federal Reserve officials say they are nearly ready to raise rates after years of easy money, but they won't know until they try if the tools they have devised will work or create new problems.

Asset Managers Follow Rebound in Junk Bonds

Large asset management firms' shares rebounded Tuesday from their deepest selloff in years, bouncing back alongside the U.S. junk bond market.

2015 Holiday Party Survey: 80% Having Parties, Scaling Down

from Challenger Gray and Christmas

Company holiday parties still appear to be in vogue based on a new survey showing that 80 percent are planning to have one, but there is mounting evidence that more companies are moving away from the extravagant affairs that were common prior to the Great Recession.

Capitol Report: SEC tinkers with liquidity fixes as issue of fund redemptions comes to the fore

The SEC has two proposals to improve mutual fund liquidity management but fixes may not come soon enough for investors running from surge of redemptions forcing some fire-sale liquidations

Will Ford find the Goldilocks of electric vehicles?

Auto maker's $4.5 billion investment intended to strike a balance between affordability and battery range.

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Earnings Summary for Today

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To contact me with questions, comments or constructive criticism is always encouraged and appreciated:

gary@econintersect.com

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