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18Dec2015 Market Update: Oil Prices Rise One Percent, Fall Again,DOW Off 288 Points, SP500 Down 1.3%

Written by Gary

US averages opened lower as expected, but the most hopeful of thoughts did not materialize is seeing the averages reverse course. Crude oil bounced up one percent as shorts were cleaned out and then fell close to 2008 lows. Volume levels are near anemic and hope of an 'up' session are nearly gone.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are sharply lower today with shares in Brazil off the most. The Bovespa is down 2.94% while U.S.'s S&P 500 is off 1.29% and Mexico's IPC is lower by 1.06%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

JP Morgan to pay $307 million to settle SEC, CFTC disclosure charges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - JP Morgan Chase will pay $307 million to settle two U.S. government cases that charged the bank with failing to disclose certain conflicts of interest to some of its wealth management clients, U.S. regulators said on Friday.

Exclusive: Bombardier's Beaudoin seen stepping down as chairman - source

WASHINGTON/MONTREAL (Reuters) - Pierre Beaudoin is expected to step down as executive chairman of Canada's Bombardier Inc in early 2016, according to a source familiar with discussions about the issue, a move that could erode family control of the plane and train maker.

BlackBerry earnings top expectations on software; shares rally

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry on Friday reported a smaller quarterly loss and its first quarter-to-quarter rise in revenue in over two years, sending its stock soaring as much as 12.6 percent, as its pivot to software begun to bear fruit.

Wall St. dips as crude heads for third weekly loss

(Reuters) - Wall Street was lower in morning trading, with the Dow shedding about 200 points, on "quadruple witching" Friday as crude prices headed for their third straight weekly loss.

Prospects still slim for major global economic pickup

LONDON/BRASILIA/BENGALURU (Reuters) - The world economy may be set for another year like 2015, with modest growth in developed economies offsetting persistent weakness elsewhere but generating very little inflation and keeping interest rates low.

How Congress Quietly Passed The Second Patriot Act: CISA Is Now The Law

Back in 2014, civil liberties and privacy advocates were up in arms when the government tried to quietly push through the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, a law which would allow federal agencies to share cybersecurity, and really any information with private companies, and vice versa, including the NSA, "notwithstanding any other provision of law." The most vocal complaint involved CISA's information-sharing channel, which was ostensibly created for responding quickly to hacks and breaches, and which provided a loophole in privacy laws that enabled intelligence and law enforcement surveillance without a warrant.

Ironically, in its earlier version, CISA had drawn the opposition of tech firms including Apple, Twitter, Reddit, as well as the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association. In April, a coalition of 55 civil liberties groups and security experts signed onto an open letter opposing it. In July, the Department of Homeland Security itself warned that the bill could overwhelm the agency with data of œdubious value  at the same time as it œsweep[s] away privacy protections.  Most notably, the biggest aggregator of online private content, Facebook, vehemently opposed the legislation however a month ago it was "surprisingly" revealed that Zuckerberg had been quietly on the side of the NSA all along as we reported in "Facebook Caught Secretly Lobbying For Privacy-Destroying "Cyber-Security" Bill."

Even Edward Snowden got dragged in:

Shameful: @Facebook secretly backing Senate's zombie #CISA surveillance bill while publicly pretending to oppose it.

OPEC Members In Jeopardy, How Long Can They Hold Out?

Submitted by Colin Chilcoat via,

Where's the floor? Is this the new normal? Answers have proven elusive and predictions unreliable as the oil market continues to lurch to and fro, though mostly down; oil is at an 11-year low.

Looking forward, bears and bulls abound - panicky and glued to OPEC's every, somewhat disjointed move. For its part, the oil-producing cartel is grappling with an existential crisis. To be sure, OPEC isn't dead and it hasn't lost its market moving capabilities, but disagreements over how to apply those means - and a creeping suspicion that OPEC and non-OPEC pain thresholds are not mutually exclusive - have fractured the group.

As it stands, OPEC is producing roughly 31.70 mbpd - up 1 percent from November, and more than 5 percent from a year ago. Record volumes from Saudi Arabia and Iraq have buoyed production to date, but Iran's oil industry is heating up as the country, and global

Japan Prepares Missile Blockade In East China Sea To Halt Chinese "Maritime Aggression"

Late last month in œSouth Pacific Showdown? Japan May Send Warships To China Islands,  we documented a meeting between Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Philippines President Benigno Aquino on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit held in Manila.

The two leaders discussed the possibility that Japan could provide Manila with œlarge ships  that the Philippines can use to patrol the South China Sea.

This was, of course, a direct response to China, whose land reclamation efforts in the Spratlys have ruffled more than a few feathers in the South Pacific.

œThe deal will mark the first time Japan has agreed to directly donate military equipment to another country, and is the latest example of Abe's more muscular security agenda,  Reuters reported on at the time, before adding that œrather than challenge Beijing directly by sending warships or planes to patrol the South China Sea, Japan is helping to build the military capacity of friendly nations with claims to parts of the waterway. 

Despite the contention that Abe has no immediate plans to œdirectly challenge  the PLA navy, the PM also told Obama that Japan would consider conducting œfreedom of navigation  patrols in conjunction with the US around China's man-made islands.

Recall that Washington has committed to sailing warships by the islands several times per year in a repeat of the pass-by the navy conducted in late October.

As we said last month, œif Japan starts to conduct the same type of exercises near the Spratlys that the US has now pledged to carry out at least twice per quarter, it will be more than Beijing can bear. 

U.S. Stocks Extend Losses

U.S. stocks fell sharply Friday as a rally spurred by the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates faded amid declines in transportation and utility shares.

Corporate Bonds Offer Reasons to be Cheerful---for Some

ECB asset purchases, assurances from the Fed that rate increases will be moderate, attractive yields and the belief that problems in the energy sector are not spreading to other areas have led some fund managers to turn more positive.

Regulators Warn on Commercial Real-Estate Loans

U.S. banking regulators signaled they may crack down on banks they view as inadequately managing risks in the fast-growing area of lending to commercial real estate.

Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Also Contracting in December 2015

Of the three regional manufacturing surveys released to date for December, all are in contraction

ETF Investing: This new ETF will let you bet on drones taking off

The proposed exchange-traded fund will hold stock in companies in the worldwide DroneTech industry. It comes from a company that found success with a cybersecurity ETF.

Bond Report: Treasury yields decline for a 2nd day as stocks, oil tumble

Treasury yields declined for a second day Friday as investors sought out safe investments like U.S. government debt.

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