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18Dec2015 Market Close: DOW Off 300 Points, WTI Oil Steady Going Into Weekend, Investors Concerned, To Say The Very Least, Of A Continued Bear Market

Written by Gary

US averages closed down, DOW off 370 points and the SP500 closed down 1.8% in a last minute selloff placing it right at the 2000 level. WTI crude oil, after being quite volatile earlier, settled where it started this morning (34.72). Investors are not quite sure we are going to see a Santa Claus Rally this year, but are hoping Monday will be the start with a big market gain.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Fed's Williams wants low rates, hot economy in 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve will aim to keep the U.S. economy running hot next year to boost the job market and inflation, a top central banker said, and to achieve that goal interest-rate hikes will be slow but will not follow any predictable pattern.

Fed's Lacker says four rate hikes in 2016 would be "gradual"

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Reuters) - Federal Reserve forecasts pointing to four interest rate hikes in 2016 show what the U.S. central bank means when it says it anticipates raising rates at a "gradual pace," Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Friday.

Exclusive: Target in initial development of own mobile wallet - sources

(Reuters) - Target Corp is in the early stages of developing its own mobile wallet, three people familiar with the matter said, joining Wal-Mart Stores Inc in posing a threat to recent entrants like Apple Pay.

Global stocks fall on global growth concerns, dollar slips

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets fell on Friday, pulled lower by concerns about slumping crude oil prices and whether they signal slower growth, while the dollar slipped against the yen on views the Bank of Japan may not ease policy as much as expected.

Fed to raise rates again in March, follow up with fewer hikes: Reuters poll

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again in the next three months, according to two-thirds of economists polled by Reuters, although many say rates won't rise as quickly next year as policymakers have suggested.

Citi to cut 2,000 jobs starting next month: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc plans to cut at least 2,000 jobs starting next month as the lender restructures its businesses, Bloomberg reported.

Amazon in talks to lease Boeing jets to launch air-cargo business: report

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is negotiating to lease 20 Boeing Co 767 jets to start its own air-delivery service next month, seeking to avoid delays from third-party carriers, the Seattle Times reported, citing cargo-industry executives.

Wal-Mart names Tony Rogers as U.S. marketing head: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc named Tony Rogers as its U.S. marketing head, replacing Stephen Quinn, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

Oil down 1 percent, reversing early gains, as U.S. rig count rises

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil reversed early gains to fall 1 percent on Friday afternoon after the U.S. oil rig count rose for the first time in 5 weeks.

The Statist Mindset

Submitted by Roger Barris via Acting-Man.com,

The Key Logical Fallacy of Statism

I just read an article in Bloomberg View yesterday by Cass Sunstein, who is a law professor at Harvard. It was a roundup of a number of books published last year on "behavioral economics". For those who don't know it, behavioral economics typically focuses on the biases and systematic errors in human behavior.

communist angels

Surely everyone has heard an argument along these lines before: socialism would really work if only it were done right! For starters, it would need to be administered by a host of angels, so what you see above should be considered the ideal communist bureaucrats.

In his review of the book Phishing for Phools by George Akerloff and Robert Shiller, Sunstein concludes that one of the major contributions of the authors "is to show that if we care about people's well-being, the invisible hand (i.e., free markets) is often the problem, not the solution."

cass-sunstein-cia

Cass Sunstein, a committed, and as we believe, truly dangerous statist, who would likely have felt right at home in Stalin's politburo. We have discussed this crypto-communist weirdo previously in these pages (s ...

Citi "Resizes Infrastructure" Post Fed Rate Hike - Slashes 2,000 Jobs

Perhaps in a recognition of the collapsing yield curve, and for sure in the face of the mainstream's bullish narrative on US banks in a post-rate-hike paradigm, Citi has announced plans to cut at least 2,000 jobs starting next month. Despite exuberance over higher rates, it appears Citi's CEO Michael Corbat wants to restructure some of the bank's businesses.

As Bloomberg reports, the substantial portion will be in middle or back-office positions, according to a person briefed on the plans, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters. The reductions are part of a repositioning the firm announced this month and will occur across the New York-based lender's global footprint, people familiar with the matter said.

Citigroup, which had 239,000 workers at the end of September, has already held discussions with some affected employees, said one of the people, who declined to provide specifics on the businesses targeted.

Employees in the institutional business, which houses the trading and investment-banking operations, will be among those dismissed, one of the people said. Cuts in that unit will be more in line with annual performance-based dismissals that Wall Street firms employ to maintain competitiveness and adjust businesses to shifting markets, the person said.

Three years after taking over as CEO, Corbat is still finding areas to trim in a firm that boasted 374,000 employees before the financial crisis forced a government bailout. The bank will take a charge of a ...

CEO To Yellen: "Let Us Tell You What We Are Seeing!!"

With Financial Stress Index near cycle highs and macro data collapsing (in Services and Manufacturing) even CEOs are questioning Janet Yellen's timing...

"I don't mean to make anybody too worried about this stuff, right?

We can speak less about stuff and pretend like everything's just always great. I don't think " I don't think that's the right way to build partnerships. I think, we tell you when things are working, we tell you when things are not working, we tell you when we make changes, we tell you when the changes are working, we tell you when the changes are not working.

...the areas that are affected by oil... the Texas markets specifically ¦In the first half of the year, they were pulling down total Company sales a little under 2 points...

In Q3, that accelerated to 4 points, and that's meaningful, right? It's not just meaningful to us, I'd say it's meaningful to anybody who's thinking about what the US economy ought to look like...

It makes me think hey, should we be calling Yellen... and saying, let us tell you what we are seeing."

- Restoration Hardware CEO Gary Friedman (Home Furnishing)

h/t Avondale Asset Management

U.S. Stocks Extend Losses

U.S. stocks extended their losses Friday, as a rally spurred by the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates faded and oil prices slid.

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.

The fight against ISIS: What role should technology companies play?

Lawmakers and presidential candidates say tech companies should play a bigger role in national security.

Market Snapshot: Dow industrials skid nearly 300 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled nearly 300 points, the sixth straight session in which it has seen a triple-digit move.

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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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