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21Dec2015 Market Close: Markets Closed Higher After Crude Closes Down Lowest In Eleven Years, US Dollar Also Slipped

Written by Gary

U.S. stocks finished higher today, helped by a bounce in Apple and Microsoft as well as a rally in hospital shares after more Americans signed up for subsidized health insurance.

Global oversupply concerns dragged Brent crude oil prices down today to their weakest level in more than 11 years, but Wall Street gained broadly as investors went shopping after two days of sharp declines.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

U.S. ride-hailing firm Lyft plans to raise up to $1 billion in financing

(Reuters) - Ride-hailing company Lyft Inc, Uber Technologies Inc's biggest competitor in the United States, is looking to raise up to $1 billion in a Series F funding round, according to filing provided by VC experts.

Oil hits 11-year low; Wall St. rebounds but dollar falls

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global oversupply concerns dragged Brent crude oil prices down on Monday to their weakest level in more than 11 years, but Wall Street gained broadly as investors went shopping after two days of sharp declines.

Ex-RBS trader pleads guilty in U.S. to defrauding customers

(Reuters) - A bond trader pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiring to defraud Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc customers by misrepresenting the prices of bond transactions he and others handled for them in an effort to boost the bank's profit.

Oil prices hit eleven-year low as global supply balloons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brent crude oil prices hit their lowest in more than 11 years on Monday, while U.S. crude flirted with seven-year lows on more signs that swelling global supply looked set to outpace tepid demand again next year.

KaloBios fires Shkreli as CEO

(Reuters) - Drugmaker KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc said it fired Martin Shkreli as chief executive on Dec. 17, the day he was arrested on charges of a securities fraud.

Alibaba names new head of anti-counterfeiting, IP unit

(Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd appointed Matthew Bassiur as head global intellectual property enforcement to oversee the company's anti-counterfeiting and intellectual property rights protection efforts.

McDonald's exploring sale of stake in Japanese arm: Nikkei

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp is reaching out to investors about selling a part of the fast-food company's stake in its Japanese arm for about 100 billion yen ($826.2 million), the Nikkei business daily reported, without citing sources.

Traders Panic-Buy Stocks Into The Close Despite Crude And Credit Crumble

Since The Fed unleashed its rate-hike, things for the confidence-inspiring awesomeness have not gone well...

Trannies were worst post-Fed, Small Caps best but they are all red...

Stocks and bonds decoupled early in the overnight European session, then recoupled when Europe closed then stocks just went full retard into the close...

Here's your day summarized... come on!!!

Bank Counterparty Risk Surges To 4-Year High

In September, interbank credit markets flashed a quick and brief warning that something was up... and Janet folded. Three months later and following The Fed's oddly-timed rate-hike, interbank counterparty risk - as proxied by The TED-Spread - has spiked over 45% in 2 days, the most since Sept 2008 (Lehman).

The TED Spread is the difference between the interest rates on interbank loans and on short-term U.S. government debt and as such offers a proxy for how banks themselves perceive the relative creditworthiness of the financial system. The last time TED spread was surging to this level was late 2011, as Europe's crises was exploding.

Which makes one wonder whether The Fed rate hike was - as we detailed here - an implicit bailout for foreign (read European) banks?

But the pace of increase is extremely worrisome historically

The Fed just hiked into this massive two-week surge in TED spreads; as opposed cutting by 75 bps in 2008 and unleashing more QE at Jackson Hole in 2011! That hike seems akin to what happened in Sep-0 ...

Congress's $1.15 Trillion Spending Bill: Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

Submitted by Simon Black via,

Fyodor Dostoyevsky's seminal masterpiece Crime and Punishment is often thought of as one of the longest classics at more than 200,000 words.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which was signed into law on Friday, is nearly twice as long.

In case you're not familiar with the background, the author was once quite wealthy.

But through years of reckless, irresponsible behavior, he gambled away his wealth until he was impoverished and unable to pay his creditors.

I am, of course, talking about BOTH Dostoevsky, and the United States government.

Dostoevsky went broke from a gambling problem. The US government has gone broke from a spending problem.

And you'd think that, with nearly $19 trillion in debt, they'd come up with a budget that demonstrates a modicum of conservation.

But no. At 887 pages, the bill allocates $1.15 trillion in war and discretionary spending for fiscal year 2016 which began almost three months ago.

(That's an average of $1.3 billion in spending PER PAGE of the bill.)

Last December I recorded a podcast entitled "Paying down the debt is now almost mathematically impossible", which described how the US as currently structured was condemned to perpetual deficits and rising debt.

This spending bill further proves that point. And in making ...

"The Cost Is Very High": Portugal Taxpayers Face ‚¬3 Billion Loss After Second Bank Bailout In 2 Years

Back in August of 2014, Portugal had an idea.

Lisbon would use some ‚¬5 billion from the country's Resolution Fund to shore up (read: bailout) Portugal's second largest bank by assets, Banco Espirito Santo. The idea, basically, was to sell off Novo Banco SA (the "good bank" that was spun out of BES) in relatively short order and use the proceeds to pay back the Resolution Fun. That way, the cost to taxpayers would be zero.

You didn't have to be a financial wizard or a fortune teller to predict what was likely to happen next.

Unsurprisingly, the auction process didn't go so well. As we recounted in September, there were any number of reasons why Portugal had trouble selling Novo, not the least of which was that two potential bidders - Anbang Insurance Group and Fosun International which, you're reminded, is run by the recentlydisappeared Chinese Warren Buffett - suddenly became far more risk-averse in the wake of the financial market turmoil in China. Talks with US PE (Apollo specifically) also went south, presumably because no one knows if this "good" bank will actually turn out to need more capital going forward given that NPLs sit at something like 20% while the H1 loss totaled ‚¬250 million thanks to higher provisioning for said NPLs. Now, the auction process has been mothballed and will restart in January.

This matters because if the bank can't be sold, the cost of the bailout ends up being tacked onto Lisbon's budget. The impact is substantial. In September, when the effort to sell Novo collapsed, the government restated its 2014 deficit which, after accounting for the bailout, ballooned to 7.2% of GDP from 4.5%. Portugal will tell you that this is onlytemporary, but let's face it, if they haven't managed to sell it by now, then one has to believe the pros ...

Oil Falls to Lowest Level Since 2004

Brent oil prices dropped to the lowest level since 2004 amid ongoing concerns about a global supply glut.

U.S. Stocks Rise After Selloff

U.S. stocks swung higher in volatile trading, climbing from last week's steep losses following the Federal Reserve's rate decision

Natural-Gas Prices Surge 8%

Natural-gas prices posted on Monday their largest one-day percentage gain since January, as signs of cold weather and stronger heating demand crept into forecasts, chasing out many investors who had bet on falling prices.

IMAX's stock drops as 'Star Wars' hype fades

Shares of IMAX and otherStar Wars theaters dropped Monday as the hype forStar Wars: The Force Awakens that led up to the blowout opening weekend faded.

The Margin: Floyd Mayweather's retirement looks a lot different than yours

If Mayweather was a hedge-fund manager, he'd crack the top 20. That's a good thing, for him anyway, considering he spends money with the best of Wall Street's unapologetic hedonists.

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