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24Dec2015 Market Close: Markets Close Marginally Lower As Crude Eases Into Low 38's

Written by Gary

US markets finished somewhat lower today as a drop in energy stocks kept a lid on holiday cheer in a shortened Christmas Eve trading session. Oil closes above $38 as U.S. supply tightens and remains near the 11-year low and the US dollar slumps.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street edges lower in short session

(Reuters) - Wall Street finished a little lower on Thursday as a drop in energy stocks kept a lid on holiday cheer in a shortened Christmas Eve trading session.

U.S. jobless claims near 42-year low as labor market tightens

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, nearing a 42-year low as labor market conditions continued to tighten in a boost to the economy.

Puerto Rico needs debt restructuring authority: U.S. Treasury Secretary

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Puerto Rico needs debt restructuring authority under U.S. bankruptcy law to address what the Obama Administration has previously called an "escalating crisis", U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, said on Fox Business Network TV on Thursday.

U.S. retailers at risk of missing modest holiday sales goals

CHICAGO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Retailers are struggling to meet even modest forecasts for the holiday shopping season this year after the "Super Saturday" before Christmas failed to live up to its nickname, industry research groups said.

U.S. says $1 billion linked to Venezuelan energy corruption scheme

(In Dec. 21 item, clarifies throughout that company's full name is Tradequip Services & Marine)

SAC Capital to pay $10 million in investors' insider trading lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire Steven A. Cohen's former hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors LP has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve a lawsuit by shareholders of drugmaker Wyeth, who claimed they lost money because the fund engaged in insider trading in Wyeth's stock.

Pep Boys says Icahn could further sweeten offer

(Reuters) - Pep Boys - Manny Moe & Jack said investor Carl Icahn was willing to pay as much as $1 billion for the U.S. auto parts retailer to keep rival bidder Japanese tire maker Bridgestone Corp at bay.

Recovering oil prices lift European shares

LONDON (Reuters) - A fourth consecutive day of gains in oil prices helped lift European shares on Thursday, while an almost 1 percent fall against the euro this week took the shine off a strong 2015 for the dollar.

Best "Santa Rally" In 4 Years Ends With Lump Of Coal

Happy Holidays...

This is the best 'week before Christmas' since 2011... Did we pull forward all that hope-strewn Santa Rally meme?

Best week for stocks since the first week of October... A Total melt-up off Friday's OPEX lows

On the day an overnight dip was bought into the early close...

Seems like everyone and their pet reindeer was hedged...

And credit started to weaken notably...

The Fed Has Created A "Monster" And Just Made A "Dangerous Mistake," Stephen Roach Warns

Stephen Roach is worried that the Fed has set the world up for another financial market meltdown.

Lower for longer rates and the proliferation of unconventional monetary policy have created œa breeding ground for asset bubbles, credit bubbles, and all-too frequent crises, so the Fed is really a part of the problem of financial instability rather than trying to provide a sense of calm in an otherwise unstable world, Roach told Bloomberg TV in an interview conducted a little over a week ago.

To be sure, Roach's sentiments have become par for the proverbial course. That is, it may have taken everyone a while (as in five years or so) to come to the conclusion we reached long ago, namely that central banks are setting the world up for a crisis that will make 2008 look like a walk in the park, but most of the œvery serious people are now getting concerned. Take BofAML for instance, who, in a note we outlined on Wednesday, demonstrated the prevailing dynamic with the following useful graphic:

Perhaps Jeremy Grantham put it best: œ the Greenspan/ Bernanke/Yellen Era, the Fed historically did not stop its asset price pushing until fully- fledged bubbles had occurred, as they did in U.S. growth stocks in 2000 and in U.S. housing in 2006.

Indeed. It's with that in mind that we bring you the fo ...

U.S. Stocks Slip After Oil-Fueled Rally

U.S. stocks ended mostly lower Thursday, but posted their biggest weekly gains in more than a month as investors snapped up shares in some of the year's most troubled sectors.

Two-Year U.S. Yield Rises Above 1%

The yield on two-year U.S. government debt rose above 1% and approached a five-year high as investors shed holdings ahead of fresh debt supply in the coming week.

Junk Selloff Fails to Lure Buyers

Money managers are hesitant to dive into the riskiest debt as the sector remains volatile.

18 December 2015: ECRI's WLI Growth Index Unchanged Remaining Slightly In Negative Territory

ECRI's WLI Growth Index which forecasts economic growth six months forward - was unchanged and remains slightly in negative territory. This index had spent 28 weeks in negative territory, then 15 weeks in positive territory - and now is in its 19th week in negative territory.

Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks end lower, but book solid gains in holiday-shortened week

U.S. stocks close slightly lower on Thursday, but a rally during the previous three sessions left the main indexes with solid gains for the holiday-shortened week.

The Wall Street Journal: Stephen Breyer on the global challenges facing the Supreme Court

This Supreme Court must increasingly consider the world beyond our national frontiers, the Supreme Court justice writes.

Tech may prey on other industries in 2016

Tech executives say they are planning to pursue acquisitions outside the tech industry to keep up with consumer trends.

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