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28Dec2015 Market Close: Slow Day On Wall Street As Many Investors Remain Home Extending Their Holiday Vacation

Written by Gary

US markets melted up from the opening lows, but still turned in a negative close on light volume. Falling oil prices and oversupply worries was the main topic in today's news articles and yet oil traded sideways in a narrow channel albeit in the high 36's. In other words, not much happened today as most investors and analysts are still on Holiday vacation. See ya tomorrow.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Whole Foods in settlement in New York City overcharging probe

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Whole Foods Market Inc has agreed to pay $500,000 and implement new policies and procedures to resolve an investigation into whether the retailer charged too much for some prepackaged foods at its New York City stores.

Oil down 3 percent; Brent near 11-year low as oversupply worries return

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil fell more than 3 percent on Monday, with global benchmark Brent back near 11-year lows as last week's short-covering dried up and players worried that crude prices had more room to swoon in the new year.

JPMorgan to raise deposit rates for some big clients in Jan: WSJ

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co will begin raising deposit rates for some of its biggest clients in January, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Wall Street loses ground as oil decline deepens

(Reuters) - Wall Street fell on Monday, hurt by a steep drop oil prices as well as a dip in Apple shares, pushing the S&P 500 back into negative territory for 2015.

Valeant to be led by group of executives while CEO fights pneumonia

(Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc on Monday said a group of company executives will immediately take over for its chief executive officer until he returns from medical leave, sending shares tumbling 10 percent.

U.S. holiday retail sales grow a 'solid' 7.9 percent: MasterCard

(Reuters) - Strong online sales and demand for furniture and women's apparel helped U.S. retail sales grow by a "solid" 7.9 percent this holiday season, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

7 Investment Lessons From Mom

Submitted by Lance Roberts via,

When I was growing up my mother had a saying, or an answer, for just about do most mothers. Every answer to the question "Why?" was immediately met with the most intellectual of answers; "...because I said so".

Seriously, my mother was a resource of knowledge that has served me well over the years and it wasn't until late in life that I realized that she had taught me the basic principles to staying safe in the world of financial investments.

So, by imparting her secrets to you I may be violating some sacred circle of motherhood knowledge, but I felt it was worth the risk to share the knowledge which has stood well the test of time.

1) Don't Run With Sharp Objects!

It wasn't hard to understand why she didn't want me to run with scissors through the house - I just think I did it early on just to watch her panic. However, later in life when I got my first apartment I ran through the entire place with a pair of scissors, left the front door open with the air conditioning on, and turned every light on in the house. That rebellion immediately stopped when I received my first electric bill.

Sometime in the early 90's, the financial markets became a casino as the internet age ignited a whole generation of stock market gamblers who thought they were investors. There is a huge difference between investing and speculating, and knowing the difference is critical to overall success.

Investing is backed by a solid investment strategy with defined goals, an accumulation schedule, allocation analysis and, most importantly, a defined sell strategy and risk ...

Furious Coal Baron Lashes Out: "Obama Is The Greatest Enemy I've Ever Had. It's Beyond Personal"

Robert Murray is no fan of Barack Obama.

Murray, you're reminded, is the CEO of Murray Energy. Earlier this year, the company laid off 21% of its employees, with the majority of the cuts coming in West Virginia, which was staring down a $195 million budget gap thanks to the slide in coal prices.

Around two months after the job cuts, Murray spoke to Republicans at the Lincoln Day Dinner and let it all out. The 75-year old told lawmakers he was œrighteously mad at the President, who he says is on a "bizarre personal and political" quest to destroy not only the coal industry, but the entire country. œRadical environmentalists, liberal elitists, [and] Hollywood characters" aren't helping, he added, for good measure.

As SNL wrote at the time, "Murray said President Barack Obama's administration has issued regulations that illegally bypass the states and their utility commissions, the U.S. Congress and the Constitution in favor of putting the U.S. EPA in charge of the nation's electric grid." Here are some other notable quotes:

"Thus, these people are prohibited from working and fall to the negative side of the economic ledger for the rest of their lives. This is not the America that I have always cherished. Well, I am obviously not giving up. Nor should you. We have the law, science, economics, cold hard energy facts and the Constitution on our side. Our cause is right. It is right for the coal industry and our communities and America. We m ...

The Death Of Decoupling

Despite the increasing perception of policy divergence between The US and the rest of the world, it appears 'factors beyond the control of the central planners' has stymied hope for any US-based sparking of global growth. Between The Fed's liquidity withdrawal and the deflationary tsunami from an emerging world buried in credit-fueled mal-investment, it is increasingly clear that central banks have lost control and everything is now going down together.

Dreams of decoupling have once again been dashed on the shores of 'lagging' business cycles...

As Citi's Willem Buiter recently noted, "everything's failed" so how long before we see the money drop?

So now what? Well, this.

Buiter concludes:

The case for helicopter money is therefore partly to ensure the euro area (and some other advanced economies) reflate powerfully enough to escape the liquidity trap, rather than settle in a lasting rut of low-flation and low growth, with "emergency" levels of asset purchases and interest rates becoming the norm.

In orderly markets and with the policy rate at the ELB, ...

The Crude Oil Export Ban - "What, Me Worry About Peak Oil?"

Submitted by Arthur Berman via,

Congress ended the U.S. crude oil export ban last week. There is apparently no longer a strategic reason to conserve oil because shale production has made American great again. At least, that's narrative that reality-averse politicians and their bases prefer.

The 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) that banned crude oil export was the closest thing to an energy policy that the United States has ever had. The law was passed after the price of oil increased in one month (January 1974) from $21 to $51 per barrel (2015 dollars) because of the Arab Oil Embargo.

The EPCA not only banned the export of crude oil but also established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Both measures were intended to keep more oil at home in order to make the U.S. less dependent on imported oil. A 55 mile-per-hour national speed limit was established to force conservation, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) was founded to better monitor and predict global oil supply and demand trends.

Above all, the export ban acknowledged that declining domestic supply and increased imports had made the country vulnerable to economic disruption. Its repeal last week suggests that there is no longer any risk associated with dependence on foreign oil.

What, Me Worry?

The tight oil revolution has returned U.S. crude oil production almost to its 1970 peak of 10 million barrels per day (mmbpd) and imports have been falling for the last decade (Figure 1).

Saudi Aramco Chief: Oil Glut Will Ease in 2016

Crude oil markets are likely to balance some time next year as supplies from North America, including U.S. shale, continue to decline significantly, the chairman of Saudi Arabia's giant oil company said.

Leading Index Review: November 2015 Philly Fed Leading Index Forecasts Little Change In Rate of Growth

Written by Steven Hansen

This post is a review of all major leading indicators follows - and no leading index is particularily strong. A summary of the indices are at the end of this post.

Capitol Report: Growth forecasts have been too optimistic in 13 of the last 16 years

Economic forecasters have been overly optimistic about U.S. economic growth in 13 of the last 16 years since 2000, according to a study by Goldman Sachs

New Yorkers say good riddance to 2015 in annual shredding ceremony

People came out to shred ex-partners, bad habits and bills at Times Square's annual Good Riddance Day Monday.

Deep Dive: 2015 year in review: The S&P 500's winners and losers

MarketWatch takes a look at the best and worst performers among S&P 500 stocks.

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