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29Dec2015 Market Close: Markets Close Higher After Good US Financial News, WTI Oil And US Dollar Rally Did Santa Stop By?

Written by Gary

U.S. markets closed higher as oil and US dollar rally in what might become a great Santa Clause Rally to close out the 2015 year. Investors are still reluctant to jump on board a new 'bull train' because of continued anxiety over global worries which include China's slowdown, the UK leaving the EU and a host of BRICS 'issues' that could evolve into a really serious global financial meltdown.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

Going nowhere: Stock market is on track to deliver a mostly flat finish after volatile 2015

The U.S. stock market took investors for a wild ride in 2015, but in the end it was a trip to nowhere. Despite veering between record highs and the steepest dive in four years, the stock market is on track to end the year essentially flat. That means if you invested in a fund that tracks the Standard & Poor's 500 index, you have little to show for the past 12 months. "It's been mildly disappointing," said Michael Baele, managing director at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank. "Any time that you come in toward the end of the year close to flat you always want a little bit more." Markets overseas had their own challenges. China's market surged in the late spring and then fell sharply in the summer despite several efforts by China's government to stem the decline, while Japan's market wa . . .

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Ferrari short sellers face higher costs; shares in short supply

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Short sellers waiting for recently listed shares of Ferrari NV to swerve off the road may soon face higher costs to maintain their bets on the luxury sportscar maker.

Oil ends up 3 percent on cold; glut worry persists longer term

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Oil jumped more than $1 a barrel on Tuesday as colder weather prompted buying a day after prices slid 3 percent, but slowing global demand and abundant supplies from OPEC members will continue to pressure the market, traders said.

Stabilizing oil lifts shares and bond yields

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks rose around the world and bond yields edged up on Tuesday as oil rebounded from 11-year lows on prospects for lower temperatures on both sides of the Atlantic.

Apple and Amazon push S&P 500 over 1 percent higher

(Reuters) - Wall Street surged on Tuesday, pushing the S&P 500 into a small gain for the year as Amazon and Apple led tech stocks higher and recovering crude prices bolstered energy shares.

Third time's a charm for UPS at Christmas, but FedEx stumbles

CHICAGO (Reuters) - After two consecutive years of problems during its holiday peak package season, UPS delivered on time at Christmas this year while its main rival FedEx had a last-minute stumble that left some gifts undelivered until after the holiday.

DuPont to cut 1,700 jobs in Delaware

(Reuters) - Chemical maker DuPont Co said it will cut 1,700 jobs in Delaware, as part of a plan to reduce its workforce by 10 percent before its proposed merger with Dow Chemical Co .

KaloBios submits request to appeal Nasdaq delisting

(Reuters) - KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, which fired its controversial Chief Executive Martin Shkreli earlier this month, said it had requested an appeal of Nasdaq's decision to delist its shares.

Barclays in $13.75 million U.S. settlement over mutual funds

(Reuters) - Barclays Plc will pay more than $13.75 million to settle U.S. regulatory charges that it let retail brokerage customers make unsuitable mutual fund transactions, including more than 6,100 fund switches, over a five-year period.

U.S. home prices rise slightly in October, top forecast

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Annualized U.S. single-family home prices rose in October at a slightly faster pace than in September and above market expectations, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.

Hedge Funds Dropping Like Flies: Doug Hirsch's Seneca Capital Closing After 20 Years

Three weeks ago when news of the dramatic gating and liquidation of Third Avenue's high yield debt focused fund first hit, we said that "now that the dreaded gates are back, investors in all other junk bond-focused hedge funds, fearing they too will be gated, will rush to pull what funds they can and submit redemption requests, in the process potentially unleashing a liquidity - and liquidation - scramble within the hedge fund community, which will first impact bonds and then, if the liquidity demands continue, equities as well."

Sure enough, promptly thereafter several other junk-debt focused hedge funds shut down, culminating with yesterday's liquidation of Whitebox's various multistrategy mutual funds.

And now, moments ago we learned, another hedge fund has decided to call it quits, this time chess-afficionado Doug Hirsch's event-driven $500 million Seneca Capital, which according to Bloomberg is returning most outside capital by today.

Bloomberg adds that "Seneca is returning money amid the worst year since 2011 for event-driven funds, which on average declined 2.3 percent through November. The closing adds to a roster of hedge funds, both big and small, that have shuttered in 2015 as the industry struggles to generate profits. LionEye Capital Management, another event-driven fund, is closing after losses, while BlueCrest Capital Management, Fortress Investment Group LLC and BlackRock Inc. are liquidating some of their funds."

Yet oddly enough, like in various recent hedge fund closures, Seneca's YTD loss was not extensive: the fund, which made wagers on corporate events such as mergers, spinoffs and restructurings, said it lost 6 percent this year in its domestic fund, hard ...

Marc Faber Dials In From Thailand, Sees Another Recession

When last we checked in on Marc Faber, the Gloom, Boom, and Doom seer was predicting that the market had reached a œtipping point , as thanks to QE and incessant central bank interventions, there are no safe assets left.

œIt's ludicrous to believe that you will create prosperity in a system by printing money, he said. œThat is economic sophism at its best. Or at its worst.

Shortly thereafter, Faber told Bloomberg that China's economy has most assuredly "landed hard."

"I think it's very difficult if you had the kind of bubble like you had in China, and the credit bubble, to then engineer a soft landing," he continued, before warning that "you could maybe cushion the downturn somewhat, but the fact is I the economy isn't growing at all."

On Tuesday, Faber was back on Bloomberg TV to discuss the outlook for 2016. The US economy, he says, is headed into recession and rather than be bullish on US equities (as every strategist polled by Barrons apparently is), Faber is long USTs. Asked whether it's a good idea to be bearish when stocks generally rise over time, Faber responded: "I think the right way to think about any investment is to be realistic."

Here's the video followed by some notable excerpts.

On US stocks:

œI just read the other day ...

Google's Enterprise Value Quietly Surpasses Apple

For the first time since early 2014, "no brainer" Apple's Enterprise Value has fallen below that of its tech giant super-hero nemesis Alphabet (the company formerly known as Google). Since early July, Apple has lost a stunning $112 billion of 'value' while Alphabet has added over $150 billion. In September we asked "have we reached peak Apple?" it appears, for now, the answer is in.

As we noted previously,

Technological change often comes faster than what the people in it's thrall can predict. It wasn't that long ago when you and everyone else you knew were probably using AOL Instant Messenger, around the same time that dude, you were getting a Dell. Then one day you weren't. Blackberrys used to be so popular that "to bbm" someone made it into the dictionary, but then the devices all but disappeared. These inflection points are seldom based on the companies failing their customers, but rather because consumers simply moved on.

U.S. Stocks Rise as Investors Eye Beaten-Down Shares

U.S. stocks gained Tuesday as investors snatched up shares of some of this year's biggest decliners.

A Bold Few Traders Earn Billions Flouting Rivals

The investors that did the best in 2015 are those that defied conventional wisdom.

New Fannie, Freddie Bonds Aim to Shift Taxpayer Risk

The government is trying to get taxpayers off the hook for billions of dollars of potential losses if another mortgage crisis arrives and plans to ramp up sales of new securities that transfers potential losses to private investors.

What We Read Today 29 December 2015

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).

BECOME A GEI MEMBER - IT's FREE!

Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

To become a GEI Member simply subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter.

ETF Investing: 11 ETFs that could make your new year

MarketWatch gets investing experts to each pick three ETFs for 2016 "funds that they expect will perform well, or that are at least worth keeping an eye on.

Futures Movers: Oil rebounds, while natural gas surges 5% on storms, cold weather

Energy futures jump Tuesday, with natural gas leading the way in the wake of winter storms and forecasts for colder weather in the U.S.

Summary of Economic Releases this Week

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Earnings Summary for Today

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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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