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15Mar2016 Market Close: US Markets Close Down, WTI Prices Settle Down 2% In The Mid 36's, Fed Policy Meeting On Deck Tomorrow, Investors Nervous

Written by Gary

US markets closed mostly lower today with the DOW closing up 0.1%. The S&P 500 finished down 3.71 points, or =0.2%, lower at 2,015.94, while the Nasdaq Composite finished down 21.61 points, or -0.5%, lower at 4,728.67 as weak oil prices drove a selloff in energy and materials shares. Investors are awaiting the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting starting tomorrow.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Drugmaker Valeant faces debt default risk; shares plunge 50 percent

(Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc's shares plunged 50 percent on Tuesday after the company said a delay in filing its annual report put it in danger of a default on its $30 billion in debt.

Fed seen holding U.S. rates for now, leaving door open for June hike

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers are seen leaving short-term interest rates unchanged at a two-day policy meeting that began Tuesday, but also to signal that a rate hike is not too far off as long as the job market and inflation continue to improve.

Teamsters recommends rejection of Costco contract

(Reuters) - Teamsters unions representing 16,000 workers of Costco Wholesale Corp on Tuesday recommended its members reject a contract offer from the retailer due to a long-running disagreement over its pension plan.

Wall St. dips before Fed as healthcare drags

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Healthcare and materials stocks pulled Wall Street lower on Tuesday in a second straight day of quiet trading as investors cautiously awaited news from the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting.

Oil ends down 2 percent on technical pressure, stockpiles worry

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil settled 2 percent lower on Tuesday, extending losses for a second straight day, as the market yielded to technical resistance after running above $40 a barrel and worry that U.S. crude stockpiles were rising despite falling production.

UPS expands alternative fuels momentum with $100 million CNG investment

(Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc on Tuesday announced a $100 million plan to buy hundreds of new trucks that will run on compressed natural gas, saying it did not want to lose momentum on alternative fuels even though diesel prices have tanked.

New boss of Russian carmaker Avtovaz enters a lion's den

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Nicolas Maure, brought in to turn around Renault-Nissan's Russian carmaker Avtovaz, is entering a lion's den where his predecessor fell foul of diving sales and powerful vested interests among shareholders, suppliers and workers.

Teamsters, Lyft drivers will object to settlement over expenses

(Reuters) - Five Lyft drivers and the Teamsters union will object to a proposed class action settlement, saying it would shortchange drivers by keeping them as independent contractors instead of employees, a union spokesman said on Tuesday.

Fiat Chrysler gains access to cash of its U.S. subsidiary

DETROIT (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced on Tuesday that it has eliminated covenants linked to term loans of its U.S. unit, FCA US LLC, thus gaining full access to the subsidiary's cash.

S&P Loses Key Technical Support As Bears Battered Brazil & Black-Gold

Keep calm... It's The Fed tomorrow, what could possibly go wrong...

Ahead of tomorrow's Fed statement and press conference, here is what has happened since they last "did" something...

The Dow clung desperately to unchanged but The S&P could not get green (as Small Caps tumbled)

Since Friday...

Which meant the S&P lost its 200DMA support...

Blame Kuroda!!

Why Russia Is Leaving Syria: Putin Achieved Everything He Wanted

Earlier today, we took a closer look at Vladimir Putin's seemingly abrupt decision to partially withdraw the Russian military from Syria.

The prevailing view seems to be that Moscow somehow intended to put more pressure on Assad to be amenable to a negotiated, political solution and indeed that may be a part of the plan. However, as we noted, it's not exactly as if The Kremlin is leaving the Syrian leader high and dry.

Aleppo proper was surrounded just prior to the implementation of the ceasefire late last month. Hezbollah and Russia's air force had the rebels pinned down. Their supply lines to Turkey were cut, and civilians were fleeing the city en masse to avoid what they assumed would be a bloody siege. At that point is was readily apparent that the opposition couldn't hold out much longer. Besides, it's not as if the IRGC and Hezbollah are just going to pack up and leave once the Russians draw down their presence.

"We are heading toward being liquidated I think, one opposition official said.

So it isn't entirely clear that Assad is being forced to negotiate in Geneva by Putin's exit any more than the HNC, which surely doesn't want to go right back into a situation where they are on the verge of surrender.

Rather, it appears to us that Putin sensed the perfect moment to change tactics. As we wrote this morning, œif both sides come to some kind of tenuous agreement, Putin will get to claim that Russia's military came, saw, and conquered, then brokered a peace settlement - two things no country had been able to do in Syria since the beginning of the war in 2011.

NYU professor and Russian security affairs expert Mark Galeotti came to a similar conclusion a ...

Margin Debt Flashes Red As The Fed Cometh

Submitted by Lance Roberts via,

In this past weekend's newsletter, I reviewed the current fundamental, economic and technical backdrop of the market following the March rebound from the recent lows which was front running the ECB's monetary policy decision.

"The question, of course, is whether the ECB's interventions will be able to change the longer-term dynamics in the Eurozone by creating inflationary pressures and sparking economic growth? That answer is likely "no" as it has failed to do so in the past, not only in the Eurozone but also in Japan and the U.S.

In order for the market to change the current negative dynamics, which in turn would warrant a significant increase in long-term equity exposure, it will require a uniform improvement in the technical underpinnings and likely a breakout to all-time highs."

As shown below, the very short-term technical trend still remains negative as the recent rally pushing into resistance at both the downtrend and the 200-dma. It is also worth noting that the 50-dma is still trading well below the 200-dma as well.


There is a good bit of "stuff" happening in the c ...

U.S. Stocks Mixed Ahead of Fed Statement

Stocks ended mixed as investors remained cautious amid a two-day meeting of Federal Reserve officials, which began Tuesday.

Who Stole $100 Million From Bangladesh at the New York Fed?

Someone using official codes stole $100 million from Bangladesh's account at the New York Fed over a recent weekend. Now, officials in four countries are trying to figure out what happened.

'Abusive' Attitude at Regulator Prompted Banks to Drop Tax-Refund Loans: Watchdog

The inspector general for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. blamed some agency staff members for an œabusive supervisory attitude that forced banks to stop offering loans based on consumers' tax refund checks.

Market Extra: Why share volume of tiny biotech Celator was as heavy as Apple's

Investors on Tuesday show as much interest in a new blood cancer treatment than they do in the next iteration of Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

This year's IPOs led by companies with no products or no assets

So far the IPO market has been led by early biotech companies and œblank-check companies.

Valeant stock suffers worst-ever day as activist Bill Ackman pledges proactive role

Ackman has lost billions on his position in Valeant.

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