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21Mar2016 Market Close: Stocks Fade To End Flat As Caution Descends; Coal Financing Hard To Find

Written by Gary

U.S. stock indices faded toward flat for the day after recovering from a morning sell off.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. ends flat as recent rally spurs caution

New York (Reuters) - Wall Street closed little changed on Monday as investors searched for fresh catalysts and showed concerns about fully-extended share prices after a five-week rally.

Marriott wins back Sheraton-owner Starwood with new offer

(Reuters) - Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc , owner of the Sheraton and Westin brands, accepted a higher $13.6 billion acquisition offer from peer Marriott International Inc , spurning a bid from China's Anbang Insurance Group.

As Coal's Future Grows Murkier, Banks Pull Financing

(The New York Times) JPMorgan Chase announced two weeks ago that it would no longer finance new coal-fired power plants in the United States or other wealthy nations. The retreat follows similar announcements by Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley that they are, in one way or another, backing away from coal.

While coal has been declining over the last several years, Wall Street's broad retreat is an ominous sign for the industry.

Apple hopes small is big again as iPhone SE debuts

CUPERTINO, Calif. (Reuters) - Apple Inc on Monday launched its least expensive iPhone, the $399 iPhone SE, filling a hole in its product lineup with a small-screen model that targets new customers in emerging markets and fans of smaller phones as the company tries to reverse falling phone sales.

Staples' merger with Office Depot hangs in balance at court hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The fate of Staples Inc's planned merger with Office Depot Inc , which U.S. antitrust regulators have sued to stop, depends in part on whether a district court judge decides that Amazon.com Inc will soon become a behemoth in the office supply business.

Drugmaker Valeant CEO leaving as investor Ackman joins board

(Reuters) - Drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc said on Monday its chief executive officer is leaving and billionaire investor William Ackman would join the board as it tries to clean up accounting problems and save its business. The Canadian company, whose operations include prescription drugs, consumer products, and Bausch & Lomb eye care, has lost nearly 90 percent of its value as it came under public scrutiny for its pricing and distribution pra

IHS to buy data provider Markit, combined company to base in UK

(Reuters) - U.S.-based IHS Inc agreed to buy Markit Ltd to create a $13 billion London-based data and business research provider, in the latest example of a U.S. company moving its domicile overseas where corporate tax rates are lower.

First Airbus aircraft produced in the U.S. takes maiden flight

PARIS (Reuters) - The first aircraft produced in the United States by European aerospace company Airbus took off from Mobile, Alabama on Monday and landed safely after a three-and-a-half hour flight, the Toulouse, France group said.

BNY Mellon to pay $3 million after Massachusetts probe of funds glitch

(Reuters) - Bank of New York Mellon Corp has agreed to pay $3 million in settling a state investigation into problems it faced in calculating net asset values on some 1,200 mutual funds last August, Massachusetts' top securities regulator said on Monday.

The 7-Deadly Investing Sins

Submitted by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

Seven-deadly-sins

I have often written about the emotional and psychological factors that inhibit long-term investment performance (most recently here). Despite repeated studies that suggest investors should just buy "passive index" funds and "hold on" until eternity, the reality is that it simply does not work that way.

If you were raised in a religious household, or were sent to a Catholic school, you have heard of the seven deadly sins. These transgressions — wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony — are human tendencies that, if not overcome, can lead to other sins and a path straight to the netherworld.

In the investing world, these same seven deadly sins apply. These "behaviors," just like in life, lead to poor investing outcomes. Therefore, to be a better investor, we must recognize these "moral transgressions" and learn how to overcome them.

The 7-Deadly Investing Sins
Wrath - never get angry; just fix the problem and move on.

Individuals tend to believe that investments they make, or their advisor, should

Stocks Edge Higher Despite Dismal Data & Hawkish Fed As Bonds & Bullion Slide

To sum up: China car sales crash by most on record (boom goes the overseas growth meme), US existing home sales plunge most in 6 years (boom goes the domestic housing strength supporting consumption meme), Williams and Lockhart go full hawk-tard (positing April as "live" and suggesting everything is hawkishly awesome), and one of our most succeesful 'innovative' tech firms unveils the worst product launch ever... and investors buy stocks with both hands and feet...

Futures show the flip-floppiness of the day best...A ramp in the afternoon session of China (thanks to eased margin requirements) which gave way as Europe traded weak then was slammed by Fed's Williams "April live" comments... a ramp back into the US open was then slammed by crappy housing data... which the machines ramped into Europe's close... Then Fed's Lockhart reiterated "April live" warnings but early weakness just spurred USDJPY to ignite momentum in stocks to overnight high stops...

Leaving Nasdaq the winner as cash equities rallied into the European close and sold off after NYMEX close despite extended gains from oil...

...

Meet The Landlord Who Refuses To Rent To Supporters Of Donald Trump

By definition liberals, also known as the group which after establishment Republicans is most threatened by Donald Trump's meteoric rise, are supposed to be... well... liberal, as in avoid prejudice when interacting with fellow human beings. Unfortunately, that appears not to be the case with a landlord in Grand Junction, Colorado, who is refusing to rent to anyone who supports Trump.

As the Daily Sentinel writes, supporters of The Donald aren't welcome at Mark Holmes' rental on
Main Street, indicated by this advertisement he placed in The Nickel
last week. To wit:

For rent: Downtown apartment, 2 bedrooms. Includes organic garden space, hot tub, great backyard. You can bring your dogs if they have references as good as yours. If voting for Donald Trump, do not call.

As the Colorado paper writes, the ad prompted some anonymous callers who disagreed with his political statement to leave hate messages on his voicemail.But before you judge this prejudiced "liberal", hear his side of the story.

Landlord Mark Holmes.

His reasoning behind placing the stipulation in the ad is that he
doesn't know what to do anymore about the possibility that Trump might
be elected, and he's just had it.

œI don't know what to do anymore about what's going on in this country, he said. œIt's just a mess.

Holmes said he was inspired to include the stipulation for a few reasons, including the fact that he doesn't want to sh ...

Greece Orders Banks To Record "Personal Data" On Anyone Who Was Hoarding Cash

Over the course of documenting the ECB's push to phase out the ‚¬500 note, we stumbled upon something rather interesting that's taking place at Greek banks.

Courtesy of a reader, we learned that Piraeus Bank (among others) has begun charging a fee to exchange large denomination bills for small. The charge is listed as 0.15% by the bank and Kathimerini would later report that across the Greek banking sector œexchanging one 500-euro note for smaller bills, [will cost you] 3-5 euros (depending on the bank), while the maximum charge comes to 200-250 euros regardless of the amount a customer wishes to exchange.

This is amusing for two reasons: 1) the ECB effectively gets to charge for the privilege for banning large bills and 2) it means that if you are Greek and you were effectively forced to take your money out of the bank because after last summer you feared a depositor bail-in might be right around the corner, you now have the distinct pleasure of having to pay a fee to exchange your large bills for smaller ones at the very same banks where you withdrew the money in the first place.

The entire effort to eliminate the ‚¬500 note is set against the backdrop of a larger push to phase out physical cash. Without physical cash, there is no effective lower bound as citizens cannot resort to banknotes and coins when interest rates fall. Rates then, can go as low as the central bank needs them to in order to facilitate consumer spending and thus centrally plan the economy.

Of course central banks aren't going to come out and say that. The official reason given for eliminating large bills (and sooner or later small bills too) is that it reduces crime. If there's no cash there will always be an electronic record of transactions which presumably would deter criminal activity unless criminals resort to payment in-kind or otherwise devi ...

U.S. Stocks Drift Higher as Volatility Declines

U.S. indexes drifted higher Monday, while expectations for stock-market swings hovered near seven-month lows.

Repo Failures at Highest Levels Since 2008

Settlement failures in Treasury repurchase transactions this month hit their highest level since 2008, underscoring concerns on Wall Street that trading conditions are apt to deteriorate in even the most-liquid markets under the acute stress evident early this year.

Hedge Fund Omega, Founder Cooperman Get SEC Wells Notice

Hedge-fund firm Omega Advisors and its founder Leon Cooperman received a œWells notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission warning them of possible enforcement action.

February 2016 Existing Home Sales Slump. Below Expectations.

Written by Steven Hansen

The headlines for existing home sales say "the main issue continues to be a supply and affordability problem. Finding the right property at an affordable price is burdening many potential". Our analysis of the unadjusted data shows that home sales did decline, and the rolling averages improved. Sales price rate of growth moderated.

February 2016 CFNAI Super Index Insignificantly Improves. Well Below Expectations.

Written by Steven Hansen

The economy's growth was statistically unchanged based on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3 month moving (3MA) average - and remains below the historical trend rate of growth (but still well above levels associated with recessions). This was well below market expectations.

Trump will trigger 'global growth scare,' Gundlach says

The presidential nomination of GOP candidate Donald Trump risks inducing a œglobal growth scare between now and the end summer, closely followed bond fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach said Monday.

Commodities Corner: Gasoline prices climb toward their highest level of the year

The cost for gasoline at the pump is climbing toward the highest level of the year as cheap prices spur demand.

Earnings Outlook: Analysts are cautious about the competition ahead of Nike earnings

Nike had a strong 2015, but ahead of third-quarter earnings, analysts are cautious about the competition and other factors.

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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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