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25Nov2016 Market Close: Stocks Close At Highs, 3 Week Win Steak; Black Friday Disappoints; Gold And Oil Fall

Written by Gary

U.S. equities closed higher on Friday, posting weekly gains, as investors kept an eye on retailers during Black Friday as a post-election rally moved forward. The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 70 points, hitting a new record high, s 3M and IBM contributed the most gains. The S&P 500 also shot to a new record, closing 0.4 percent higher as utilities gained 1.4% to lead advancers. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.34%, closing above a previous record of 5,392.26. The three major indexes were also up more than 1% for the week and extended their weekly winning streak to three.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street finishes at record highs consumer staples, techs gain

(Reuters) - Wall Street's three main indexes closed at record highs on Friday, helped by gains in consumer staples and technology stocks as investors hunted for bargains in a post-election rally.

U.S. stores far from overwhelmed as Black Friday sales begin

(Reuters) - Crowds were thin at U.S. malls and stores on Black Friday morning, formerly the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, and online channels were expected to show the strongest gains in sales over last year.

Johnson & Johnson approaches Actelion about takeover deal

ZURICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - U.S. healthcare company Johnson & Johnson said on Friday it was in preliminary talks with Actelion about a potential takeover of Europe's largest biotech firm, currently valued at about $20 billion.

Saudi wants OPEC to solve own problems before meeting non-OPEC

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Top OPEC oil exporter Saudi Arabia has told the producer group it will not attend talks on Monday with non-OPEC producers to discuss limiting supply, OPEC sources said, as it wants to focus on having consensus within the organization first.

Wells Fargo employees sue over funds in retirement plans

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co faces a new U.S. lawsuit claiming that it funneled more than $3 billion of employee retirement savings into expensive, underperforming proprietary mutual funds to enrich itself.

Lufthansa pilots' union rejects latest pay offer but calls off strikes

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Lufthansa's pilots' union said on Friday it rejected the airline's latest pay offer, only hours after it was made, but added it has no plans now for further strikes beyond Saturday.

Retail stock rally leaves few bargains for investors

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Wall Street expects consumers to open their wallets a little wider this holiday shopping season but bargains among red-hot retail stocks could be hard to find, especially as profit growth proves elusive for many big names.

Brazil plan to sell Celg-D stake lures one bidder: source

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The Brazilian government's effort to sell a stake in state-controlled Centrais Elétricas de Goiás SA attracted just a single unnamed bidder, a source with direct knowledge of the process told Reuters on Friday.

Kirkland Lake Gold shareholders approve Newmarket takeover

TORONTO (Reuters) - Mid-tier Canadian miner Kirkland Lake Gold said on Friday its shareholders voted heavily in favor of its takeover of Newmarket Gold, confirming a Reuters story on Thursday.

The Jill Stein Recount Ploy is a Scam Worthy of the CNBC Show American Greed

Hillary Clinton already conceded the election and isn't interested in dividing the country via a ridiculous recount. After all, she was the one holding Trump's feet to the fire in accepting the outcome of the elections and not challenging its efficacy. Enter Shill Stein and her money grabbing schemes -- playing off the butthurt feelings of the millions of people crying into their dinner jackets over the Clinton loss -- raising enormous amounts of funds from them since Wednesday. Let me rephrase that so it can sink in. Jill Stein is brazenly taking advantage of people by hanging hope of their heads, saying send me your money and I will ensure Trump isn't the next President of the United States. Essentially, that's what this is about, no? Since Wednesday, Stein's money raising schemes have topped $5 million. Her original goal was $2.5m, but rose, dramatically, after the money started to roll in. Her new goal is $7 million. Recounts will begin in Wisconsin soon. She's hoping to do recounts in PA and MI too, for the sake of the people, of course. Via her own website:

"We cannot guarantee a recount will happen in any of these states we are targeting. We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states."

If the recounts don't happen, what will become of all that money? Stein's website says any "surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform."

Intesrestingly, as her money raising schemes proved successful, the alleged costs associated with the recount rose dramatically -- including millions to be paid out to lawyers.

It appears that as more money came in, Jill Stein's estimated recount costs rose dramatically. https://t.co/aoOqH0VVkP pic.twitter.com/kcoYTrSU ...

"It's Time To Take Off The Dollar Goggles"

It's time to take off the dollar blinkers, exclaims Bloomberg's Mark Cudmore, and take stock of what's really going on in markets.

The dollar has been so strong since the election that it's clouding the vision of all US-centric observers. Any market decision requires an accurate assessment of the state of play. So apart from the roaring greenback, what are the other themes?

First thing to clear up is that most Asian emerging-market currencies are doing well. Indian rupee is at a record low? Rubbish. That's only versus the dollar. The rupee is an outperformer since the election, and has rallied 5% on a trade-weighted basis since its year-to-date low in June.

When will the yuan stop depreciating? Four months ago. Catch up. It's at the stronger end of a multi-month range.

For European investors, these currencies not only offer yield, but also capital appreciation. The corollary is that any U.S. investor who thinks they've done a great job playing the USD strength versus INR and CNY has actually underperformed - they've paid negative carry for less return than just shorting EUR/USD, let alone the returns from long USD/JPY.

Importan ...

The Fallacies Of Bernie Sanders

Submitted by David Gordon via The Mises Institute,

Where Bernie Went Wrong: And Why His Remedies Will Just Make Crony Capitalism Worse. By Hunter Lewis. Axios Press, 2016. 284 pages.

Hunter Lewis has rendered a great service with his new book. Writing from an Austrian perspective, he has given us the definitive analysis of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon. Though Sanders did not win the Democratic nomination, he accomplished something remarkable. "If Bernie's campaign was primarily an exercise in moving public opinion, it was wildly successful. He carried young people by wide margins. He shifted the Democratic Party and eventually its platform in his direction." (p.1)

How did he do this? "Bernie often says out loud what others are privately thinking." (p.13) The middle class and the poor are not doing well, he says; and the fault lies in a "rigged' system. "The economy becomes rigged because the rich, primarily represented by 'greedy' billionaires and corporations, use their wealth to subvert the political process and take command of government." (p.24)

Lewis finds much truth in Sanders's accusation. In a manifestly corrupt way, for example, failed banks and businesses were "bailed out" after the financial crash of 2008. "[Hank] Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, was one of the architects of the Wall Street bailout of 2008 which not only rescued Wall Street, but also rescued his own firm, along with all the shares he still retained in that firm." (p.132)

If Sanders has correctly identified a major problem, his proposed solution to it would only make matters worse; and in Lewis's careful pressing home of this claim against Sanders lies the principa ...

Ex-Goldman Sachs YouTube Sensation Scores A UK Hedge Fund Gig

After scoring internships at Goldman, Morgan Stanley and BAML over the course of her undergraduate university career, Jess Greenberg became a YouTube sensation this summer after exposing her many other "talents" to a rapidly growing online fan club. After posting over 60 guitar solos to her YouTube Channel that garnered millions of views, many had assumed Greenberg was done with the world of high finance.

Alas, as efinancialcareers points out, Greenberg hasn't given up on her finance career after all as she recently joined the London-based hedge fund, Winton Capital Management. As the job search portal notes, Greenberg is "amply equipped" for a job in finance after earning a degree in statistics, economics and finance from University College London with stellar grades.

While Winton Capital has historically preferred to hire "data scientists with PhDs including extragalactic astrophysicists, computer scientists and climatologists," they must have recognized some "unique talent" in Greenberg that made her a good fit straight out of her undergraduate career.

Certainly, Greenberg will be missed by her YouTube followers after recreating a variety of classic pieces from Hendrix...

Dylan....

...and, of course, Zeppelin.

While we would certainly never try to dissuade someone from pursuing their dre ...

Trade War's Biggest Loser---Stocks

If Donald Trump acts tough on trade, corporate profits would be hit hardest, threatening heady stock market.

Another Shoe Drops at comScore

ComScore's latest revelation about its accounting investigation should mean a hit to past profits, in addition to revenue.

Why Investors Should Build Their Own Global Banks

When investors buy into a global bank they aren't just buying one institution: increasingly they are funding multiple banks in different regions.

25Nov2016 Pre-Market Commentary: A Treading Water Day?

Written by Gary

USA markets are set to open marginally up. Oil prices down with the dollar up. Happy Black Friday! - enjoy your online shopping.

Rail Week Ending 19 November 2016: Improvement Trend Continues

Week 46 of 2016 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) improved according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. Long term rolling averages remain in contraction - but the 4 week rolling average is now in positive territory.

Apple's best Black Friday deals are being offered at Best Buy and Target

Apple's big one-day sales event isn't that big.

The Moneyologist: My stepfather left $1 million to strangers and dead people

All of this man's immediate family were left out of his trust.

Black Friday online shopping surpasses $3 billion for the first time

Online Thanksgiving Day sales totaled $1.93 billion.

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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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