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01Dec2016 Market Close: Crude Prices Back Off Session Highs, US Dollar Slipping, Technology Stocks Fall, DOW Up, Spooze Closes Down

Written by Gary

US major indexes closed fractionally lower with the DOW closing up 68 points (SPY -0.8%). Declining technology stocks pulled both the Nasdaq and the SP 500 indexes into the red today, while gains in bank and energy shares helped push the Dow to a record high close.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Exclusive: How Putin, Khamenei and Saudi prince got OPEC deal done

VIENNA (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin played a crucial role in helping OPEC rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia set aside differences to forge the cartel's first deal with non-OPEC Russia in 15 years.

S&P, Nasdaq end lower with tech; Dow up

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A sharp decline in technology stocks pulled both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 indexes into the red on Thursday, while gains in bank and energy shares helped push the Dow to a record high close.

As Trump touts Indiana jobs deal, U.S. factory work seeps overseas

ELKHART, Ind./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump goes to Indianapolis on Thursday to celebrate a deal that will keep 1,000 factory jobs there, but employers elsewhere in Indiana are laying off five times that many workers because of foreign competition.

U.S. factory activity at five-month high, bottlenecks emerging

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. factory activity accelerated to a five-month high in November amid a pickup in new orders and production, suggesting that the manufacturing sector was regaining its footing after a prolonged slump.

Separation anxiety: Trump's management style poses challenges in Oval Office

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It has proven one of Donald Trump's greatest strengths in building a worldwide luxury brand: An obsessive attention to detail, down to the curtains hanging in hotel rooms and the marble lining the lobby floor.

DoubleLine's Gundlach says Trump rallies seem to be 'losing steam'

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Financial markets could reverse their solid momentum at the latest by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration, DoubleLine Capital Chief Executive Jeffrey Gundlach said on Thursday.

Indiana agrees $7 million tax break to keep Carrier jobs in state: company

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Indiana state officials have agreed to give United Technologies Corp $7 million worth of tax breaks over 10 years to encourage the company to keep about 1,100 jobs at its Carrier unit in Indianapolis, Carrier said on Thursday.

Delta pilots get 30 percent raise by 2019 in new contract

MONTREAL/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc pilots on Thursday agreed to a new contract that delivers a 30 percent pay raise by 2019, as the aviation industry deals with mounting demand for higher wages to fly planes at a time of big profits.

Questions resurface about who would succeed longtime Goldman CEO

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc is again facing questions about who would succeed longtime Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein when he eventually steps down.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Is Stepping Down

Starbucks has announced that its CEO, Howard Schultz, a vocal proponent of the minimum wage and vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton not to mention the person who almost single-handedly created Starbucks as a worldwide brand, is stepping down and will be replaced by COO Kevin Johnson.

The full press release:

Starbucks Announces New Leadership Structure to Drive Next Wave of Global Growth

Kevin Johnson to become chief executive officer and assume full responsibility for Starbucks global business and operations
Howard Schultz to become executive chairman and focus on retail innovation and accelerating growth of Starbucks ultra-premium retail formats

SEATTLE (Dec. 1, 2016) - Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced that Kevin Johnson, president and chief operating officer and a 7-year member of the Starbucks Board of Directors, will expand his responsibilities and assume the role and responsibilities of president and chief executive officer, effective April 3, 2017.

Also effective April 3, 2017, Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo, will be appointed executive chairman and will shift his focus to innovation, design and development of Starbucks Reserve® Roasteries around the world, expansion of the Starbucks Reserve® retail store format and the company's social impact initiatives. In this new role Schultz will continue to serve as chairman of the Board.

"Starbucks consistently outperforms the retail industry because our stores, our offerings and the experiences our partners create make us a destination. The best evidence of the success of the core strategy driving our business is that we continue to deliver quarter after quarter of record, industry leading revenue, comp sales and profit growth, and that the newest classes of Starbucks stores continue to deliver record-breaki ...

Party's Over? Bonds, Stocks, Dollar Dive As VIX Jumps Most In A Month

For Bondholders, Big Tech shareholders, and Mexicans, here's the message...

Well if you thought November was turmoily, December is off to a turmoilier start...

Nasdaq worst 2 days in 3 months (below 50DMA)

VIX jumped most in a month (above 50DMA)

Treasuries worst since Trump election

Gold plunged to 10-month lows (but bounced)

WTI jumped to highest since July 2015

Following the worst 2 months for risk-parity funds since the taper tantrum...

Bonds and stocks were dumped today (as we suspect some RP deleveraging was hitting the market)...

A quick look at the day across asset classes shows the inflection point as Gundlach comments seemed to move markets...

For the second day in a row, Nasdaq was hammered at the US Open...

7 Reasons that the Corporate Media Is Pro-War

Why There Is So Much Pro-War Reporting?

There are seven reasons that the mainstream media and the largest "alternative" media websites are both pro-war.

1. Self-Censorship by Journalists

There is tremendous self-censorship by journalists.

A survey by the Pew Research Center and the Columbia Journalism Review in 2000 found:

Self-censorship is commonplace in the news media today .... About one-quarter of the local and national journalists say they have purposely avoided newsworthy stories, while nearly as many acknowledge they have softened the tone of stories to benefit the interests of their news organizations. Fully four-in-ten (41%) admit they have engaged in either or both of these practices.

Similarly, a 2003 survey reveals that 35% of reporters and news executives themselves admitted that journalists avoid newsworthy stories if "the story would be embarrassing or damaging to the financial interests of a news organization's owners or parent company."

Several months after 9/11, Dan Rather told the BBC that American reporters were practicing "a form of self-censorship":

There was a time in South Africa that people would ...

Dollar General's Startling Admission: Half Of U.S. Consumers Are Feeling More "Dire" Than Ever

When we last looked at the performance of deep discount retailer Dollar General three months ago, we found something troubling: company CEO Todd Vasos, who badly missed its earnings expectations, admitted on the Q2 conference call that he was surprised to admit that while on the surface things are supposed to be getting better, the reality is vastly different for low-income US consumers:

I know that when we look at globally the overall U.S. population, it seems like things are getting better. But when you really start breaking it down and you look at that core consumer that we serve on the lower economic scale that's out there, that demographic, things have not gotten any better for her, and arguably, they're worse. And they're worse, because rents are accelerating, healthcare is accelerating on her at a very, very rapid clip.

Making matters worse, he added that the company's core consumers base, 65% of which is comprised of lower-income shoppers, has been impacted by the recent reduction or elimination in foodstamps: "now couple that in upwards of 20 states where they have reduced or eliminated the SNAP benefit, and it has really put a toll on [the core consumer]."

He elaborated that the reduction in foodstamps benefits promptly filtered through the entire business model, and culminated with Dollar General being forced to cut prices to remain competitive.

While America's poorest where pressured on one side by declining foodstamp benefits, on the other they were getting hit by rising rental and healthcare costs:

"[The] core consumer, I tell you, ...

Numbers Don't Add Up for Trump's Trillion-Dollar Building Plan

Donald Trump's infrastructure plan has sent construction stocks soaring, but the proposed funding plan has glaring flaws.

OPEC Windfall Shows Talk Isn't Cheap

Oil producers in the 14-member group have earned billions from the anticipation of Wednesday's cut and now will earn billions more even if the deal fails to reduce supply.

Patent Feud Is Underappreciated Risk at Biogen

Biogen's big patent dispute puts blockbuster drug revenues at risk.

Twitter is the 'most important' social platform right now, analyst says

As Facebook suffers under a deluge of fake news, Twitter's open platform makes it the best place for information, says James Cakmak, an analyst at Monness, Crespi, Hardt.

Bond Report: 10-year Treasury yield hits fresh 17-month high

Treasury yields climb on Thursday as surging oil prices stokes expectations that inflation will accelerate sharply in 2017.

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