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13Dec2016 Market Close: Wall Street Closes Higher, But Off Session Highs, Crude Prices Settle At The High 52 Handle And Analysts Warn A Tumbling Market May Be In The Cards

Written by Gary

Wall Street closed higher (SPY +0.7%) as U.S. stocks racked up new all-time highs today and the DOW ended fewer than 89 points away from the 20,000 mark as the Trump rally showed no signs of fatigue. However, markets may be riding for a fall as equity prices soar and interest rates stay low.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. rallies to record; Dow nears 20,000

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks racked up new all-time highs on Tuesday and the Dow Jones industrial average ended fewer than 100 points away from the 20,000 mark as a post-election rally showed no signs of fatigue.

Stock, bond markets could see sharp declines: U.S. financial watchdog

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Stock and bond markets may be riding for a fall as equity prices soar and interest rates stay low, a federal monitor of U.S. financial stability said on Tuesday, warning that such a tumble could inflict serious damage on banks, life insurers and other important parts of the economy.

British pension funds warn on any Fox/Sky deal

LONDON (Reuters) - British public sector pension funds on Tuesday called for an "appropriate" premium in any potential deal between Twenty-First Century Fox and Sky as well as for safeguards to protect minority shareholders.

Slack data management exposed BP to high safety risk: leaked report

LONDON (Reuters) - BP's refining operations are exposed to high safety risks that can lead to deadly accidents and pollution as a result of slack data management and a lack of investment, according to a leaked internal report from 2015.

Monsanto shareholders back Bayer deal, CEO hopeful of U.S. approval

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Shareholders of U.S. seeds and agrochemicals company Monsanto Co approved the company's $66 billion acquisition by Bayer AG on Tuesday, a deal that still requires regulatory approval to close as expected in late 2017.

GM delivers its first Bolt electric car in Tesla's backyard

(Reuters) - General Motors Co on Tuesday said it delivered its first Chevrolet Bolt electric cars to three customers in Fremont, California, home to rival electric automaker Tesla Motors Inc's assembly plant.

Lights out for Credit Suisse's 'Light Pool' stock trading venue

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Credit Suisse is the latest bank to shutter one of its private U.S. stock trading venues, as increasing regulatory scrutiny makes it harder to justify the costs of running such trading systems.

Meet Waymo, Google's self-driving car company

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google self-driving car project recast itself as Waymo on Tuesday, an independent entity within the technology giant, as executives suggested the company is close to bringing its autonomous driving to the public.

JetBlue to double share buyback as checked bag fees boost revenue

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JetBlue Airways Corp on Tuesday said it was earning more than expected from checked bag fees and higher-priced fares and it plans to double the money it will return to shareholders via stock buybacks.

The 'Soft Coup' Builds: "More 'Electors' Demand Russian Interference Briefing Before They Vote

Donald Trump could have the election legally stolen from him on either December 19th when the Electoral College casts their votes or on January 6th when a joint session of Congress gathers to count those votes. As The Economic Collapse blog's Michael Snyder notes, the establishment is in full-blown panic mode at this point, and they seem to have settled on "Russian interference in the election" as the angle that they will use to unleash this 'soft coup' as today, the Hill reports more Democratic electors are joining the call for an intelligence briefing before they cast their votes for president on Monday.

Twenty-nine electors now are pressuring Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to disclose more information about the CIA's conclusion that Russian interference helped sway the election in President-elect Donald Trump's favor.

On Monday, 10 electors — spearheaded by Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) — wrote an open letter to Clapper, demanding more information ahead of next week's vote.

"The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations ...

Obama Halts Some Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia, Following Alleged "War Crimes" In Yemen

Whether it is retaliation for dumping Treasuries, blackmail to keep to OPEC production quotas, or - more likely - being implicated in war crimes for supporting a Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians, President Obama has decided that after shipping billions in weapons to Saudi Arabia, Reuters reports it will halt a planned arms sale to The Kingdom.

As we detailed previously, citing government documents and the accounts of current and former officials, Reuters reveals that while the Obama administration and the Pentagon rail against Russian bombing in Syria, State Department officials have been skeptical - in private of course - of the Saudi military's ability to target Houthi militants without killing civilians and destroying "critical infrastructure" needed for Yemen to recover.

However, and this may be where Saudi funding for Hillary's campaign - according to a recent report, Saudi Arabia funded 20% of Hillary's presidential campaign - and her election came into play, government lawyers ultimately did not reach a conclusion on whether U.S. support for the campaign would make the United States a "co-belligerent" in the war under international law,

Assad Retakes Aleppo: The Military Operation Is Over, Says Russian Envoy

The Syrian war is on the verge of the biggest shift in the balance of power since 2011, with the Assad regime - with support from Russian forces - having retaken Aleppo. And, as Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin notes, an arrangement has been reached for militants to leave the besieged areas of eastern Aleppo "within hours", confirming earlier media reports that Assad is about to have full reign of the hotly contested city - a symbolic center of the anti-Assad insurgency.

As RT futher adds citing Churkin, "the military operation in Eastern Aleppo is now over, and the Syrian government has begun restoring control."

"My latest information is that they indeed have an arrangement achieved on the ground that the fighters are going to leave the city," Churkin said Tuesday ahead of the emergency UN Security Council meeting in New York. According to Churkin, the militants, who have been holed up in eastern Aleppo for years, are scheduled to leave the city "within hours."

While this marks the biggest victory for Assad, and his Kremlin-based backers, it is also the biggest regional humiliation for the US ally-backed Syrian "rebels", who have just lost their biggest resistance outpost.

The envoy added that the withdrawal of militant fighters will put the city under the control of the Syrian government and there will be no need for eastern Aleppo residents to leave their homes.

During his speech at the meeting, Churkin told the UNSC members that the "counterterrorist operation in Aleppo will conclude in the next few hours." The fighters are currently leaving the city through corridors that they chose themselves, including ones leading to Syria's Idlib province, Churkin stressed.

"The counter-terrorist operation in Aleppo will be completed within a few hours. All the militants along with their families and the wounded are now withdrawing ...

Bullish Or Bearish - This Is The Real Risk

Submitted by Lance Roberts via,

During my morning reading, I ran across an interesting article from Paul Lim via Time giving several reasons why the stock market will "rise for a ninth straight year."

"For ordinary Americans, 2017 is likely to feel like the best year economically since the Great Recession.

The recovery is finally expected to trickle down to you in the form of an improved job market, higher wages, and growing spending power.

And, despite the advanced age of this bull, your improving fortunes just may keep U.S. stocks chugging along too, as consumers represent 70% of the U.S. economy."

While his points are valid, but very debatable, it is critical to remember the stock market and the economy are two different things. GDP growth and stock returns are not highly correlated. In fact, some analysis suggests that they are negatively correlated and perhaps fairly strongly so (-0.40).

However, it isn't just Paul pushing the bullish commentary, but virtually the entirety of the media press. The siren's song of "stay long my friends" has risen as of late as the market has soared following the election. But here is the interesting takeaway:

The reasoning for the continuance of the "bull rally" over the last several years has been footed by the common threads of:

  1. Interest rates and inflation are low,

Investors Get Ready for the Coming Electric Car Revolution

Battery-powered electric cars outsold gasoline ones at the dawn of the automotive age. In a decade or so they may well do so again. Investors need to watch out they don't get caught on the wrong side of history.

Did VeriFone Hit Bottom in 2016​?​

Credit-card reader VeriFone was slammed by delays in chip readers and Chinese competition. The worst may be over. ​

Techs & Trump: Nowhere to Go But Up

The market has penalized tech companies since the election, which sets the bar low for a high-profile summit between Trump and the nation's top tech executives.

Capitol Report: Tillerson's Russia ties, Mnuchin's IndyMac purchase to be issues in Senate hearings

Donald Trump's choices to head the State Department and the Treasury can expect to face a barrage of questions during Senate confirmation hearings about their past business dealings, with lawmakers already zeroing in on ties to Russia and Wall Street.

Peter Schiff sheds no tears as a Trump rally hammers gold, Dow nears 20,000

Gold is off nearly 10% since the Nov. 8 election. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is clambering toward 20,000—a major milestone for the blue-chip gauge as Wall Street grows euphoric over assets considered risky.

Jack Dorsey should only run Twitter, not Square, analyst says

Some analysts are calling on Jack Dorsey to concentrate on running just one company, as Twitter's user growth remains relatively flat.

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