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19Dec2016 Market Update: Trump Rally Appears To Have Run Out Of Steam And The DOW 20K Is Now In Doubt

Written by Gary

Wall Street has traded mostly sideways in the green all morning (SPY +0.3%) becoming choppy after Yellen's speech. The US dollar moved up sharply and reversed course at a02. Crude prices have remained mostly unchanged at the 53 handle. Short-term indicators are neutral.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed. The S&P 500 is higher by 0.30%, while the Bovespa is leading the IPC lower. They are down 1.79% and 0.43% respectively.

Traders Corner - Health of the Market

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

IMF's Lagarde guilty, but not punished, in French negligence trial

PARIS (Reuters) - French judges convicted IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Monday of negligence for a state payout made while France's finance minister in 2008, but imposed no punishment, citing her preoccupation at the time with the global financial crisis.

Murdoch denies pressuring UK prime ministers ahead of Sky submission

LONDON (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch said on Monday he had never asked a British prime minister for anything, seeking to play down his influence ahead of what is likely to be a politically charged approval process for his $14.6 billion bid for pay-TV group Sky .

Wall Street trims gains; Yellen speech awaited

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks eased off session highs in early afternoon trading on Monday but remained near record levels ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

U.S. charges Platinum Partners executives with $1 billion fraud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Top executives of New York-based hedge fund manager Platinum Partners were arrested on Monday and charged with running an approximately $1 billion fraud that federal prosecutors said became "like a Ponzi scheme" as its largest investments lost much of their value.

Fed's Yellen trumpets education in changing economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Changing technologies and globalization have put a premium on completing a college education in order to get and keep higher-paying jobs, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Monday.

Apple appeals EU tax ruling, says it was a 'convenient target'

CUPERTINO, Calif./BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Apple has launched a legal challenge to a record $14 billion EU tax demand, arguing that EU regulators ignored tax experts and corporate law and deliberately picked a method to maximize the penalty, senior executives said.

Exclusive: Iran to get first Airbus jet within weeks under sanctions pact

PARIS (Reuters) - Iran expects to get its first new jet within weeks under a multi-billion-dollar deal with Airbus for 100 planes, a senior official said on Monday, as Tehran and Western firms race to reopen trade almost a year after sanctions were lifted.

GM says will shut five U.S. plants in January to adjust supply

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co will shut five U.S. auto assembly plants for varying durations in January, primarily to cut oversupply of sedans which have fallen out of favor among U.S. consumers.

Deutsche Bank could settle U.S. penalty this week: source

FRANKFURT/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank could this week agree a penalty with the U.S. Department of Justice over the sale of toxic mortgage debt, one person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

Italy Seeks Authorization To Raise National Debt To Fund Bank Bailouts, As BMPS Rescue Plan In Jeopardy

While Italy scrambles to conclude a private sector rescue of ailing Monte Paschi, which hopes to raise 5 billion in the form a share sale to anchor and retail investors, while at the same time the bank is underoing a debt for equity swap, moments ago Reuters reported that Italy's cabinet will meet later on Monday to authorise an increase to the national debt to cover the cost of saving Monte dei Paschi di Siena, should a public bailout be unavoidable, as well as other ailing banks, government sources said cited by Reuters.

As reported yesterday, Monte dei Paschi has launched a 5-billion-euro (4.2 billion pounds) capital increase and must raise the money by the end of the year or face being wound down. If it cannot find takers in the private sector, the government will be forced to step in.

Sources told Reuters last week that the government was ready to pump 15 billion euros - just under one percentage point of gross domestic product - into Monte dei Paschi and other ailing banks. Before it can do that, it needs authorisation to lift national debt levels, which it will do tonight at 7:30pm CET when the cabinet will meet with the Italian parliament to discuss increasing Italy's public debt to fund bank bailouts.

Meanwhile, after having soared in the early part of December following the failed Renzi referendum, Italian banks slid today on concerns over the successful conclusion of the Monte Paschi bailout.

The reason for today's selloff may be that, as Reuters also reports in a separate note, Monte Paschi is trying to resolve differences with a key investor over the 5 billion euro rescue plan. Monte dei Paschi has failed to find buyers for its shares so far Reuters notes, adding that on Monday, it shook the market again with a warning that Italian bank industry bailout fu ...

Janet Yellen To Class Of 2016: "You're Entering The Strongest Job Market In A Decade" - Live Feed

Janet Yellen will deliver a keynote address during the University of Baltimore commencement ceremony this afternoon (when she will receive am honorary Doctor of Laws degree). The speech is expected to focus on the state of the jobs market and traders are watching for any hints on the Fed's direction heading into 2017.

Before she starts, with 3 hikes expected next year, here is the Fed Funds futures implications currently...

Headlines from her speech:





Well... here is The Fed's own Labor Market Conditions Index...





On The 225th Anniversary Of The United States' Bill Of Rights

Authored by Antonius Aquinas,

This December, 2016, marks the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the US Constitution which would become known as the "Bill of Rights." To secure passage of the Constitution, the framers of the document (the Federalists) had to agree that it would contain explicit language on individual rights.

Ever since its ratification, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in which it is a part, has been hailed as one of the seminal achievements in the annals of human history while the political arrangements prior to it (primarily monarchy and aristocratic rule) have been sneered at and belittled by the Constitution's hagiographers. Moreover, the American Constitution has provided a model for the emergence of the nation state which came into its own after the French Revolution and the tragic breakup of Christendom.

History, however, if looked at outside the Anglo-American perspective has shown that far from a protector of individual liberty, the Bill of Rights has been mostly useless in defense of basic freedoms while the Constitution, that it is a part of, has been a vehicle for the expansion of state power to an unfathomable degree.

Despite the supposed guarantees of individual liberty within the Bill of Rights and the supposed limited nature of the Constitution itself, there has never been a more intrusive state in world history both domestically and in its myriad of interventions across the globe than the Leviathan that rests on the shores of the Potomac River. And, the rise of American totalitarianism did not begin with the revelations of Edward Snowden and the other courageous whistle blowers of the recent past, but started soon after th ...

State Department Urges US Citizens To "Avoid Turkish Embassy"

Following the shooting death of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, The US State Department has issued a travel 'Security message' warning US citizens to avoid the area near the Embassy compound "due to an ongoing security incident."

Ankara, #Turkey - ongoing security incident near US Embassy. All US citizens should avoid area near Embassy compound until further notice.

— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) December 19, 2016

Auto Companies: Better With Batteries Not Included

Tesla and others should leave battery making to the experts. Powertrain technology may not be such a big selling point in the car of the future.

Chinese House Speculators Curb Their Enthusiasm

Chinese upmarket housing is rapidly cooling as regulators turn to risk control.

German Economy Gets in Festive Mood

Germany's widely watched Ifo index posted a strong showing in December, painting a hopeful picture for early 2017.

Currencies: Dollar falls as investors cash in on recent gains; Turkish lira sinks after shooting

But with holiday-thinned trade making the market prone to strong gyrations, investors opted to take profit ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Here's why you want a Hatchimal so badly

The manufacturer of this elusive fluffy toy may have adopted a classic marketing tactic.

The Wall Street Journal: Platinum Partners' executives charged with $1 billion fraud

Top executives of hedge fund Platinum Partners were arrested Monday morning and charged with defrauding investors in one of the biggest such cases since Bernard L. Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

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