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20Dec2016 Market Close: Trump Sugar High Continues To Move Markets To Another Record High

Written by Gary

USA stock markets continued their run in record territory. The dollar and oil spots prices ended the day up marginally from the open - whilst gold continued to weaken.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street rises as Dow, Nasdaq set records

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow and Nasdaq Composite closed at record highs on Tuesday in a rally fueled by optimism about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's policies.

Linde, Praxair agree $65 billion merger outline, ambitious cost savings

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German industrial gases group Linde and U.S. suitor Praxair have agreed an outline for a $65 billion-plus merger, with the combined company to be run out of the United States by Praxair's chief executive.

Apple's new AirPods tough to recycle: report

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc's new wireless headphones could be a problem for recyclers, according to an electronics firm that took apart the device to review its component parts.

U.S. probes 1 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles for roll-away crashes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. vehicle safety officials said on Tuesday they have launched an investigation into about a million Fiat Chrysler Ram pickup trucks and SUVs prompted by complaints by some owners that the vehicles rolled away and crashed after being parked.

Sanofi's takeover talks with Actelion progressing: source

LONDON (Reuters) - Talks between Actelion and Sanofi are making progress, despite investors' fears that the Swiss biotech firm's chief executive and founder might not want to sell, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said on Tuesday.

VW will fix, buy back more polluting U.S. diesel vehicles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG has reached an agreement for a mix of buybacks and fixes for about 80,000 polluting 3.0-liter diesel VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles, a U.S. federal judge said on Tuesday, as the German automaker took another step to put a diesel emissions cheating scandal behind it.

American Airlines wins $5 million in antitrust case against Sabre

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American Airlines Group Inc on Tuesday was awarded $5.01 million in an antitrust lawsuit that accused airline booking service Sabre Corp of harming competition and charging it grossly inflated booking fees.

Morgan Stanley to pay $7.5 million over customer protection violations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley will pay $7.5 million to settle civil charges that it violated customer protection rules when it used trades involving customer cash to lower its borrowing costs, U.S. securities regulators said on Tuesday.

UK PM and Murdoch did not discuss Sky bid at September meeting: minister

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May did not discuss with Rupert Murdoch the proposed takeover of UK pay-TV group Sky by the tycoon's Twenty-First Century Fox at a September meeting, Britain's media minister said on Tuesday.

US Army Deploys Tanks To Europe Ratcheting Up Tensions With Russia

Submitted by Peter Korzun via Strategic-Culture.org,

On December 16, US tanks and armor vehicles arrived in the Netherlands to be deployed in a storage depot located in the province of Limburg. The facility, the former Eygelshoven military base near Kerkrade, will be used to keep and maintain tanks, armored vehicles and heavy artillery pieces for a US armored brigade combat team. In January, the US Army in Europe is due to deploy a total of 4,000 American troops and around 2,000 military vehicles on a rotational basis to Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic nations. NATO forces will move to the Baltic States in early spring. In an overtly provocative move, an American battalion will be stationed in Poland near the border with Kaliningrad, Russia's Baltic enclave.

The US Army is implementing the annual defense authorization act which approved a $3.4 billion spending plan to boost NATO forces, including reopening or creating five equipment-storage sites in the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and two locations in Germany. In September, the US Army began to assemble more Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS) for permanent storage in Europe. The additional combat equipment will give the Army the option for another heavy armored brigade. Presently, it has only two light brigades in Europe: 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment.

Yuan Collapse Sends China Physical Gold Premium Soaring To 3-Year Highs

"Worse than Lehman..."

The premium that mainland Chinese investors are willing to pay for physical gold has surged to over $40 as the Chinese government seeks to curb illegal capital outflows. Following slowing in Tier 1 home price growth, and a collapse in the China bond market, it appears gold panic-buying is accelerating...

This premium is higher than during the Lehman crisis and as bad as the peak of the Chinese banking system liquidity crisis in 2013 as onshore investors appear to prefer the precious metal to hedge against ongoing Yuan devaluation...

But it's not just precious metals that are bid as alternatives to their paper money, Bitcoin is bid to its highest since Jan 2014...

Another Hedge Fund Casualty: Ardmore Shuts Down Less Than A Year After Launching

In what may be the latest ironic twist for the hedge fund industry, with stocks soaring few if any participants of the beleaguered "2 and 20" smart money community have been able once again to take advantage of the powerful Trump-inspired move higher across risk assets, perhaps impacted by shorts or offsetting duration exposure, which as noted over the weekend, has seen Mark to Market value crushed. As a result, the latest performance of the long/short hedge fund index is a big fat zero YTD, as shown in the following recent chart from Goldman's David Kostin.

This confirms what JPMorgan reported two weeks ago when it said that "most hedge funds missed the Trump rally."

And while much of the hedge fund industry hunkers down, in preparation for a slow death courtesy of a thousand redemptions, today we learn that another prominent hedge fund has decided to call it quits and shut its doors. As Reuters reports, "prominent technology investor Chris Connor is shutting down his hedge fund less than one year after launching it, and will be joining Citadel" which together with Millennium, has become one of the largest incubators of "second chance" portfolio managers. Connor becomes the latest in a string of portfolio managers to join Citadel's Aptigon unit, launched earlier this year as the firm's fourth stock-picking business. At least some of Connor's four Ardmore analysts will also be moving to Aptigon, one of the sources said.

Will Bond Bulls Finally Get Their Bounce?

Via Dana Lyons' Tumblr,

A popular bond fund is hitting a key price level that may finally produce a long-awaited bounce.

We talk often of the inexorable Trump Rally in stocks since the presidential election. That good fortune hasn't befallen all other asset classes, however. For instance, the post-election reaction in the bond market has been nothing short of a blood-letting. Yields on the 30-year U.S. Treasury Bond have jumped roughly 50 basis points - and even more on the 10-Year. Along the way, folks (ourselves included) have wondered when and where the bond market might halt its decline and perhaps even bounce a bit, even if temporarily. All such bounce forecasts have failed thus far, including a blow-by of what we thought might be a key level around 2.40% in the 10-Year Yield. Today's Chart Of The Day looks at another chart-based potential bounce level in the beaten down bond market.

Specifically, we are looking at the popular bond ETF, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Bond fund, ticker, TLT. Glancing at the chart, we see that prices, on an unadjusted basis, have now come down to test a key Up trendline stemming from the 2011 low and connecting the early 2014 low.

image

Property Investors Need to Step Out of Their Comfort Zone

The future of property could be niche. Specialist buildings typically offer higher returns than the old staples of commercial property investment.

Dow 20000: Nike Is Missing Out

Retail giant Nike is one of only two Dow Jones Industrial Average components that are down this year.

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.

What We Read Today 20 December 2016

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).

BECOME A GEI MEMBER - IT's FREE!

Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

To become a GEI Member simply subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter.

20Dec2016 Market Update: WTI Crude And US Dollar Take Nose Dive, Wall Street May Follow, Fasten Seat Belts

Written by Gary

Wall Street rolls over in early afternoon trading (SPY +0.2%) falling from morning session highs. WTI crude prices suddenly waterfall 0.63 cents and the US dollar matches crude's fall. Short-term indicators turning bearish.

Your Digital Self: Saving rhinos from extinction with robots and 3D-printed horns

Technology steps in to solve a terrible problem caused by poaching, writes Jurica Dujmovińá.

Market Snapshot: 'Santa rally' takes stocks to records, but Dow 20,000 proves out of reach

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, with the Dow and Nasdaq hitting their latest in a series of records as the market's recent upward trend—in particular a rally in bank stocks—continued.

The Wall Street Journal: ISIS claims responsibility for Berlin attack as initial suspect is released

The man initially suspected of ramming a truck into a crowded Christmas market here has been released for lack of evidence, Germany's prosecutor-general says Tuesday.

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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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