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23Dec2016 Market Update: US Stock Market Indexes Fractionally Lower, WTI Climbs Modestly, Gold Volatile And The US Dollar Steady At 103

Written by Gary

Wall Street is lower in afternoon trading as investors held back from making big bets ahead of the holiday season, but the three major indexes were still on track to post weekly gains. Even the full-price stalwarts cave in to discounts the week before Christmas, and those that have been cutting prices slash even more.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed today. The Bovespa is up 1.46% while the IPC gains 0.37%. The S&P 500 is off 0.03%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

U.S. housing, consumer confidence data bolster economic outlook

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. single-family home sales rose more than expected in November and consumer sentiment hovered near a 13-year high this month, strengthening the view that the economy will gain further momentum next year.

How Deutsche's big bet on Wall Street turned toxic

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank's pursuit of success on Wall Street has come at a high price, a $7 billion plus penalty illustrating the extent of its decline since 2008 when its then chief executive claimed it was one of the "strongest banks in the world".

Icahn regulatory role gives activist investors strong Washington voice

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON/BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. chief executives, already wrestling with a steady flow of activist investors in their board rooms, face a newly challenging landscape now that the loudest voice of the bunch will have the ear of the next president and his securities' rule makers.

Wall Street flat; All three indexes set for weekly gains

(Reuters) - Wall Street was lower in afternoon trading on Friday as investors held back from making big bets ahead of the holiday season, but the three major indexes were still on track to post weekly gains.

U.S. hits Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank with toxic debt penalties

ZURICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have been hit with a combined penalty of more than $12 billion over the sale of U.S. toxic debt, further hampering two of Europe's leading investment banks as they struggle with weak earnings.

Amazon starts flexing muscle in new space: air cargo

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) - A cargo plane emblazoned with "Prime Air" descended from an empty sky at Lehigh Valley International Airport on Tuesday, ninety minutes from the bustle of New York City, loaded with crates of goods during the peak holiday shopping season.

Stocks could suffer as Trump trade policy takes shape

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The year-end stocks rally on the heels of the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president was built on expectations of reduced regulations, big tax cuts and a large fiscal stimulus.

Lockheed shares sink further on Trump's F-35 threat

(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp led defense stocks lower on Friday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's latest Twitter salvo over the cost of the company's F-35 fighter jet, in which he said he had asked rival Boeing Co to "price-out" an older aircraft as an alternative.

Deutsche Bank tells staff no bailout needed for U.S. settlement: source

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank sought to reassure staff about its financial strength on Friday, in the wake of a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) over its sale and pooling of toxic mortgage securities.

"It's Time To Get Real.. Wishful Thinking Is Not A Solution"

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

People were poor by today's standards, so why do people remember the plantation life fondly? The answer is simple: community, purpose, sacrifice and meaning.

Allow me to connect two apparently unconnected dots. Dot #1: The last sugar plantation in Hawaii is closing down, ending more than a century of plantation life in the 50th state.

Dot #2: a new study found that Nearly 95% of all new jobs during Obama era were part-time, or contract.

The research by economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard University and Alan Krueger at Princeton University shows that the proportion of workers throughout the U.S., during the Obama era, who were working in these kinds of temporary jobs, increased from 10.7% of the population to 15.8%. Krueger, a former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, was surprised by the finding. The disappearance of conventional full-time work, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work, has hit every demographic. "Workers seeking full-time, steady work have lost," said Krueger.

While it's tempting to dismiss the plantation economy as corporate exploitation--a blatant reality in the early decades--once the I.L.W.U. represented the labor force, a more benign version emerged.

Indeed, what is striking is the nostalgia of the workers and residents for the orderly, secure life of the plantations. I attended high school in a classic plantation town in 1969-70, Lanai City, owned by Dole Pineapple, my summer employer.

Housing was cheap, work was plentiful and secure, and any married couple with plantation jobs could save enough to send their ...

Aussie Dollar Tanks After China Admits Growth Will Miss 6.5% Target

With fears mounting over China's debt load sustainability, and amid yet another liquidity crisis, President Xi Jinping appeared to admit that China's economic growth will slow below the government's 6.5% target. Despite the promise of creating a "modestly prosperous society," Xi warned that China doesn't need to meet the objective if doing so creates too much risk - a little late for that after trillions of freshly created credit was spewed into zombified firms this year - but at least reality is starting to set in.

Last year's 6.9 percent expansion was the slowest in a quarter century. For this year, the government set a 6.5 percent to 7 percent target range, slower than last year's goal of about 7 percent. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said earlier in February that the fund strongly recommended that China set a growth target range of 6 percent to 6.5 percent.

As Bloomberg reports, too much emphasis on meeting growth objectives is increasing financial risk, according to Huang Yiping, an adviser to the People's Bank of China. The higher the short-term growth target, the more difficult it will be to rebalance the economy to favor long-term growth, Huang, an economics professor at Peking University, said at an event this week in Beijing.

Xi told a meeting of the Communist Party& ...

What Trump's Cabinet Picks Mean for Markets

The people in President-elect Donald Trump's administration are extremely shareholder friendly, but investors need to keep their enthusiasm in check.

Retailers Lose Willpower as Christmas Approaches

Even the full-price stalwarts cave in to discounts the week before Christmas, and those that have been cutting prices slash even more.

Euro-Dollar Parity: It's All About the Greenback

The euro parity party plans are being dusted off. But the rising dollar needs watching closely.

Capitol Report: Here are Congress's major deadlines to watch next year

Donald Trump's pledges to cut taxes and government spending will be tested early next year, with a series of fiscal deadlines coming up soon after he takes office.

Market Snapshot: Weekly stock gains in sight as market fights for momentum

U.S. stock indexes remain on track for a positive week though the Dow once again appeared unlikely to pierce the closely watched milestone of 20,000.

Trump-backing Congressman who graduated with $110,000 in debt: 'College costs are at a crisis level'

Rep. Tom Reed says he has a plan for addressing student debt.

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