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27Dec2016 Market Close: Wall Street Closes Fractionally Higher, DOW's 20K Goal Remains Elusive, Home Prices Rise

Written by Gary

US Markets closed up fractionally (SPY +0.2%) having trended downwards from the morning high in late afternoon choppy volume. WTI crude firming at resistance (55.84), US dollar index trading sideways at 103 and gold remains weak. Nasdaq ends at record, but 20,000 remains elusive for the Dow.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. edges up in low volume, boosted by tech shares

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose slightly on Tuesday, supported by upbeat consumer and housing data, with gains in technology shares lifting the Nasdaq Composite to a record close.

U.S. consumers ebullient; home prices gain

(Reuters) - U.S. consumer confidence shot to its highest in more than 15 years in December as Americans saw more strength ahead in business conditions, stock prices and the job market following the election of Donald Trump as president in November.

Abbott gets U.S. antitrust approval to buy St. Jude Medical

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Healthcare company Abbott Laboratories has won U.S. antitrust approval for its proposed $25 billion acquisition of medical device maker St. Jude Medical Inc , the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

Toshiba flags hit of 'billions of dollars' on U.S. nuclear acquisition

(Reuters) - Toshiba Corp said it may have to book several billion dollars in charges related to a U.S. nuclear power plant construction company acquisition, sending its stock tumbling 12 percent and rekindling concerns about its accounting acumen.

Amazon calls 2016 holiday season its best ever; shares rise

(Reuters) - Inc said it shipped more than 1 billion items worldwide this holiday season, which the top online retailer called its best ever, and its shares rose 1.6 percent in afternoon trade.

U.S. mutual fund trustees feel the heat of investor lawsuits

BOSTON (Reuters) - Before New York's famed 21 Club steakhouse drew attention in November for hosting Donald Trump, the wealthy U.S. president-elect, it quietly fed other public representatives: trustees of Paris-based AXA SA investment funds.

Panasonic to invest over $256 million in Tesla's U.S. plant for solar cells

TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp will invest more than 30 billion yen ($256 million) in a New York production facility of Elon Musk's Tesla Motors to make photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, deepening a partnership of the two companies.

Venezuela says to cut 95,000 bpd crude output in OPEC deal

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela said on Tuesday it will cut 95,000 barrels per day of oil production in the New Year in fulfillment of a producers' deal to reduce global output and strengthen prices.

U.S. regulators open investigation on 2007-2009 Ford Fusion

DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. safety regulators are investigating Ford Motor Co's Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans from the 2007 to 2009 model years for brakes that may fail in certain conditions, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Tuesday.

Dow 20k Disappoints For 10th Day Despite Market Optimism Surging Most Since Dot-Com Peak

Dow 20k is "inevitable", it's a "no brainer" according to the business news punditry...

— StockCats (@StockCats) December 27, 2016

Maybe just don't play...?

Volume was terrible...lowest Dec 27th volume in at least 10 years...

Before we start on today's disappointing miss of Dow 20k once again, we want to note that the level of equity market exuberance is almost unprecedented...

The last time Americans' optimism about the stock market registered such a dramatic one-month surge was during the dot-com boom. As stocks reached a record, the share of households anticipating higher equity prices a year from now surged to 44.7 percent in December from 30.9 percent a month earlier, the biggest monthly advance since November 1998, the Conference Board's report on consumer confidence showed Tuesday. ...

The Santa Claus Rally Has Started: A Quick Primer On What To Expect

It is one of Wall Street's most popular, longest-running conventions: the Santa Claus Rally has become its own self-fulfilling prophecy, leading to 11th hour gains at the end of any given calendar year, and lasting just into the new year even in the absence of good (or as per the New Normal, bad) news.

Courtesy of Oppenheimer's Ari Wald, here is a quick reminder of what it is:

Popularized by the Stock Trader's Almanac, the Santa Claus Rally (SCR) is the seasonal tendency for equities to rally during the last five trading days of the year through the first two trading days of the New Year.

Since 1928, the S&P 500 has averaged a 1.7% gain and traded higher 77% (68 out of 88 years) of the time through this seven-day period, vs. a 0.2% average gain and a 56% success rate during any seven-day period. This year's "Santa Clock" started December 23rd and ends January 4th.

However, performance in the next 1-2 quarters has tended to be below average when the S&P 500 closes lower during the SCR. For instance, the S&P 500 has averaged a 1.3% loss in the subsequent three months following a negative SCR vs. an average 2.8% gain following a positive SCR. Hence the saying, "If Santa should fail to call, bears may come to Broad & Wall."

Last year's 2.3% loss marked the fifth time performance during the SCR period was negative over the last 20 years (1999, 2004, 2007, 2014). Following last year's negative SCR, the S&P dropped 7% in the first month and closed with a modest 1% gain over the full three-month period.

Erdogan Says He Has "Confirmed Evidence" The US Supports ISIS

One year after this website demonstrated that Turkey was cooperating with the Islamic State, in the very least trading cash in exchange for crude oil sold to various Turkish outposts (a trade which was subsequently ended by the Russian air force), Turkey has flipped the tables and on Tuesday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he has uncovered evidence that US-led coalition forces have helped support terrorists in Syria - including Isis.

"They give support to terrorist groups including ISIS" Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara on Tuesday, adding that US coalition forces "give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD. It's very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos."

Which, incidentally, should also not come a surprise in light of the May 2015 declassified Pentagon report, which claimed that ISIS was created as a Pentagon tool to overthrow Syria's president Assad.

Nevertheless, the "pot calling the kettle black" comes at a sensitive time for both the US and Turkey, which are both pivoting aggressively, one internally from Obama to Trump, while the other is shifting its foreign geopolitical allegiance from the US to Russia, which may also explain today's outburst by Erdogan.

Saying that the US have accused Turkey of supporting IS, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday the Turkish leader blamed the US-led coalition for assisting terrorists themselves. Apart from IS, he also mentioned Kurdish People's Protection Units in northern Syria (YPG) and Democratic Union Party (PYD) as groups supported by the coali ...

US Government Can Legally Access Your Facebook Data (And Now We Know How)

Submitted by Alice Salles via,

The end of the year is approaching, and data concerning government abuses of power has begun pouring in.

According to Facebook's Global Government Requests Report, government's requests for Facebook account data rose 27 percent in the first half of 2016.

Facebook's official announcement explained that requests for user data went from 46,710 in the last half of 2015 to 59,229 in the first half of 2016. At least 56 percent of these requests, Facebook added, "contained a non-disclosure order that prohibited us from notifying the user."

Law enforcement agencies from across the globe, Facebook continued, often send restriction requests demanding Facebook remove content from its forums. Fortunately, these requests dropped substantially this year, from 55,827 in the last half of 2015 to 9,663 in 2016 — an 87 percent drop. Most of the 2015 requests revolved around "French content restrictions of a single image from the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks."

Additionally, Facebook used its report to disclose for the first time what the company does when law enforcement agencies request "snapshots" of a ...

Paying to Lend: The Negative-Yield Story of 2016

Bonds have been selling off in recent weeks—but the early 2016 rally that took them into uncharted territory has a legacy.

Surprise Drug Approval Is Holiday Gift for Biogen

Biotech stock Biogen gets a boost from early approval of its spine disorder drug.

The Mystery of Japan's Stagnant Wages

Despite three years of unorthodox stimulus, Japan's wage growth remains slower than expected.

December 2016 Texas Manufacturing Survey Continues to Expand But Key Internals Bad

Of the five Federal Reserve districts which have released their Decemberr manufacturing surveys - all are in expansion. A complete summary follows.

Deep Dive: This long-term investment leads to a guaranteed 100% return on Day 1

The payoff, decades down the road, is spectacular, but many Americans don't take advantage of it, writes Phil van Doorn.

Market Snapshot: Nasdaq ends at record, but 20,000 remains elusive for the Dow

U.S. stocks rose modestly on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq hitting its latest in a series of records as the market's recent upward bias continued in a thinly traded session, helped by a gain in technology shares.

Personal Finance Daily: The top 10 Moneyologist letters of the year and what the finance pros are planning to do with their money in 2017

Tuesday's top personal finance stories

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