U.S. stock markets pointed to a flat to slightly lower open today (SPY -0.01), amid fading hopes that the Dow will reach 20K. U.S. oil prices edged slightly lower and the U.S. dollar slumped in light pre-New Year holiday trade. Weekly jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 265,000 last week, slightly higher than the 264,000 estimate.
Here is the current market situation from CNN Money
European markets are lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 0.26% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.15% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.08%.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump's goal of overhauling the U.S. tax code in 2017 will depend partly on the work of an obscure congressional committee tasked with estimating how much future economic growth will result from tax cuts.
LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar slipped to a two-week low against the yen on Thursday, mirroring a fall in U.S. bond yields as weaker-than-expected economic data weighed on the greenback and waning risk appetite boosted Japan's safe-haven currency.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said telecommunications group Sprint Corp and a U.S. satellite company OneWeb will bring 8,000 jobs to the United States, and the companies said the positions were part of a previously disclosed pledge by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Nomura Holdings Inc sees opportunities in the pro-business stance of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, though his protectionist tilt brings uncertainty to the global economy, said the chief of Japan's biggest brokerage and investment bank.
(Reuters) - After years of running flat out, U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are lining up repairs to plants in 2017 - but facing a severe labor shortage that could delay work, drive up costs and raise accident risks.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Faced with the prospect of a multi-billion-dollar writedown that could wipe out its shareholders' equity, Japan's Toshiba is running out of fixes: it is burning cash, cannot issue shares and has few easy assets left to sell.
(Reuters) - Japan's Takata Corp , maker of defective air bags that have been linked to 11 U.S. deaths, could settle criminal charges with the U.S. Department of Justice before the Obama administration leaves office next month, a source briefed on the ongoing talks told Reuters on Wednesday.
As noted previously, at some point today the White House is set to unveil new sanction, and other retaliatory "measures" against Russia and specifically the Kremlin, in retaliation for what according to a constantly repetitive narrative has been Russian hacking of the US election. Obama will do so by using a 2015 executive order that would allow the president to freeze the US assets of Russians overseas who have engaged in cyber acts, even though such order only applies to actions that have threatened U.S. national security or financial stability, neither of which have yet been invoked in the current "hacking" scandal. Further, per a "senior administration official," use of the existing law would require (1) actual election infrastructure to be designated as 'critical infrastructure' and (2) the administration to prove that such infrastructure was actually "harmed," conditions which the National Security Council say have not been met.
The problem is that if the administration relies on the 2015 Executive Order to launch this latest round of diplomatic "retaliation", it will also have to demonstrate some proof that the individuals or entities it names were involved in the scheme, and until now, the White House has provided no documentation to back up its official October assessment that the Russian government was attempting to "interfere" in the U.S. election besides just repeating the allegation over and over and over, as if that somehow makes it true.
Which perhaps is why this morning The Hill writes that the Obama administration is "under intense pressure to release evidence confirming Russian interference in the presidential election before leaving office."
Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
Here's your "it's hard to believe, but true" article of the day.
Lawmakers in Montreal have moved to crack down on new restaurants, in an odious attempt to protect existing ones.
"Montreal has one of the highest restaurant per-capita ratios in North America and the amount of places to eat is worrying local politicians," reads a Canadian Press piece from earlier this week.
If that sounds awful and weird, that's because it is. Studies of the best places to eat often conclude that the more restaurants a city has per-capita, the better its restaurant scene. It's no surprise that the more choices a consumer has, the better off that consumer is.
Montreal does have an impressive number of restaurants. Data shows Montreal trails only New York City in terms of restaurants per capita in North America. As in Ne ...
With the Obama administration set to unveil a fresh round of sanctions against Russia as soon as today, allegedly in retaliation for the Kremlin's "hacking" of the US elections, President-elect Trump had a few words of his own what he thinks the best steps for the US are: move on.
"I think we ought to get on with our lives," Trump told reporters Wednesday night outside of Mar-A-Lago, his Florida resort, also casting doubt on the government's assessment that Russia hacked U.S. political organizations.
As has been extensively reported over the past 6 weeks, U.S. intelligence agencies have "concluded", without providing one piece of evidence, that the Russian government orchestrated cyber attacks against the Democratic National Committee and other American political groups and then leaked information to interfere in the Nov. 8 elections. Russia has denied the accusations. Trump has said he wants to improve relations with Russia and has praised its president, Vladimir Putin.
"I think we ought to get on with our lives," Trump told reporters in Florida, with boxing promoter Don King standing by his side. "I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on." Hillary Clinton would certainly agree with that.
Before leaving for his last Hawaiian vacation, Obama said on Dec. 16 that the U.S. will retaliate against Russia a ...
The market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Bloomberg / Econoday) were 250 K to 265 K (consensus 262,000), and the Department of Labor reported 265,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 263,750 (reported last week as 263,750) to 263,000. The rolling averages generally have been equal to or under 300,000 since August 2014.
The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits in the week before Christmas fell by 10,000 to 265,000, returning initial claims to the extremely low levels that have been the norm since last summer.
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