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04Jan2017 Market Update: Wall Street's Investing Crowd Still On Vacation, Crude Prices Rise To The Low 53 Handle, US Dollar Remains Weak

Written by Gary

US stock markets have been trading sideways at elevated levels all morning and afternoon, but on low volume (SPY +0.5%). Crude prices rose today, with top exporter Saudi Arabia expected to raise prices for its crude as part of planned supply cuts.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed today. The S&P 500 is up 0.50% while the IPC gains 0.15%. The Bovespa is off 0.34%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Discretionary stocks lift Wall St., Fed minutes awaited

(Reuters) - Wall Street extended its gains into the second trading day of the new year, supported by consumer discretionary stocks, as investors awaited minutes of the Federal Reserve's December meeting where it raised interest rates.

U.S. December auto sales on pace for record high, led by GM

DETROIT (Reuters) - Sales of new cars and trucks in the United States likely set new records for December and the full year, automakers said on Wednesday, and investors bid up shares in the sector as strong consumer confidence and stable fuel prices bolstered the industry's outlook.

Exxon Mobil, Tillerson agree to cut all ties

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp and Rex Tillerson agreed to sever all ties to comply with conflict-of-interest requirements as the company's former chairman and chief executive awaits confirmation as U.S. secretary of state.

Trump to nominate Wall Street lawyer Clayton to lead SEC

(Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday he intends to nominate Walter "Jay" Clayton, an attorney who advises clients on major Wall Street deals, to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Apple confirms $1 billion investment in SoftBank tech fund: WSJ

(Reuters) - Apple Inc confirmed its plans to invest $1 billion a tech fund being set up by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp , the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Ford's Canadian sales rise in December, leap 9.4 percent in 2016

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co on Wednesday reported slightly higher Canadian sales of autos and trucks for December and called 2016 its best year of sales since 1989, driven by demand for SUVs and pickups.

U.S. LIBOR breaks above 1 percent for first time since 2009

(Reuters) - The rate banks charge each other to borrow dollars for three months rose above 1 percent on Wednesday for the first time since May 2009 as global interest rates extend their climb on expectations of accelerating growth and inflation.

Tesla starts battery cell production at gigafactory

(Reuters) - Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc has started mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at its gigafactory in Nevada along with Japan's Panasonic Corp, the company said on Wednesday.

Boeing gets $8.25 billion order for 737 MAX 8 planes from GE leasing

(Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Wednesday it had received an order for 75 of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft, valued at $8.25 billion at list prices, from General Electric Co's commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm.

3M LIBOR Tops 1.00% For First Time Since 2009

While US equity prices push ebulliently towards their next level of Nirvana, financial conditions continue to tighten for American businesses.

For the first time since April 2009, 3-month LIBOR - one of the most important reference rates for business financing - topped 1.00% today.

We documented the real world implications of this in "Forget The Fed's 0.25%, Short-Term Rates Have Already Risen By 1% For The Real World"

While blowing out unsecured funding rates may no longer be a flashing red flag, a question has emerged as a lot of debt references Libor, debt ranging from household debt to non-financial business debt: some $28 trillion of it, to be specific, and just in the US. The question is just how concerned will the borrowers of said debt be once they get their next due balance.

Here is Goldman with the calculation:

Complete data on loan terms for all borrowers are not available, but we can make some rough approximations of the share indexed to LIBOR by combining a few datasets. For households, fixed-rate home mortgages account for the ...

How Credit-Card Data Might Be Distorting Retail Stocks

Hedge funds and other big investors are relying on credit-card data to give them an edge, and that could be affecting trading in retailers.

Why It's a Good Time to Restock Your Wine Cellar

Bordeaux prices have jumped this year in sterling terms, but remain close to multi-year lows in dollars.

Macau Still Gambling King, Even Without High Rollers

Growth is back in Macau, the world's largest gambling hub. But not all will benefit.

Airline stocks are about to take a breather after taking flight in fourth quarter

Cowen downgraded six airline stocks, including American Airlines and United Continental, and said hopes for 2017 are a bit overdone.

The Wall Street Journal: Apple to invest $1 billion in Softbank Vision Fund

Apple says fund will support 'strategically important technologies.'

Tesla starts Gigafactory's battery cell production

Tesla and Panasonic start producing the battery cells crucial for the development of the Model 3, Tesla's ticket to becoming a mass-market car maker with a broader consumer base.

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