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25Jan2017 Market Close: DOW Closes Above 20 K, Raising Hope For A Continued Rally, Crude Settles In The 52 Handle, The US Dollar Slides Below 100

Written by Gary

Wall Street closes higher again (SPY +0.8%), crude prices are lower holding on to morning losses after data showed that U.S. crude supplies rose for the third week in a row. The DOW closes above 20K for the first time and if history is any guide, that psychological multizero barrier suggests more gains are to come.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street rises, Dow closes above 20,000 milestone

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed on Wednesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 20,000 mark for the first time ever as solid earnings and optimism over President Donald Trump's pro-growth initiatives revitalized a post-election rally.

Cisco to buy AppDynamics for $3.7 billion in growth push

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc said on Tuesday that it agreed to buy U.S. business software company AppDynamics Inc for about $3.7 billion, making one of its largest deals of recent years as it searches for growth beyond its core networking business.

Boeing shares jump on strong fourth-quarter results, 2017 forecast

(Reuters) - Boeing Co posted quarterly profit and operating cash that beat analysts' estimates, and promised an even better performance in 2017, thanks to "relentless" cost cutting, rising productivity and U.S. President Donald Trump's pro-business agenda.

Democratic senators want AT&T to detail Time Warner deal benefits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thirteen Democratic senators on Wednesday asked AT&T Inc to explain how its planned $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc is in the public interest, as the company hopes to avoid a review of the deal by the primary U.S. telecommunications agency.

Dow pops 20,000 and raises hopes rally is recharging

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average index's pop over 20,000 on Wednesday crowns a frenetic post-U.S. election rally that featured the second fastest-ever climb between 1,000-point milestones in the Dow's 120-year history.

German carmakers warn U.S. against launching trade curbs

BERLIN (Reuters) - German automakers warned on Wednesday the United States would suffer significant economic damage from imposing trade curbs, after President Donald Trump put renewed pressure on U.S. carmakers to build more vehicles at home.

CSX shareholder backs Harrison for CEO as activist swoops in

NEW YORK/MONTREAL (Reuters) - A Neuberger Berman LLC portfolio manager has thrown her support behind a plan to put railroad industry veteran Hunter Harrison into CSX Corp's CEO chair with the help of an activist investor.

Generali finance chief to leave, takeover talk mounts

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's Assicurazioni Generali said on Wednesday its chief financial officer Alberto Minali would be leaving at the end of the month, at a time of uncertainty for the country's biggest insurer.

Exclusive: Mexico's Jose Cuervo prices February 8 IPO at up to 34 pesos/share

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican tequila giant Jose Cuervo will offer 476.6 million shares, priced at between 30-34 pesos per share, in its long-delayed Feb. 8 initial public offering, according to an investor presentation seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Elites Eying The Exits Signals America's Crisis

The Institute for New Economic Thinking's President Rob Johnson was interviewed by the New Yorker on hedge-fund managers and the market for air strips in New Zealand...

Interviewed as part of an extraordinary New Yorker investigation into growing anxiety among America's corporate elite over the potential for anarchic social collapse, Institute President Robert Johnson saw his peers' talk of bolt-holes in New Zealand as reflecting a deeper crisis.

Johnson told writer Evan Osnos of the mounting anxiety he had encountered among hedge-fund managers and other wealthy Americans he knew.

"More and more were saying, 'You've got to have a private plane," Johnson said. "You have to assure that the pilot's family will be taken care of, too. They have to be on the plane.' "

Osnos writes:

"By January, 2015, Johnson was sounding the alarm: the tensions produced by acute income inequality were becoming so pronounced that some of the world's wealthiest people were taking steps to protect themselves. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jo ...

Budget Showdown Looms As Conservatives Press For Entitlement Reform

Throughout the campaign President Trump swore off cuts to Social Security and Medicare, promises which could ultimately result in the first splintering between the White House and Congressional Republicans who maintain that the federal budget can't be balanced without meaningful entitlement reform. Trump is set to present the first outline of his budget when he addresses a joint session of Congress for the first time on February 28th.

Mr. Trump accepted an invitation Tuesday to address a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28. The president is expected to release next month the outlines of his first budget—a blueprint for how he sees government spending—that will then be fleshed out later in March or April.

Budget experts tasked to oversee the transition at OMB have been using pieces of a budget blueprint advanced by the conservative Heritage Foundation to push for steep cuts to nondefense and nonentitlement programs, eliminating funding for agencies like the NEA, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Of course, as the Wall Street Journal points out, pretty much every President in modern history, with the ironic exception of Bill Clinton, has been overly optimistic about the implications of their budgets for the federal deficit.

Deficit

Meanwhile, the confirmation hearing of Trump's pick for the White House Office of M ...

Trump's Next Executive Orders: "Drastically Reducing" US Role In International Organizations, Ending Treaties

In the latest surprise to come from the Trump administration, the NYT reports that in the Trump administration is preparing a set of executive orders aimed at isolating the US and which would allow the United States to "drastically reduce" its role and involvement in the United Nations and other international organizations, "as well as begin a process to review and potentially abrogate certain forms of multilateral treaties, officials said." The order calls for then enacting "at least a 40% overall decrease" in remaining United States funding toward international organizations.

The first of the two draft orders, titled "Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organizations" calls for terminating funding for any United Nations agency or other international body that meets any one of several criteria. It was not immediately clear if NATO is also among the international organizations targeted.

Those criteria include organizations that give full membership to the Palestinian Authority or Palestine Liberation Organization, or support programs that fund abortion or any activity that circumvents sanctions against Iran or North Korea. The draft order also calls for terminating funding for any organization that "is controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism" or is blamed for the persecution of marginalized groups or any other systematic violation of human rights.

According to the NYT, the agency most targeted at least initially is the UN:

If President Trump signs the order and its provisions are carried out, the cuts could severely curtail the work of United Nations agencies, which rely on billions of dollars in annual United States contributi ...

Is Libya A Bigger Threat To Oil Prices Than U.S. Shale?

Submitted by Gregory Brew via OilPrice.com,

Despite some suggestions that oil prices will level off at around $60 in 2017, since the initial surge of the OPEC production deal prices have barely nudged above $53. Over the long-term, outlooks are more bearish than bullish, and a major reason for that is the strong likelihood of increased production in three places: Libya, Nigeria and Iran.

All three countries were effectively exempt from the OPEC production cuts, for various reasons. Iran has agreed to keep its production level below 4 million bpd, allowing it to add about 90,000 bpd to its production level. Nigeria has suffered significant cuts to production over the last year, chiefly due to the activities of militants in the Niger River Delta.

Libya has been torn apart by civil war and a fight between its recognized government and separatists in its eastern regions, with the country's rich oil fields and refineries the major prize in frequent skirmishes.

Cuts from OPEC members totaling 1.5 million bpd, together with non-OPEC cuts of nearly 600,000 bpd, have already pushed prices above the their threshold in 2016 of $50, but there's strong evidence that the initial market impact of the OPEC deal is on the verge of playing itself out. Over the next year, activity in these three countries could continue to exert downward pressure on prices.

That is, of course, if Libya is able to stay the course and succeed in bringing its oil industry back to full strength. While the immediate outlook for a strong recovery in Libyan production is good, ...

Dow 20000 Means Stocks Are Pricey

Dow 20000 comes just days after the inauguration of Donald Trump and, because of stocks' rich valuation, makes strong gains during his presidency tougher.

Spot the Investing Dummy at Harvard

Harvard may take the wrong lessons after firing half of its money managers.

Credit-Card Competition Is Running Too Hot

As credit-card companies compete fiercely to push out loans, costs and credit risks are on the rise.

The Trump Scoreboard: Track the markets and economy under Trump in one graphic

The Trump Scoreboard in real-time will judge Donald Trump on what matters, to him: money.

Market Extra: President Trump cheers Dow 20,000 as only he can

President Donald Trump wasted little time applauding a stock-market rally that has taken the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the rarefied air of 20,000.

Market Extra: Dow ends at 20,000 for first time—marks 2nd-fastest milestone run in history

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday hit the psychologically significant threshold of 20,000 in intraday trade, representing a milestone for the blue-chip gauge and highlighting a relatively speedy path higher for the stock market in the wake of Donald Trump's election win in November.

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gary@econintersect.com

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