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07Feb2017 Market Close: US Stock Markets Closed Fractionally Higher, Crude Prices Edge Lower, Investors Are Looking Critically At New Trump Policies, Will Fear Move The Market Down

Written by Gary

Wall Street closed mostly up with the $RUT being down -0.4%. The DOW climbed to a new historic high (20,155.35) and closing above 20K. Crude edged lower (WTI 52.26) as the focus turned to U.S. stockpile data and fresh sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S. after ballistic missile testing by Tehran.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street rally pauses near record highs

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Tuesday after key indexes hit record highs as oil prices turned lower and investors grappled with policy uncertainty under President Donald Trump.

U.S. trade deficit falls as exports hit more than 1-1/2 year high

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trade deficit fell in December as exports hit their highest level in more than 1-1/2 years amid record shipments of technology products, but strengthening domestic demand points to further rises in imports, which could constrain economic growth.

GM fourth-quarter profit falls on currency losses; stock tumbles

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Tuesday that fourth-quarter net income fell partly on the strength of the dollar against the British pound and forecast flat 2017 profit per share, sending shares tumbling nearly 5 percent.

Channeling Steve Jobs, Apple seeks design perfection at new 'spaceship' campus

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Inside the original Macintosh computer, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs inscribed the signatures of his team, revealing his deep concern for even the hidden features of his products.

Revamping Dodd-Frank is a 'this-year priority': U.S. Rep. Hensarling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the U.S. Financial Services Committee on Tuesday told CNBC that revamping the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law remains a "this-year priority" for President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

U.S. government has itself to blame for dollar strength: Bundesbank

MAINZ, Germany (Reuters) - The U.S. administration should blame itself rather than Germany for a recent strengthening of the dollar against the euro, the head of Germany's Bundesbank said on Tuesday.

Exclusive: Italian diesel probe omitted key tests for Fiat Chrysler models

PARIS/MILAN (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler vehicles were allowed to skip key tests for illegal engine software during Italy's main emissions-cheating investigation in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal, according to the transport ministry's own report.

Big banks to hold more capital if buffers included in stress tests: U.S. analysts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Including funds that banks set aside to cover potential losses, known as capital buffers, in the annual stress tests that U.S. regulators administer to financial institutions would lead to big banks holding more capital, the federal office that monitors risks to the financial system said on Tuesday.

U.S. Army to grant final permit for controversial Dakota pipeline -court filing

WASHINGTON/HOUSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will grant the final easement needed to finish the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, according to a court filing Tuesday.

Army Grants Easement To Complete Construction Of Dakota Access Pipeline

The US Army Corps said in a court filing it has notified Congress that it has granted the final easement needed to finish the controversial Dakota Access pipeline. The easement was needed for Energy Transfer Partners to complete work on the last portion located under Lake Oahe on the 1,172-mile long pipeline.

Last Friday, Bloomberg reported that the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline may start operating June 1, assuming no new obstacles prevent it, according to a person familiar with the matter. It added that Energy Transfer Partners, the developer of the pipeline, will begin filling it with oil around Feb. 15, barring complaints or legal action to stop it, said the person.

Energy Transfer had previously said the project would be in service in the first quarter, which was delayed from its original projection of the fourth quarter of 2016. Vicki Granado, a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer, didn't immediately respond to request for comment.

On Friday, Phillips 66, a stakeholder in Dakota Access, said the project is expected to be operational in the second quarter. The pipeline is more than 95 percent complete, and the timing guidance is pending issuance of the final easement needed from the Army Corps, Phillips 66 said in a statement. The oil refiner has a 25 percent stake in joint ventures to develop Dakota Access and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline projects. The line started receiving shipments at two North Dakota terminals in January, a person familiar with the pipeline's operations said last month.

Sunoco Logistics Partners is also a partner in the project. Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Enbridge Energy Partners announced a venture in August that would also ...

At Over $2.5 Trillion, US Student And Auto Loans Hit New All Time High

Following a burst in consumer credit growth in the past few months, driven by both revolving, or credit card, debt as well as non-revolving auto and student loans, in December the US consumer took a breather, and total consumer credit grew by only $14.2 billion, nearly half of last month's $25.2 billion, and lowest monthly increase since February.

Despite the modest slowdown, total US credit card debt was just a fraction away from $1 trillion, and just a few months away from regaining its previous record of $1.02 trillion attained just prior to the last financial crisis.

But while US consumers may have stepped back from a credit-card funded splurge in the last month of 2016, the far more troubling trend in student and auto loans remains, and as the following chart shows, as of Q4, both car and student debt hit all time highs of $1.407 trillion and $1.11 trillion, respectively.

Unless the Trump administration somehow finds a way to contain the unbridled expansion of "cheap" student debt, which is encumbering an entire generation with loans that can never be paid off, we are confident that it will be virtually impos ...

Big Oil Loses Its Mojo

If integrated energy companies make fewer bets on megaprojects then their earnings may be less volatile but also less valuable.

Darkest Before the Dawn at Teva

A CEO change at the struggling drug giant marks a value opportunity.

American Car Makers in China Face Narrowing Road to Profits

General Motors and Ford may not be able to count on China to offset sluggish growth at home.

December 2016 Consumer Credit Headlines Say Year-Over-Year Growth Rate Declined. Well Under Expectations.

Written by Steven Hansen

The headlines say consumer credit rate of annual growth decreased from last month. Our analysis disagrees showing insignificant growth.

ETF Investing: ETF usage snowballs with record start to the year

According to data from Credit Suisse, U.S.-listed exchange-traded products had inflows of $41 billion in January, "marking the strongest start ever to a year." ETPs include both exchange-traded funds and the smaller category of exchange-traded notes.

Market Extra: Fear in a time of Trump: How stock-market investors think about risk

Risk. It is one of the central themes Wall Street is focusing on as they survey a stock market that has staged a relentless assault on all-time highs over the past few months and as President Donald Trump settles into his chair in the Oval Office.

The Tell: Trump may soon label China a currency manipulator, Deutsche Bank says

President Donald Trump has repeatedly bashed China, accusing the world's second-largest economy of cheating the U.S. by maintaining an artificially weak currency. But now the Trump administration might be on the verge of transforming its rhetoric into action.

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To contact me with questions, comments or constructive criticism is always encouraged and appreciated:

gary@econintersect.com

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