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08Feb2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closes Mixed, DOW Down 40 Points, Crude Higher, US Dollar Slipping, Gold Stronger

Written by Gary

U.S. stocks were little changed after four trading session (SPY +0.1%). Investors looking for a breakout, hopefully upwards. The SP 500 ended slightly higher today as investors digested mixed earnings reports, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped as bank stocks weighed.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street closes little changed; banks weigh on Dow

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 ended slightly higher on Wednesday as investors digested mixed earnings reports, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped as bank stocks weighed.

Exclusive: Goldman Sachs hedge fund folding London operations, shifting staff to U.S. - sources

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc's hedge fund Goldman Sachs Investment Partners (GSIP), which was one of the largest-ever hedge fund launches in history, is closing its London operations and shifting staff members to New York, four sources told Reuters.

Intel, in Oval Office, announces $7 billion semiconductor factory

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Intel Corp chose the Oval Office as its backdrop to announce a $7 billion investment in a new Arizona semiconductor factory, a plant it said would create 3,000 new jobs when it is up and running.

Harry Potter spinoff helps Time Warner top estimates

(Reuters) - Time Warner Inc reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results, largely due to box office hits such as the "Harry Potter" spinoff "Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them."

Trump blasts retailer Nordstrom, raising new concern on business ties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter attack on Nordstrom Inc on Wednesday for dropping his daughter Ivanka's clothing line raised concerns about the use of his White House platform for his family's businesses.

Panera surges to record as Wall Street eyes payoff from technology

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Panera Bread surged to a record high on Wednesday and were on track for the biggest one-day move in almost two years after the company gave an upbeat forecast and said technology investments at its restaurants were paying off.

Volkswagen mulls steps against Piech over diesel claims against board

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen said it was weighing steps against ex-Chairman Ferdinand Piech after media reports said he had informed key supervisory board members about potential diesel cheating six months before the scandal became public.

Wells Fargo likely to eliminate 2016 bonuses for top executives: WSJ

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co's board is likely to eliminate 2016 bonuses for the bank's top executives following the bogus account scandal, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Canada gives aid to Bombardier, vows to defend any trade dispute

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The Canadian government on Tuesday announced C$372.5 million ($283 million) in repayable loans for two of Bombardier Inc's jet programs, promising to defend the deal against a potential trade challenge by Brazil.

"Tolerance"

One man's 'tolerance' is another person's 'freedom fighter'...

Source: MichaelPRamirez.com

Germany Rules Out Greek Debt Cut: "For That It Would Have To Exit The Currency Area"

With the IMF and Germany again at each other's throats over the neverending drama that is Greece, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble repeated the same line he has used since the third Greek bailout from the summer of 2015, and in response to the IMF's demands for a reduction in Greek debt and fiscal surplus, the German ruled out a debt cut for Athens "as a violation of European rules", adding that "the country would have to leave the euro area to do so."

"We can't undertake a debt haircut for a member of the European single currency, it's ruled out by the Lisbon Treaty," Schaeuble told German broadcaster ARD. "For that, Greece would have to exit the currency area."

The German minister added that Greece will be able to complete the current bailout program if the country meets the conditions set by creditors, who must keep up the pressure on the government in Athens. Greece's main problem isn't debt, but rather competitiveness, he said, which of course would mean thatthe Greek currency would need to devalue... if only said currency wasn't the euro, from whose clutches it can only escape if Greek citizens are willing to lose all their savings as the fireworks of 2015 showed.

"The pressure on Greece to undertake reforms must be maintained so that it becomes competitive, otherwise they can't remain in the currency area," Schaeuble told the German people. And since external competitiveness, i.e. devaluation, is impossible, Greece will have to achieve it by other means, namely even lower wages.

And speak ...

San Francisco Becomes First City To Offer Free College For All - "Even Facebook Founder's Kids"

"Even the children of the founders of Facebook" will now receive free community college education in San Francisco, Supervisor Jane Kim proudly commented as city leaders agreed to become the first city in the nation to offer its citizenry this 'basic human right'.

As SFGate.com reports, City College of San Francisco will be free of charge to all city residents under a deal announced Monday by Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Jane Kim that college trustees hope will lead to an enrollment jolt and more state funding for the school.

Under the agreement, which is expected to take effect in the fall, the city will pay $5.4 million a year to buy out the $46-a-credit fee usually paid by students.

The city's contribution will also provide $250 a semester to full-time, low-income students who already receive a state-funded fee waiver. They will be able to use the money to pay for books, transportation, school supplies and health fees. Part-time students with fee waivers will get $100 a semester for the same purpose.

"Now we can say to California resident students that your City College is free," Lee said at a City Hall news conference with Kim, City College trustees, faculty members, acting Chancellor Susan Lamb and others. "This is a good story."

Kim said all San Franciscans who have lived in the city for at least a year will be eligible.

Kiwi Slides After Central Bank Says It Wants "A Decline In The Exchange Rate"

Add another country to the list of Trump twitter targets who want to devalue their currency.

Moments ago, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand held its key rate at record-low 1.75%, as expected, however what unleashed a violent selling reaction is what Governor Greame Wheeler said in the statement, in which he made it clear, yet again, that the Kiwi is overvalued and that the "exchange rate remains higher than is sustainable for balanced growth and, together with low global inflation, continues to generate negative inflation in the tradables sector. A decline in the exchange rate is needed."

Which was about as clear a statement of intent as one needs, and the NZDUSD reacted appropriately.

Wheeler noted that "headline inflation has returned to the target band as past declines in oil prices dropped out of the annual calculation. Inflation is expected to return to the midpoint of the target band gradually, reflecting the strength of the domestic economy and despite persistent negative tradables inflation. Longer-term inflation expectations remain well-anchored at around 2 percent."

However, his conclusion suggested that no rate hikes are coming any time soon: "Monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period. Numerous uncertainties remain, particularly in respect of the international outlook, and policy may need to adjust accordingly."

The Unlikely Winners of the US-Mexico Trade War, Round 1

Donald Trump's rhetoric on Mexico has so far benefited the companies he plans to punish.

Viacom Turnaround: Quality Trumps Quantity

Viacom's turnaround plan makes sense, but its ability to execute the plan in time for its next round of fee negotiations remains in question.

Why Companies May Behave Themselves Even as Regulations Are Eased

A rapid increase in assets held by investors concerned with environmental and other issues could blunt the economic impact of the Trump administration's deregulation push.

Earnings Outlook: Coca-Cola earnings: Here's what is concerning analysts

Coca-Cola is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results before the market opens on Thursday, with analysts expecting a seventh straight quarter of year-over-year declines in earnings and revenue.

Market Extra: Nordstrom recovers from Trump's 'Terrible!' tweet in just 4 minutes

The reaction by Nordstrom's stock to President Trump's critical tweet could leave companies less worried about drawing the president's ire.

Bond Report: 10-year government-bond yield falls to 3-week low

Treasury yields trade lower Wednesday for a third consecutive session as investors express unease over a perceived scarcity of details surrounding the scope and timing of President Donald Trump's purportedly pro-growth fiscal policies.

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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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