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09Feb2017 Market Close: New Market Highs, DOW Closes Up Triple Digits, WTI Crude Continues To Trend Upwards Into The 53 Handle, Interest Rates To Remain Steady Through 2017

Written by Gary

Wall Street's three main indexes hit record highs today (SPY +0.6%) for the second time after President Trump said he would make a major tax announcement in a few weeks. US interest rates can likely remain low through at least 2017 St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said earlier.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street rises to records as Trump ignites tax-cut hopes

(Reuters) - Wall Street's three main indexes hit record highs on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he would make a major tax announcement in a few weeks.

U.S. jobless claims near 43-year low; wholesale inventories surge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to near a 43-year low, amid a further tightening of the labor market that could eventually spur faster wage growth.

Twitter advertising revenue falls, shares drop more than 10 percent

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc posted the slowest revenue growth since it went public four years ago, sending shares down more than 10 percent on Thursday on fears that rivals Snapchat and Facebook Inc were winning the war for advertising.

Repubican Hensarling plans to ease Wall Street rules: memo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican leader of the House Financial Services Committee plans to scale back banking reforms, curb the consumer finance agency and ease regulations on financial institutions and companies looking to raise capital, according to a proposal seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Coca-Cola forecasts drop in 2017 profit amid refranchising

(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co forecast a surprise drop in full-year profit as costs related to refranchising its U.S. bottling operations are expected to be higher than previously anticipated.

Fed's Bullard says rates can remain low through 2017

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - U.S. interest rates can likely remain low through at least 2017, with no clear sense yet of whether the Trump administration's policies will spark higher inflation or growth, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said on Thursday.

U.S. court blocks Anthem-Cigna merger, dealing blow to consolidation

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc's proposed $54 billion merger with smaller rival Cigna Corp , derailing an unprecedented effort to consolidate the country's health insurance industry.

Fiat Chrysler CEO complains about emissions rules 'mess' in Europe

TURIN (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne complained on Thursday about emissions regulations in the European Union, saying that the single market was meant "to avoid this mess".

Hedging demand perks up even as volatility craters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Soaring U.S. share prices and plunging market volatility measures may paint a picture of optimism, but there are signs in the equity options market that investors have started to question how long this goldilocks period can last.

Chinese Banks Begin To Raise Mortgage Rates

Raising rates on reverse repos, hiking the cost it charges on its Medium-Term Loan Facility and Standing Lending Facility, five consecutive day without a reverse repo liquidity injection (or rather a CNY715 billion liquidity drain), and now in the latest indication of overall tightening of monetary conditions, China has started to hike mortgage rates. According to press reports, some bank branches in Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing have raised mortgage rates for first-home buyers recently. The China Securities Journal confirms as much, reporting that China's banks in some big cities have started to lower discounts on lending rates for fist-time home buyers, joining recent steps to curb financial risks stemming loose credit conditions.

Following up on the Chinese press report, Reuters notes that since the start of 2017, banks in Beijing have started discounting mortgage rates as much as 10 percent off the official benchmark rate, reducing from as much as 15 percent previously, CSJ said on its website. The current one-year benchmark lending rate set by the People's Bank of China is at 4.35 percent, the lending rate for loans up to five years is at 4.75 percent and loans longer than 5 years is at 4.9 percent. Few lenders in Beijing and Shanghai still offer mortgage rate discounts more than 10 percent off the benchmark, the Chinese paper said.

"There are indications that the financial environment for the property market will no longer be loose in 2017," it said.

In the southern city of Guangzhou, for example, the Postal Savings Bank, Industrial Bank and Rural Commercial Bank have also adjusted discounts on mortgage rates to as much as 10% off the benchmark rate from as much as 15%, the paper said.

Confirming the tightening m ...

Rexnord Moving Forward With Mexico Outsourcing Despite Trump's Twitter Shaming

Back in December, Rexnord became one of the unfortunate companies put on Twitter blast by then President-elect Trump for moving jobs to Mexico. In a December 3rd tweet, Trump called out Rexnord for plans to "viciously fire all of its 300 workers" in Indiana vowing that the outsourcing trend would happen "No more!" under his reign.

Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2016

But despite the warnings, fast forward two months and Rexnord is still planning to close its industrial-bearings factory in Indiana, which employs about 350 people, despite the President's Twitter shaming. While Trump/Pence tax concessions helped to save roughly 1,000 U.S. jobs at a Carrier plant in Indiana, apparently Rexnord couldn't be lured away from the $30mm in annual cost savings they say they'll get from moving to Mexico. Per the Wall Street Journal:

Rexnord says moving the plant to Mexico is part of a plan to save $30 million annually. Workers say they have been packing up machines while their replacements, visiting from Mexico, learn how to do their jobs.

"That's a real kick in the ass to be asked to train your replacement," said machin ...

Donald Trump We Have a BIG LEAGUE National Debt Problem (Video)

By EconMatters

We discuss the three 15 point S&P 500 pops on Donald Trump "Hopeism" with no real substance behind any of his political talk in this video. Nothing substantive has been done to the economy since Donald Trump has been in office, just a bunch of talk, talk, talk and more talk about the things he is going to get done in the future. Wake me up Donald when you actually start bringing down the 20 Trillion National Debt in this country, you know the issue you campaigned upon during the election? None of the other issues you have promised make any sense unless you can do them without raising the National Debt, and at 20 Trillion Dollars and building is the Elephant in the Room that everyone wants to ignore, because it is where the rubber meets the road in terms of all this Talk, Talk, Talk Donald Trump!

Reuters Leaks Trump-Putin Phone Call, Reveals Trump Unfamiliar With Russia Nuclear Treaty

In the past week, the press complained that the White House never published a detailed read out of the Jan. 28 Trump-Putin phone call, one of the first held by the new US president, because allegedly the staff had disabled recording equipment. Today, it was Reuters' turn to be the latest to leak the full details of a Trump high level phone call (as reported yesterday, leaking within the Trump administration has become a major issue) this time, the highly anticipated if unrecorded call with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Reuters cited two unnamed U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call.

The leak, while unconfirmed - in today's press briefing Spicer refused to comment saying it was a private call - revealed several interesting facts, first that Trump denounced the START treaty that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads "as a bad deal for the United States."

More notable was the disclosure that "when Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said." During a debate in the 2016 presidential election, Trump said Russia had "outsmarted" the United States with the treaty, which he called "START-Up." He asserted incorrectly then that it had allowed Russia to continue to produce nuclear warheads while the United States could not.

As Reuters adds"it has not been previously reported that Trump had conveyed his doubt about New START to Putin in the hour-long call."

Under the terms of the New START the two countries ha ...

Luxury Companies, Cash Rich, Ready to Splurge

Whatever happens to demand for luxury goods this year, one thing is sure: Corporate cash will pile up.

Future of Cars: Hitching a Ride From Your Bank

Société Générale, the French bank, will list a stake in its car-leasing business.

This Number Points to Danger for Chinese Banks

Circular stresses in Chinese banks are showing up in a little noticed but important regulatory banking ratio.

Lower profits for energy companies dampen hopes for sector recovery

Energy companies have reported quarterly numbers that cast a pall on future profits.

Bond Report: Treasury yields halt longest series of declines since June

Treasury prices fall Thursday, pushing yields higher, after President Donald Trump said he would make a "major" announcement about his tax-policy plans some time during the coming weeks.

Money lessons from a divorce: How to be smarter with your finances

Managing the day-to-day finances, spending less and even getting a pre-nup made the list

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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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