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15Feb2017 Market Close: New Historic Highs Mark A Seven Day Winning Streak For The US Markets, Oil Slips Along With The US Dollar And Several Analysts Are Running For Cover

Written by Gary

Wall Street's major indexes pushed further into record-high territory today (SPY +0.5%), with the S&P 500 notching a seven-session winning streak, helped by a round of robust economic data and ongoing optimism that President Donald Trump will cut corporate taxes.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

Stocks post record close for fifth-straight day as Trump continues to tout economic agenda

Looking at the last three columns, the first one (Actual), is what was reported this morning. The second column (Forecast) is what analysts had forecast and the third column is the previous report. Full calendar HERE.

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street rises further into uncharted territory

(Reuters) - Wall Street pushed further into record-high territory on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 notching a seven-session winning streak, helped by a round of robust economic data and ongoing optimism that President Donald Trump will cut corporate taxes.

Verizon close to Yahoo deal, price cut of $250-350 million: sources

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc is close to a revised deal to buy Yahoo Inc's core internet business for $250 million to $350 million less than the original agreed price of $4.83 billion, according to a source briefed on the matter.

U.S. lawmakers grill Yellen on interest rates, regulatory policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers on Wednesday criticized Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's stewardship of the U.S. economy and urged her to halt work on financial regulation until President Donald Trump names new policymakers to the central bank.

Trump 'not wrong on everything': Berkshire's Munger

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charlie Munger, the billionaire vice chairman of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc , said some of U.S. President Donald Trump's ideas may prove constructive for the country, tempering comments a year ago suggesting that his fellow Republican was not morally qualified for the White House.

Anthem sues Cigna to block termination of merger

(Reuters) - Anthem Inc said on Wednesday it filed a lawsuit to block smaller rival Cigna Corp from officially terminating their proposed $54 billion merger, a transaction already rejected by U.S. antitrust regulators.

U.S. retail sales rise; inflation posts largest gain in four years

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in January and consumer prices recorded their biggest gain in nearly four years, boosting prospects of an interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve next month.

Trian's P&G stake raises investor hopes of break-up, cost cuts

(Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co , maker of Tide detergent and Gillette razors, will face ever greater pressure to slice costs and slow-growing divisions now that activist investor Trian Partners is a major shareholder.

CBS Corp's quarterly profit falls 46.5 percent

(Reuters) - CBS Corp , owner of the most-watched U.S. television network, reported a 46.5 percent drop in quarterly profit, hurt mainly by a one-time pension settlement charge.

Cisco revenue slips for fifth straight quarter

(Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc's quarterly revenue fell for the fifth straight quarter, hurt by sluggish demand in its legacy network equipment business.

Trump Utters The Magic Word (Again) And The Dow Surges Above 20,600 (Despite VIX Spike)

Apologies for earlier error in title.

Surging inflation, plunging real wages, jumping mortgage delinquencies, and record crude and gasoline inventories... then Trump drops the 't' word and the market melts up...

Intraday, March rate-hike odds hit 46%, seemingly surging off "off the table" levels before the week began...

Record all-time highs across everything...

It's all banks all the time...

The Dow topped 20,600 - even as VIX spiked above 12...

The S&P 500 is up 7 days in a row - the longest streak since Sept 2013...

12 TSA Agents Just Indicted For Smuggling $100 Million Worth Of Cocaine

Submitted by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,

The Department of Justice announced Monday that 12 former and current TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) employees were indicted for smuggling 20 tons, or $100 million worth of cocaine out of Puerto Rico over the course of an 18-year operation. This is not the first time TSA agents have been caught running drugs or breaking other laws.

According to a DOJ press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Puerto Rico:

"During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants smuggled suitcases, each containing at least 8 to 15 kilograms of cocaine, through the TSA security system at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (LMMIA). Sometimes as many as five mules were used on each flight, with each mule checking-in up to two suitcases. From 1998 through 2016, the defendants helped smuggle approximately 20 tons of cocaine through LMMIA."

Though initial reports indicated the operation spanned from 2008 to 2016 and moved 1,500 kilograms of cocaine, the ongoing investigation apparently unearthed an additional ten years of misconduct (considering the TSA has only existed since 2001, Anti-Media has contacted the DOJ for cla ...

Macro Trader Warns "This Might Be As Good As It Gets" For US Investors

As credit and equity markets continue to grind higher with monotonous regularity, as bloviators fret about politics and analysts await clarity on monetary and fiscal policy, Bloomberg's Cameron 'macroman' Crise is worried that "this might be as good as it gets for US investors."

As Crise explains, one of his favorite metrics is one-year trailing return to volatility ratios in major markets, which mean-revert and thus can provide early warning signals for when things get extended.

Typically, high-yield credit markets top out at a ratio between 4 and 6, while anything above 2 for stocks suggests that the S&P 500 is looking toppy.

Those readings are currently 4.1 and 2.3, respectively.

As is clear from the chart above, each time (2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2015) saw a notable reversion in the US equity market.

As Crise notes, it's pretty rare to see markets perform this way.

There have been 76 days this century where the IBOXHY ratio is above 4 and the SPXT ratio is above 2 -- that's just 1.8% of all trading days.

Does this mean that today is the peak and that it's all downside from here? Of course not. (IG credit, for example, does not look at all extended by this measure.)

I would suggest, however, that if monetary conditions tighten notably or Trump over-promises and under-delivers, the halcyon days could come to an end very swiftly.

Retail Zombies Haunt Industry

The lengthy list of retailers teetering on the edge of bankruptcy but not being allowed to die is holding the rest of the industry back.

Why the Market's AIG Selloff Is Overdone

American International Group took a surprisingly large charge against some insurance lines in the fourth quarter, but the risk is limited.

In Era of Big Beer, Heineken Needn't Get Drunk With Deals

The Dutch group has turned itself into an attractive emerging-markets play, making a fresh brewery megadeal unlikely.

From a risk-of-bankruptcy standpoint, the retail business is the new oil and gas

With retailers facing a slew of issues, including the shift to online and the need for investment, experts are expecting an increase in bankruptcies and restructurings.

Personal Finance Daily: Surging olive oil prices and why Americans are more anxious than ever

Wednesday's top personal finance stories

The Wall Street Journal: Mattis warns that NATO allies need to pull their weight

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that they need to adopt plans to raise their military spending or risk seeing America "moderate its commitment to the alliance."

Summary of Economic Releases this Week

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Earnings Summary for Today

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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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