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13Mar2017 Market Close: US Stock Markets Were Relatively Quiet Today As If Awaiting The Hangman's Rope, Low Volume, Drug Stocks Fall

Written by Gary

Wall Street closed up fractionally (SPY +0.05%) having traded mostly sideways with a slight trend towards the green. Investors are concerned and unsure what the Fed might, or might not, do. Both the US dollar and Crude prices gained ground.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street dips as drug stocks drag; Fed meeting in focus

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow trended lower in afternoon trading on Monday as drug stocks fell, while investors awaited a widely expected interest rate hike later this week.

Intel's $15 billion purchase of Mobileye rewrites driverless landscape

JERUSALEM/DETROIT (Reuters) - Intel Corp agreed to buy Israeli self-driving technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion on Monday in a deal that could thrust the U.S. chipmaker into direct competition with rivals Nvidia Corp and Qualcomm Inc to develop driverless systems and components for global automakers.

Verizon sought $925 million discount for Yahoo merger, got $350 million

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc sought almost triple the price reduction that it ultimately obtained for Yahoo Inc's core assets following two massive cyber attacks at the internet company, according to a Yahoo filing.

Airbnb has no specific plans for IPO yet: CEO Chesky

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Airbnb, the leading online marketplace for short-term lodging, has no specific plans yet to go public, its chief executive officer Brian Chesky said on Monday.

Oil extends losses to three-month lows, tests slide

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices were steady to soft after touching three-month lows on Monday, testing a slide that began last week when the market became less optimistic that OPEC's efforts to restrict output would reduce a global oil glut amid swelling U.S. supplies.

At the Fed, spring comes early with return to new 'normal'

WASHINGTON(Reuters) - U.S. household wealth has hit record levels. U.S. stock prices recently hit all-time highs. Inflation is nearing the Federal Reserve's 2.0 percent goal, and the world economy including the once-sick eurozone has skirted the risk of a deep new downturn.

Kushners set to get $400 million from Anbang on Manhattan tower: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - A company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law, stands to receive over $400 million from China's Anbang Insurance Group, that is investing in a Manhattan building owned by the Kushners, Bloomberg reported.

Millennial love for Snapchat extends to the stock

NEW YORK (Reuters) - For some millennial investors, loyalty to one of their favorite apps matters more than financial details in the case of Snap Inc .

PwC threatens MF Global mistrial; Corzine defends actions

NEW YORK (Reuters) - PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP on Monday said it may seek a mistrial in a $3 billion malpractice case over the collapse of Jon Corzine's MF Global Holdings Ltd, saying it was blindsided when the plaintiff changed its theory of why the brokerage failed.

The Four Corners Of American Politics

Authored by Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Let's take a breather from more consequential money matters at hand midweek to consider the tending moods of our time and place — while a blizzard howls outside the window, and nervous Federal Reserve officials pace the grim halls of the Eccles Building.

It is clear by now that we have four corners of American politics these days: the utterly lost and delusional Democratic party; the feckless Republicans; the permanent Deep State of bureaucratic foot-soldiers and errand boys; and Trump, the Golem-King of the Coming Greatness. Wherefore, and what the fuck, you might ask.

The Democrats reduced themselves to a gang of sadistic neo-Maoists seeking to eradicate anything that resembles free expression across the land in the name of social justice. Coercion has been their coin of the realm, and especially in the realm of ideas where "diversity" means stepping on your opponent's neck until he pretends to agree with your Newspeak brand of grad school neologisms and "inclusion" means welcome if you're just like us. I say Maoists because just like Mao's "Red Guard" of rampaging students in 1966, their mission is to "correct" the thinking of those who might dare to oppose the established leader. Only in this case, that established leader happened to lose the sure-thing election and the party finds itself unbelievably out-of-power and suddenly purposeless, like a termite mound without a queen, the workers and soldiers fleeing the power center in an hysteria of lost identity.

They regrouped briefly after the election debacle to fight an imaginary adversary, Russia, the phantom ghost-bear, who supposedly stepped on their termite mound and killed the queen, but, strangely, no actual evidence was ever found of the ghost-bear's paw-print. ...

12 Million Americans Are About To Get An Artificial Boost To Their FICO Scores

Back in August 2014, we reported that in what appeared a suspicious attempt to boost the pool of eligible, credit-worthy mortgage recipients, Fair Isaac, the company behind the crucial FICO score that determines every consumer's credit rating, "will stop including in its FICO credit-score calculations any record of a consumer failing to pay a bill if the bill has been paid or settled with a collection agency. The San Jose, Calif., company also will give less weight to unpaid medical bills that are with a collection agency." In doing so, the company would "make it easier for tens of millions of Americans to get loans." Stated simply, the definition of the all important FICO score, the most important number at the base of every mortgage application, was set for an "adjustment" which would push it higher for millions of Americans.

As the WSJ said at the time, the changes are expected to boost consumer lending, especially among borrowers shut out of the market or charged high interest rates because of their low scores. "It expands banks' ability to make loans for people who might not have qualified and to offer a lower price [for others]," said Nessa Feddis, senior vice president of consumer protection and payments at the American Bankers Association, a trade group." Perhaps the thinking went that if you a borrower has defaulted once, they had learned your lesson and will never do it again. Unfortunately, empi ...

The World's Second Most Deceptive Chart

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

Last week, I discussed the "World's Most Deceptive Chart" which explored the deception of "percentage" versus actual "point" losses which has a much greater effect on both the real, and psychological, damage which occurs during a bear market. To wit:

"The problem is you DIED long before ever achieving that 5% annualized long-term return.

Outside of your personal longevity issue, it's the 'math' that is the primary problem.

The chart uses percentage returns which is extremely deceptive if you don't examine the issue beyond a cursory glance. However, when reconstructed on a point gain/loss basis, the ugly truth is revealed."

Of course, there are those that still ...

US Delta Force, SEAL Team 6 Prepare To Take Out Kim Jong-Un, Practice Tactical North Korea "Infiltration"

On March 1, the WSJ reported that the options contemplated by the White House in response to recent North Korean acts, include "the possibility of both military force and regime change to counter the country's nuclear-weapons threat." The review came es amid recent events have strained regional stability including last month's launch by North Korea of a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, and the assassination of the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia.

And, according to a report in Yonhap, said "regime change" may come far sooner than expected: the South Korean website writes that U.S. special operations forces, including the unit that killed Osama Bin Laden, will take part in joint military drills in South Korea "to practice incapacitating North Korean leadership in the case of conflict", a military official said Monday.

The U.S. Navy's Special Warfare Development Group, better known as the SEAL Team 6, will arrive in South Korea for joint military drills and take part in an exercise simulating a precision North Korean incurion and "the removal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un", according to the Ministry of National Defense Monday.

The U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six will join the annual Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises between the two allies for the first time, along with the Army's Rangers, Delta Force and Green Berets.

The counterterrorism unit is best known for its removal of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011, known as Operation Neptune Spear. ...

Intel's Leap of Faith in Driverless Cars

Buying Mobileye at a high valuation is risky, but Intel can't afford to miss another growth market.

Inflation: The Price Is Finally Right for the Fed

Rising inflation expectations bode well for the central bank ahead of this week's policy meeting.

Air Products' Yingde Bid May Be Losing Air

Rival bidder PAG looks to have accumulated enough shares to block Air Products from owning big Chinese industrial-gas player Yingde.

February 2017 Conference Board Employment Index Improves

Written by Steven Hansen

The Conference Board's Employment Trends Index - which forecasts employment for the next 6 months improved, and its authors say "It seems that higher business confidence is carrying over to hiring".

New research finally confirms Murphy Brown's child turned out just fine

Growing up in a married household may only make a difference for some.

Bond Report: Two-year Treasury yield posts highest close since 2009 ahead of Fed meeting

Treasurys weaken, pushing yields to multiyear highs as investors await an expected rate increase by the Federal Reserve this week.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President says Republicans will 'save' health care as he meets with cabinet

President Donald Trump kicked the day off with a tweet about Obamacare "imploding," met with his cabinet and signed an executive order to review how money is being spent at federal agencies.

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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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