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15Mar2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closed Higher While The US Dollar Index Plunged Sharply After The Fed Raised The Interest Rate 0.25 Percentage Points

Written by Gary

US stock markets closed moderately higher (SPY +0.9%) after a fractional selloff at the close. The Fed has raised its interest rate 0.25%, and reaffirmed its forecast for three rate rises this year.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Fed raises rates as job gains, firming inflation stoke confidence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday for the second time in three months, a move spurred by steady economic growth, strong job gains and confidence that inflation is rising to the central bank's target.

Wall Street rallies as Fed raises rates, stays course

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose sharply on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time in three months, as expected, but did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening.

Gundlach expects short-term rally in U.S. Treasuries on Fed: CNBC

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital, said on Wednesday he expected a short-term rally in U.S. Treasuries and that investors should "use the strength" in U.S. stocks to take profits and diversify in overseas markets.

AT&T's $85.4 billion deal for Time Warner wins EU thumbs-up

(Reuters) - AT&T Inc has won approval from the European Commission for its planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier said on Wednesday.

Big win for automakers as Trump orders fuel economy standards review

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered a review of tough U.S. vehicle fuel-efficiency standards put in place by the Obama administration, handing a victory to auto industry executives and provoking criticism from Democrats and environmental groups.

Nasdaq CEO says tech partnership can help win $100 billion Saudi Aramco IPO

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Reuters) - Nasdaq Inc is touting its technology credentials in its effort to win the listing of Saudi Aramco's upcoming initial public offering, the exchange operator's chief executive said in an interview.

FCA CEO: 'zero interest' in pursuing merger talks with VW CEO

DETROIT (Reuters) - The top executive of automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said on Wednesday that he has "zero interest in pursuing" merger talks with his counterpart at Volkswagen AG

Renault CEO Ghosn targeted in French diesel probe

PARIS (Reuters) - France's consumer fraud watchdog told prosecutors that Renault boss Carlos Ghosn should be held responsible for the carmaker's suspected diesel emissions cheating, a judicial source said on Wednesday.

U.S. indicts Russian spies, hackers over massive Yahoo hack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Wednesday unsealed charges against two Russian spies and two criminal hackers for allegedly pilfering 500 million Yahoo user accounts in 2014.

The U.S. Border Tax Would Hit Texas Hard

Authored by Tsvetana Paraskova via OilPrice.com,

The proposed border adjustment tax has been dividing U.S. lawmakers. It is also dividing companies into those who support it and those who do not, as the simplified theory of the proposal - tax imports and exempt export revenue from taxable income - is expected to create clear-cut winners and losers among U.S. businesses.

It is also dividing the U.S. states into two groups: states that are expected to benefit, and states who stand to lose from the tax plan. The state of Texas and its economy are expected to be on the losers' end should the border tax pass as-is, even though the probability of the plan passing all legislative vetting is not considered to be very high.

Because of its physical location, adjacent to Mexico, along with its vast energy industry, Texas' economy is a global one. Texas is the home of energy giants ExxonMobil, Valero Energy, and Phillips 66, just to name a few. In the border adjustment plan, U.S. refiners who import oil stand to lose.

According to The Dallas Morning News contributor Richard Parker - who is also the author of 'Lone Star Nation: How Texas Will Transform America' - the border tax plan would basi ...

Russian Spy Ship Returns Off US East Coast, Just 20 Miles Away From Georgia Sub Base

The last time the Russian Cold War-era spy ship Viktor Leonov (SSV-175), was spotted off the US East Coast on what was its first Atlantic mission since President Trump was elected, was exactly one month ago, when it was located just 30 miles from Groton, Connecticut. Grotton is also known as the "home of the submarine force" and is the primary east coast submarine base for the US.

In the days that followed, the Leonov quietly disappeared, however it now appears that the Leonov is now back and once again appears to be expressing an interest in yet another US sub base. According to CBS, the Leonov is now sailing just 20 miles south of the U.S. Navy submarine base at King's Bay, Georgia, and heading north. CBS' correspondent David Martin reports the Viktor Leonov, known as an AGI (Auxiliary, General Intelligence) trawler, has a port call scheduled in Jamaica for mid-April, and the assumption among U.S. officials is that it will make one more run up and down the east coast before heading to Jamaica.

Martin adds that during its February patrol of the East Coast, the closest the ship came to the US was 17 miles, which is still in international waters, Martin reported. One month ago, as the Leonov patrolled, ...

Intelligence Sources Reveal: Obama Used British Agents For Trump Wire Tap Surveillance

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

While President Obama has vehemently denied issuing direct orders to the Justice Department or other domestic agencies to monitor President Trump during the 2016 election campaign, it is common knowledge that the National Security Agency has the ability to access video and audio from any number of devices in real time. In fact, according to Edward Snowden and documented in the recently released Snowden motion picture, U.S. spy agencies can simply flip a switch to watch or listen in on anything going on in a particular room by turning on a particular device's cameras and microphones.

Here's how it works:

The technology is real, but according to legal scholars, would have been illegal to use on Donald Trump or his surrogates without a warrant or probable cause indicating links to terrorist organizations.

But while domestic spy agencies like the NSA and CIA can't actively monitor a citizen on U.S. soil, there is a very convenient work-around that has been used for over a decade to accomplish this task without technically breaking the law.

According to three intelligence sources who spoke with Judge Napolitano, this is exactly what President Obama did to then-candidate Donald Trump.

Steve Watson explains:

The Next "Big Short" Tumbles To 13-Month Lows As Dept Store Sales Crash

This arcane financial instrument appears to be quickly becoming 'ground zero' for the "next big short" of this bull cycle.

Last week we introduced the CMBX Series 6 as potentially the next 'big short' - a credit derivative contract that allows betting against securities backed by malls in weaker locations where stores could close in quick succession, triggering debt defaults. Based on fundamentals, the trade indeed appears justified: "Sold in 2012, the mortgage bonds have a higher concentration of loans to regional malls and shopping centers than similar securities issued since the financial crisis. And because of the way CMBS are structured, the BBB- and BB rated notes are the first to suffer losses when underlying loans go belly up."

"These malls are dying, and we see very limited prospect of a turnaround in performance," according to a January report from Alder Hill, which began shorting the securities. "We expect 2017 to be a tipping point."

Cracks have started to appear. Prices on the BBB- pool of CMBS have slumped from roughly 96 cents on the dollar in late January to 87.08 cents last week, index data compiled by Markit show.

And now a few days later, we see Department Store sales crashing by the most on record. One particular chart revealed in the latest monthly Bank of America debit and credit card spending report sh ...

Fed and Investors Are a Happy Couple, for Now

Markets and the central bank agree on three rate increases this year, but stocks are pricing in stronger growth than the Federal Reserve expects.

As Retailers Go Silent, Big Data Fills the Void

The number of retailers providing monthly same-store sales data has dwindled, contributing to greater volatility for their stocks.

The Cost of Tough Immigration Rules

Little attention is being paid to the threat to food prices from a drop in immigrant labor, but recent history shows that labor shortages could drive up prices and labor costs and hurt profits.

15 March 2017 FOMC Meeting Statement: Federal Funds Rate Raised

Econintersect: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) - the board of directors of the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate. There was one dissenting vote. A summary of how the members viewed the economy:

.... business fixed investment appears to have firmed somewhat. Inflation has increased in recent quarters, moving close to the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective ....

Commodities Corner: Why the Fed interest-rate hike fueled a rally in gold

The gold market saw a case of "sell the rumor, buy the fact" in the wake of the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates, but that wasn't the only reason prices for the metal rallied after the news.

Trump solves central bankers' biggest problem

Inflation finally has accelerated since he took office, writes Nigam Arora.

Wall Street bonuses have soared 890% over the last three decades

This bonus pool could pay for the country's 3.1 million restaurant servers and bartenders.

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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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