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16Mar2017 Market Close: Markets Little Changed Today

Written by Gary

Congress' seem to have little ability to move the Trump agenda forward - and this killed any momentum in the markets. Even crude flat lined. The only upward movement came from gold (and not much positive movement).

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Snap shares drop 4 percent, fall below $20 for the first time

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Snap Inc shares tumbled below $20 on Thursday for the first time since the company's $3.4 billion public listing after the Snapchat owner received another "sell" rating from an analyst.

Wall Street slips with healthcare stocks, Nasdaq flat

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slipped on Thursday pressured by healthcare shares as traders cashed in gains from one of the best performing sectors so far this year.

U.S. housing, factory data underscore economy's resilience

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. homebuilding jumped in February as unseasonably warm weather boosted the construction of single-family houses to near a 9-1/2-year high, suggesting the economy remained on solid ground despite an apparent slowdown in the first quarter.

Car industry players diverge on timescale for self-driving cars

BERLIN (Reuters) - Carmakers and suppliers gave widely differing timelines for the introduction of self-driving vehicles on Thursday, showing the uncertainties surrounding the technology as well as a split between cautious established players and bullish new entrants.

Exclusive: Venezuela's cash-strapped PDVSA offers Rosneft oil stake - sources

CARACAS/HOUSTON (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has offered Russian counterpart Rosneft a stake in a joint venture in the country's Orinoco Belt extra-heavy crude area, five industry sources said, in a sign of the Latin American nation's dire economic situation and Moscow's growing muscle there.

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.

British regulator to investigate Sky takeover by Murdoch's Fox

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government has referred Rupert Murdoch's planned 11.7 billion pound ($14.4 billion) takeover of European pay-TV group Sky to regulators to decide if the deal is in the public interest.

U.S. authorities charge Russian spies, hackers in huge Yahoo hack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday charged two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers with masterminding the 2014 theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts, the first time the U.S. government has criminally charged Russian spies for cyber offences.

U.S. judge orders Volkswagen executive held until emissions case trial next January

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge in Detroit on Thursday ordered that a Volkswagen AG executive charged in the automaker's diesel emissions scandal be detained until his trial set for next year, agreeing with prosecutors that the German national represented a flight risk.

3 Things: Fed Hike, Fed Late, Fed Miss

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

Future's So Bright, We Gotta Hike Rates

"The simple message is the economy is doing well. We have confidence in the robustness of the economy and its resilience to shocks." - Janet Yellen, March 15, 2017.

Really?

Because while you saying that the GDP NowCast from the Atlanta Fed just collapsed from nearly 3% at the beginning of the year, to just 0.9% currently.

The problem, as has been a continued issue with the Fed's projections, is the expanse between the Fed's "fantasy" and economic realities. This is shown in the table below which documents the median of the Fed's economic projections versus what actually happens. In every single year, the March projections have consistently been revised lower.

Yet, besides being the world's worst economic forecasters, the market still believes every statement she makes.

Gold Soars Most Since Brexit As Stocks, Bonds Stumble

It seems Yellen's desperate attempt to tell the world that the US economy is doing fantastic BUT not well enough to raise rate more than 3 times appears to have let stocks hope down. Combine that with ECB comments and uncertainty over Trump's budget and the political 'put' rallied as stocks sank...

We're gonna need some more hawkish jawboning - as economic growth expectations collapse - to rescue this one...

Early gains from the Dutch election exuberance faded for US stocks...

Trannies are red post-Fed

Nasdaq was panic-bid by the machines to end the day barely green...

The Whole POINT of the Internet of Things Is So Big Brother Can Spy On You

No One Wants the Internet of Things ...

No one wants the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Washington Post noted in 2014:

No one really wants a "smart" washing machine ....

***

If you're wondering who would want to buy an Internet-enabled washing machine, you're not alone. Even Whirlpool's not so sure.

"We're a little bit of a hammer looking for a nail right now," Chris Quatrochi, Whirlpool's global director of user experience and connectivity, said last week at a conference hosted by tech blog Gigaom. The buyers of web-connected washers, more than a year after launch, are still "not at all widespread," he said. "Trying to understand exactly the value proposition that you provide to the consumer," he said, "has been a little bit of a challenge."

It's a big concession from one of the most notable champions of the buzzy "Internet of Things" ....

As Digital Trends blogger John Sciacca put it: "Have we gotten so pathetically lame that you need to be notified by an email that your laundry is done?"

Senators Demand State Department Probe Into Soros Organizations

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and a group of his colleagues are calling on the newly appointed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to immediately investigate how US taxpayer funds are being used by the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support Soros-backed, leftist political groups in several Eastern European countries including Macedonia and Albania. According to the letter, potentially millions of taxpayer dollars are being funneled through USAID to Soros' Open Society Foundations with the explicit goal of pushing his progressive agenda.

"Unfortunately, we have received a credible report that, over the past few years, the U.S. Mission there has actively intervened in the party politics of Macedonia, as well as in the shaping of its media environment and civil society, often favoring left-leaning political group over others. We find these reports discoraging and, if true, highly problematic."

"Much of the concerning activity in Macedonia has been perpetuated through USAID funds awarded to implementing entities such as George Soros' Open Society Foundations. As the recipient of multiple grant awards and serving as a USAID contractor implementing projects in this small nation of 2.1 million people, our taxpayer funded foreign aid goes far, allowing Foundation Open Society - Macedonia (FOSM) to push a progressive agenda and invigorate the political left. Our foreign aid should only be used to promote a political agenda if it is in the security or economic interests of our country to do so, and even at that, we must be cautious and respectful in such an endeavor. We should be especially wary of ...

Tesla Should Fill Its Coffers While It Can

The latest financing ahead of Tesla's Model 3 should be larger.

The Trump Job Banks Care About Most

A pending appointment will reveal whether pro-Wall Street forces are truly ascendant in the Trump administration.

GoPro Sharpens Its Focus

Action-camera maker GoPro wisely refocuses on profitability.

January 2017 JOLTS Job Openings Rate Continues to Show Little Year-over-Year Growth

Written by Steven Hansen

The BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) can be used as a predictor of future jobs growth, and the predictive elements show that the year-over-year growth rate of unadjusted private non-farm job openings again were again insignificantly changed from last month.

February 2017 Residential Building Slows

Written by Steven Hansen

The headline residential building permits slowed, whilst housing starts also slowed. Our analysis agrees.

The Wall Street Journal: 4 sanctioned North Korean banks get delisted by Swift

Four North Korean banks that were still able to use the Swift money-transfer messaging system despite U.S. Treasury sanctions will be deactivated from the network in coming days, leaving none of the country's banks with access.

The Margin: Can Notre Dame crack Elite Eight again | March Madness without New Englanders | Vasectomy specials

Notre Dame, a repeat Elite Eight force the last two years, squeaked past Princeton — its first lost since before Christmas — as the NCAA men's basketball tournament Round of 64 got rolling on Thursday.

In One Chart: Fed rate hikes + low growth = recession, says stock-market strategist

The Federal Reserve is set to hike rates for the only the third time in about a decade, and that has caused trepidation among some market participants.

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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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