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04Apr2017 Market Close: DOW Closed Up 39 Points, Investors Not Optimistic About Trump's Tax Reforms, Crude Prices Remain Stable, US Dollar Showing Some Strength

Written by Gary

U.S. major stocks indexes closed mostly in the green, but little changed today (SPY +0.06%), as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of first-quarter earnings season. Investors remained concerned over President Donald Trump's ability to deliver on promises such as tax reform.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Fed's Lacker leaves central bank over leak of market sensitive news

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker abruptly left the U.S. central bank on Tuesday after admitting a conversation he had with a Wall Street analyst in 2012 may have disclosed confidential information about Fed policy options.

Earnings, Trump keep markets in check

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed little changed on Tuesday, as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of first-quarter earnings season and remained cautious over President Donald Trump's ability to deliver on promises such as tax reform.

U.S. trade deficit falls from two-year high on weak imports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trade deficit fell from a near two year high in February as slowing domestic demand weighed on imports and stronger global growth boosted exports of American goods.

GM remains most valuable U.S. car company, Tesla is No. 2

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc , whose market capitalization passed that of Ford Motor Co on Monday, still trailed General Motors Co as the most valuable U.S. auto firm in mid-day trade on Tuesday.

JPMorgan CEO calls for regulatory changes in shareholder letter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon devoted one-third of his annual shareholder letter to arguments for changing regulations, particularly those on bank capital and liquidity, as well as home mortgage loan financing.

U.S. business seeks action, not trade war, in Xi-Trump summit

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Although worried about the prospect of a trade war, American businesses operating in China nonetheless want President Donald Trump to wring some concessions on market access from China's leader Xi Jingping when the two meet this week.

New York's top court rejects Facebook search warrant challenge

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York state's highest court on Tuesday rejected Facebook Inc's challenge to 381 search warrants to uncover suspected widespread Social Security disability fraud by its customers.

BlackRock's big funds cut commission rates for Wall Street research

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc , the world's biggest asset manager, slashed the amount it paid out in commissions to Wall Street firms for research by more than half for its largest mutual fund over the last two years, according to filings.

Exxon in talks to expand into Brazil: WSJ

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp is in talks to gain access to Brazil's deep-water oil resources, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

VIX Panic-Sellers Barely Manage To Rescue Stocks' Green Close

The machines used every tick of USDJPY and VIX today to ensure The Dow ended green...

After yesterday's dump and pump, The Dow and Nasdaq clung to April Gains... as Small Caps were slammed then the BTFDers arrived and it went exponential...

Despite a VIX crushing slam to an 11 handle, stocks just would not behave and ramp until the close

The Dow bounced once again off its 50DMA yesterday and rolled back over again today...

The Dow just scraped into the green for April...

After inverting for the first time ever in a sub-14 spot VIX environment yesterday...

Talk of Trump Enacting a Value Added Tax to Raise Revenue Lays Waste to Retailers

The Washington Post is out with a few more leaks today, this time purporting that Trump is set to impose two liberal wet dreams on the people, VAT and carbon taxes.

Washpo said the administration is trying to find ways to raise revenues, in order to provide the people with the tax cuts they promised. Moreover, they painted this in a light that Trump and his team are trying to extend olive branches to the batshit democrats, by way of onerous taxes on the American people, to meet them 'halfway' in an attempt to find common ground.

A carbon tax would target the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases in the burning of gasoline, coal and other fossil fuels. Many Democrats support the creation of a carbon tax as a way to address climate change, but they couldn't even reach an agreement on the issue when they had control of Congress and the White House during the early years of the Obama administration.

I call 100% bullshit on this fake news.

A man who eschewed global warming as nothing more than a Chinese scheme to deindustrialize America does not simply agree to carbon taxes as a meana to an end.

The VAT tax, or 'value-added tax' is used in other countries of lesser qualities. It serves as a national sales tax, targeting fuckheads to enjoy to spend all of their money at the mall. Critics argue it target the weak and the poor. It does.

Here is how Washpo described their unnamed sources feeding them this nonsense.

Administration officials stressed that no final decision has been made and they are reviewing different alternatives. Two officials and a third person confirmed the consideration of the value-added tax, while one official and the third person confirmed the ...

House Intel Panel Asks Susan Rice To Testify

If former National Security Advisor Susan Rice though she could get away from the current furore over the Trump "unmasking" scandal with just one MSNBC interview in which Andrea Mitchell did not even ask her why she lied two weeks ago to PBS, she will be disappointed as moments ago Dow Jones reported that the House Intelligence Panel has asked Susan Rice to testify, supposedly under oath.


HOUSE INTELLIGENCE PANEL ASKS SUSAN RICE TO TESTIFY, DJ SAYS

The next question on everyone's lips: will she plead the Fifth?

As a reminder, earlier in the day, the MSNBC anchor asked Susan Rice if she would testify before congress as Rand Paul requested, Rice responded by changing the subject to Russia.

"Rand Paul is suggesting that you be subpoenaed to testify. Would you be willing to go to Capitol Hill?" Mitchell asked.

"You know, Andrea, let's, let's... see what comes," she said. "Umm, I'm not going, ahh, you know, sit here and prejudge, but what I will say is that the investigations that are underway as to the Russian involvement in our electoral process are very important and they're very serious. Every American ought to have an interest in those investigations going wherever the evidence indicates they should."

Asked if she would testify, Susan Rice freezes, stammers, then changes subject to Russia. pic.twitter.com/wj2TQ9saeU

— Chris Menahan (@infolibnews) April 4, 2017

Her decision may have been made for her.

...

San Fran Politician Considers Legislation To Tax Robots

Continuous, aggressive innovation has been a key component of America's success since its founding over 200 years ago. As such, the country's taxing authorities have historically gone to great lengths to encourage innovation through tax incentives, public private partnerships, etc. That is, until now.

In a rather stunning Quartz interview a few weeks back, Bill Gates, who ironically made his fortune from innovation, proposed that automation should be taxed rather than incentivized.

Robots are taking human jobs. But Bill Gates believes that governments should tax companies' use of them, as a way to at least temporarily slow the spread of automation and to fund other types of employment. It's a striking position from the world's richest man and a self-described techno-optimist who co-founded Microsoft, one of the leading players in artificial-intelligence technology.

In a recent interview with Quartz, Gates said that a robot tax could finance jobs taking care of elderly people or working with kids in schools, for which needs are unmet and to which humans are particularly well suited. He argues that governments must oversee such programs rather than relying on businesses, in order to redirect the jobs to help people with lower incomes. The idea is not totally theoretical: EU lawmakers considered a proposal to tax robot owners to pay for training for workers who lose their jobs, though on Feb. 16 the legislators ultimately rejected it.

"You ought to be willing to raise the tax level and even slow down the speed" of automation, Gates argues.

And while we would have thought that taxing innovation would seem like a kooky ide ...

Staples Deal: Does the Good Outweigh the Bad?

Staples's business serving corporate customers could make it more interesting to a private-equity buyer, but they would still have to contend with retail declines.

AIG on Track Despite Turmoil at the Top

AIG's own targets remain in sight even as it searches for a new chief executive.

Economy Will Miss that New-Car Smell

Slowing car sales may not be replaced by other consumer spending, which would weigh on the economy.

The Fed: Richmond Fed president quits after disclosing he leaked sensitive information

The president of the Richmond Fed dramatically quit on Tuesday after disclosing that he was the leaker of sensitive information that triggered a legal probe.

Currencies: Dollar steady against most rivals ahead of U.S.-China talk

The dollar was flat on Tuesday, but traded lower against the yen, perceived as a haven currency, as investors grew nervous ahead of an important meeting between the U.S. and China on Thursday.

Trump Today: Trump Today: Dodd-Frank to get 'major haircut,' president says

President Donald Trump retweeted a story about former President Barack Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice ordering U.S. spy agencies to produce spreadsheets of calls involving Trump; told a group of about 50 chief executives he's working on a major infrastructure plan; and spoke at a building-trades conference.

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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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