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14Apr2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closed For Good Friday, But Watch Out For Monday As It Appears That Investors Are Turning Seriously Towards Gold And Other Safe Havens

Written by Gary

Wall Street closed for Good Friday. U.S. retail sales fell for a second straight month in March and consumer prices dropped for the first time in just over a year, underscoring the magnitude of the loss of economic growth momentum in the first quarter.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

U.S. retail sales, inflation data highlight weak first quarter growth

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales fell for a second straight month in March and consumer prices dropped for the first time in just over a year, underscoring the magnitude of the loss of economic growth momentum in the first quarter.

Apple receives permit in California to test self-driving cars: DMV

(Reuters) - Apple Inc has secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California, the state Department of Motor Vehicles said on Friday.

Sao Paulo judge rules Uber drivers are employees, deserve benefits

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A judge in Brazil's biggest city ruled this week that a driver using the Uber [UBER.UL] ride-hailing app is an employee of the San-Francisco-based company, threatening its business model in one of its biggest markets.

Abbott agrees to buy Alere at lower price from earlier offer

(Reuters) - Diversified healthcare company Abbott Laboratories on Friday agreed to buy Alere Inc at a lower price than it had previously offered, after raising concerns about the accuracy of various representations, warranties and covenants made by Alere in the earlier agreement.

Netflix scorecard to test mettle of tech rally

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The longevity of the technology stocks rally is on the line next week as Netflix Inc kicks off the earnings season for a sector that has mushroomed to account for more than a fifth of the U.S. stock market's value.

Takata rescue talks extended, even as bankruptcy risk looms

TOKYO (Reuters) - Potential rescuers of Japan's Takata Corp have extended talks, already in their 14th month, for a deal to take over the air bag maker at the heart of the auto industry's biggest safety recall, people briefed on the process said.

Fiat Chrysler CEO rows back on merger search, says focused on plan

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne rowed back on his search for a merger on Friday, saying the car maker was not in a position to seek deals for now and would focus instead on following its business plan.

VW says has bought, fixed more than half of polluting 2.0-liter diesels in U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG said on Friday the company has bought back or repaired more than half of 475,000 polluting 2.0-liter diesel vehicles under a U.S. government settlement, just six months after it launched the largest-ever automotive repurchase offer.

SEC freezes brokerage accounts behind alleged insider trading

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday it had frozen assets in two brokerage accounts used last week to reap more than $1 million in alleged insider trading profits in connection with a merger announcement by Liberty Interactive Corp and General Communication Inc.

Professor Who First Predicted Trump's Victory Just Predicted His Impeachment As Well

After his stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton in November, President-elect Trump took the time out of his transition planning to write a letter to American University Professor, Allan Lichtman, congratulating him for being the first to predict the outcome of the election even when polls declared Hillary a 'yuge' favorite: "Professor - Congrats - good call."

That said, Trump may not be so enthusiastic about Lichtman's next big prediction which he spells out in a new, soon-to-be-released book entitled "The Case for Impeachment." Within the new book, Lichtman, who is not a Trump fan despite his prediction, "explains how Trump threatens the institutions and traditions that have made America safe and free for 230 years."

Unfortunately, unlike his novel approach to predicting presidential elections, Lichtman's "Case for Impeachment" seems to be a disappointing regurgitation of tired mainstream media narratives including treason with Russia (an argument Trump has pretty much rendered obsolete over the past week or so) and emoluments violations. Per Politico:

Lichtman's list of possible offenses that could get Trump to that point are familiar: charges of treason with Russia, abuse of power and emoluments violations. Lichtman also cites now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a senator, who argued that a president could be impeached for offenses committed before he took office. Among those potential offenses, Lichtman lists Trump's housing violations, charit ...

What Could Go Wrong?

Authored by Howard Kunstler via,

"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold." Yeats wrote. The funny thing is, we didn't seem to miss the center all that much after it was gone. America is perfectly satisfied hunkering down at the margins these days. Especially the margins of thinking.

One thing that used to occupy the center was public discussion, debate, and argumentation. Now and again, it featured a coherent exchange of ideas. These days, the main political factions are sunk in hysteria of one kind or another. Their primitive promptings hardly add up to ideas but rather limbic spasms of fear and rage. And then there is the shadow partner of the two parties called the Deep State, led by the quaintly dubbed "Intelligence Community." These birds, many of them lifers, are dedicated to making the public discussion of anything as incoherent as possible so as to prevent any change in policy that might curtail the growth of the Deep State, a sort of cancer of the body politic.

Case in point, the recent Syrian aerial gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Elected officials were all over the cable networks selling the NSA's story that Syrian president Bashar Assad bombed women and children with Sarin gas three days after State Department declared that it had a new policy of letting Assad remain in power after decades of sedulously scheming to shove him out. That might have led to the end of the six-year-long Syrian civil war, which Assad seemed to be winning, finally — with Russian assistance.

But instead the incident has led to new official calls to shove Assad out... to be replaced by what...? Nobody knows. Because the US Deep State thrives when chaos reigns in foreign lands. So much the better fo ...

5 Months Of Wasted Time

'Hope' may create asset bubbles but it doesn't buy cars, put shoes on kids feet, or food on the family table...

5 months of hope... any day now the 'real' economy will catch up to the fantasy? Today alone we had disappointment in Retail Sales, Real Earnigs, and CPI!!

But it seems while 'hope' doesn't pay the bills (stagnating incomes), it certainly fuels the stock market...

Tick Tock Mr. Trump.

If An Electorate Falls In The Forest, Is Their Voice Heard?

Authored by Danielle DiMartino Booth,

Quizzically-inclined quantum physicists quench their intellectuality by quoting philosophers first, then their fellow scientists.

It is in fact questionable whether quantum physics would have come into being if not for George Berkeley's 1710, "A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge." Berkeley's most famous saying is, 'esse est percipi,' or, 'to be is to be perceived.' He elaborated using the following examples:

"The objects of sense exist only when they are perceived: the trees therefore are in the garden, or the chairs in the parlour, no longer than while there is some body by to perceive them." So matters of matter exist only in our mind. It is critical to note that Berkeley never posed a question but rather he made a statement of the world view through his metaphysical personal prism.

It was not until the June 1883 publication of the magazine The Chautauquan that the question was put as such: "If a tree were to fall on an island where there were no human beings would there be any sound?" Rather than pause to ponder, the answer followed that, "No. Sound is the sensation excited in the ear when the air or other medium is set in motion."

A vexatious debate has ensued ever since, one that eventually stumped the great Albert Einstein who finally declared "God does not play dice." In recognizing this, Einstein also resolved himself to the quantum physics conclusion, that there is no way to precisely predict where individual electrons can be found - unless, that is, you're Divine.

Odds are high tha ...

Qualcomm's Apple Bills May Pile Up

Withheld royalty payments on Apple devices could cloud Qualcomm's outlook this year.

Surprise FDA Rejection Will Sting This Biotech

A Lilly-Incyte rheumatoid arthritis drug won't come to market any time soon after the FDA's surprise rejection of the treatment.

Will Comcast Really Cut the Cord?

Comcast's bidding in the government's auction for airwaves didn't answer the question of what role it intends to play in the wireless business.

February 2017 Headline Business Inventories Grew

Written by Steven Hansen

Econintersect's analysis of final business sales data (retail plus wholesale plus manufacturing) shows unadjusted sales declined. This is in contrast to the headlines which showed sales improved.

March 2017 CPI: Year-over-Year Inflation Rate Moderates.

by Jill Mislinski and Steven Hansen

According to the BLS, the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) year-over-year inflation rate was 2.4 % - moderating from than last month's 2.7 %. The year-over-year core inflation (excludes energy and food) rate moderated 0.2 % to 2.0 %, and is at the target set by the Federal Reserve.

Market Extra: Which stock markets are closed on Good Friday?

U.S. financial markets will be closed in observance of Good Friday, which falls on April 14, while U.K. and some continental and Asian markets will be closed for Easter Monday as well.

U.S. drops 'MOAB,' a 'Mother of All Bombs,' in Afghanistan

The U.S. Air Force has deployed a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, known as the "Mother of All Bombs," in Afghanistan, according to multiple reports, citing military personnel.

How the Trump stock market ranks as he approaches his 100th day in office

Here's how President Donald Trump's performance on Wall Street stacks up against other presidents, as he approaches his first 100 days in office.

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