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20Apr2017 Market Close: Wall Street Rejoices In Good Corporate Earnings, WTI Crude Slips, US Dollar Regains Some Previous Losses

Written by Gary

US stocks rallied today (SPY +0.8%), with the Nasdaq closing at a record high, as a round of solid earnings led by American Express pushed equities higher. New applications for U.S. jobless benefits rose slightly last week, but a drop in the number on unemployment rolls to a 17-year low suggested the labor market continues to tighten.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street rallies on earnings

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rallied on Thursday, with the Nasdaq closing at a record, as a round of solid earnings led by American Express pushed equities higher.

Tesla to recall 53,000 cars over parking brake issue

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc said on Thursday it would recall 53,000 of its Model S and Model X cars globally to fix a parking brake issue.

Verizon profit, revenue miss Wall Street view as subscribers dash

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc on Thursday reported its first-ever quarterly loss of subscribers, even as it offered an unlimited data plan, raising questions on whether the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier may need a larger acquisition than Yahoo to diversify its business.

U.S. labor market tightening; mid-Atlantic factory activity cools

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New applications for U.S. jobless benefits rose slightly more than expected last week, but a drop in the number of Americans on unemployment rolls to a 17-year low suggested the labor market continues to tighten.

Subway says it shut hundreds of U.S. restaurants last year

(Reuters) - U.S. sandwich chain Subway Restaurants said on Thursday it shut 359 restaurants in the United States last year, amid stiff competition in a highly fragmented fast-food industry.

Exclusive: Buffett likely voted shares to back Wells Fargo board

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co's largest investor, Warren Buffett, has likely already voted his shares to support the bank's recommendations at its contentious annual shareholder meeting next week, a representative told Reuters on Wednesday, which include reinstating most of the board's directors.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait signal likely extension of oil output cut

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Leading Gulf oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Kuwait gave a clear signal on Thursday that OPEC plans to extend into the second half of the year a deal with non-member producers to curb supplies of crude.

AIG considering Brian Duperreault as new CEO: CNBC

(Reuters) - American International Group Inc is considering former company veteran Brian Duperreault, who heads Hamilton Insurance Group, as its new chief executive, CNBC said, citing a media report.

Lufthansa departures briefly hit by computer outage: airport staff

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Lufthansa and Air France were briefly hit by computer problems preventing them from boarding passengers on Thursday evening, airport and airline staff said on Thursday.

Shorts Smoked - Stocks End 'High' As Dollar Dumps'n'Pumps

Despite tumbling soft data and disappointing earnings data...

Stocks soared most in 6 weeks...

Another day, another one-way trip in stocks. VIX clubbed to a 13 handle again stocks soar...

Trannies and Small Caps once again led the day (short squeeze) and S&P lagged but everything was awesomely green again...

Another big short squeeze...

The Dow continues to lag - managing to scramble back to unchanged from last Wednesday's close before fading into the close...

Private Equity Sets Its Sites On A New Funding Victim: Mom-And-Pop 401(k)s

After laying ruin to the defined-benefit pension plans of public and private employees over the past several decades, Wall Street has its sites set on its next victim: mom-and-pop 401(k)s. Sure, because as our recent headlines confirm, wall street money managers have worked wonders for public/private pension funds:



Are Collapsing Pensions "About To Bring Hell To America"?

How Chicago's Largest Pension May Run Out Of Cash In As Little As 4 Years

NY Teamsters Pension Becomes First To Run Out Of Money As Expert Warns "Pension Tsunami" Is Coming

Dallas Police Pension On Verge Of Collapse As Record Number Of Cops Seek Full Withdrawals

Alas, with companies increasingly opting for defined-contribution retirement plans (401k's) in-lieu of defined benefit plans, combined with the trillions of dollars of losses that wall street has racked up for the nation's largest pensions, it's no wonder that 'millionaire, billionaire, private jet owners', like Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone, are looking to get their 'fair share' of fees from America's $4.8 trillion in 401(k) assets.

As Schwarzman told Bloomberg, "you have to have a dream,"

One Police Officer Killed In Paris "Terrorist Act", Assailant Armed With Kalashnikov Has Been Killed: Live Feed

Live Feeds:

With just days until the first round of the French presidential election, one policeman was killed and another wounded in a shooting incident on the historic Champs-Elysees in Paris.

The shootout took place around 21:00 (local time) near the Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station in the 8th district of the French capital, in front of a Marks and Spencer store, French RTL TV and BFM TV reported.

The who fired on police on the Champs-Elysees shopping boulevard just days ahead of France's presidential election has been killed, the source said. A police source also said there had been two assailants, and a witness told Reuters that one man got out of a car at the scene and began shooting with a Kalashinkov machine gun.

Police authorities called on the public to avoid the area.

A Reuters reporter saw a helicopter flying low over central Paris, apparently part of a follow-up police operation.

French TV channel BFM broadcast footage of the Arc de Triomphe monument and top half of the Champs Elysees packed with police vans, lights flashing and heavily armed police shutting the area down after what was described by one journalist as a major exchange of fire nears a Marks and Spencers store.

The incident came as French voters prepared go to the polls on Sunday in the most tightly-contested presidential election in living memory.

France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.

As

For The First Time In Its History, Subway Shutters Hundreds Of US Stores

For the first time in its 52 years of operation, Subway announced that it contracted in 2016, shuttering 359 US locations which as Bloomberg described was the "biggest retrenchment in the history of the restaurant chain" whose total store count dropped 1.3% from 27,103 in 2015 to 26,744 even as it remained the most ubiquitous fast-food eatery in the US, although McDonalds still tops if by sales.

"Sales for 2016 reflect our focus on international growth," the Connecticut-based company said in a statement. "We are undertaking an exciting transformation that includes introducing new and improved products, creating an even greater customer experience, refining operations, and positioning Subway franchisees for continued success."

Confirming that the domestic sales slowdown has continued into 2017, even as the Sub-par chain has been competing with dozens of newer, more exciting fast food eateries, U.S. same-store sales continued to slide during March, dropping 0.6% in the fourth straight month of decreases, according to MillerPulse data cited by Bloomberg.

The good news is that despite the domestic contraction, Subway is still growing internationally with sales outside the U.S. rising 3.7% to $5.8 billion as it continued to open locations.

The private company has been pressured not only by a sharp recent decline in US restaurant traffic and sales - an industry which as we reported recently suffered its worst collapse since 2009 - but by the i ...

The Emerging Markets Consumer Stirs Again

Results from global consumer giants Unilever and Nestlé show that even as the U.S. is a trouble spot, emerging markets are reasserting themselves. Of the two, Unilever appears better situated.

Let's Make a Deal, for TV Stations

The U.S.'s Federal Communications Commission is expected to reinstate a discount that could spur a new round of deal-making among U.S. TV station owners.

Too Soon for MSCI to Give Chinese Stocks Its Blessing

Investors should be wary if MSCI includes domestically-listed Chinese stocks in its key indexes.

Personal Finance Daily: This is the problem keeping most Americans awake at night and why Dutch kids are happier than American children

Thursday's personal finance stories

Sherwin-Williams says paint customers want 'do-it-for-me' not 'do-it-yourself'

Sherwin-Williams says demand from do-it-yourselfers is soft, but the paint company is seeing more sales with professionals

ETF Focus: How would you have done investing in online retail, through social media, or like a Catholic?

Here are three very different funds that celebrated their first anniversary this week, with a look at how they have traded and performed over that period.

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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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