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24Apr2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closes Higher, DOW Closes Up 216 Points, Investors Now Worry About A Looming Shutdown Of The Federal Government

Written by Gary

US stocks opened over 1% higher and traded sideways mostly keeping the gains before closing (SPY +1.1%), after centrist candidate and market favorite Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French presidential election.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Trump pushes Democrats on border wall as government shutdown looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump tried to press Democrats on Monday to include funds for his controversial border wall with Mexico in spending legislation as lawmakers worked to avoid a looming shutdown of the federal government.

Wall Street rallies as traders embrace risk after French election

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, tracking a relief rally that swept through Asian and European markets, after centrist candidate and market favorite Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French presidential election.

Halliburton gains from rising oil well completions in North America

(Reuters) - Halliburton Co said on Monday that oil producers are completing nearly as many wells as they are drilling, a major reversal from when companies left wells unfinished in anticipation of higher oil prices.

General Motors fires 2,700 in Venezuela after plant closure: workers

CARACAS (Reuters) - General Motors' Venezuelan subsidiary has sent a message to almost 2,700 staff informing them that they are no longer employed by the company and had received severance pay in their bank accounts, according to two employees.

Tesla's big Model 3 bet rides on risky assembly line strategy

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk took many risks with the technology in his company's cars on the way to surpassing Ford Motor Co's market value. Now Musk is pushing boundaries in the factory that makes them.

Automotive supplier breaks ground on rare new Detroit factory

DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. auto parts maker Flex-N-Gate will build a plant in Detroit in what local officials described on Monday as the first new investment by an automotive supplier in decades for Motor City, the cradle and former beating heart of the car industry.

From Trump to Brexit, politics drive firms into insurers' arms

ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) - Rocked by a shakeup in the Western political order, companies are buying more insurance to protect themselves against the threat of rising protectionism and upheaval to their operations in emerging markets.

Wells Fargo board pays price for letting whistleblowers whistle in the wind

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co directors could have avoided a shareholder backlash over a sales practices scandal if they had paid more attention to scores of whistleblowers who complained, in vain, for years.

PPG raises offer for Akzo Nobel to $29 billion

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - U.S. paint maker PPG Industries raised its proposed offer for Akzo Nobel by about 8 percent to 26.9 billion euros ($28.8 billion) on Monday, increasing the pressure on its Dutch rival to enter into talks.

Le Pen 'Loss' Sparks VIX-Driven Stock-Buying-Panic But Bond Yields, Crude, & Dollar Drop

The next two weeks in France...

According to the bookies, it's a done deal...

Stocks Up, Oil Down

So stocks soared... Trannies best on the day but Nasdaq hit a new record high, desperately trying to tag 6,000...

and legged higher in the last hour as machines misintepreted Le Pen stepping down as head of the National Front as some bullish factor for markets (that was the big volume spike) which hit about 15 mins after WSJ reported Trump chatter of a 15% tax rate...

With VIX slammed back to a 10 handle...But that did nothing for the S&P...

Will Macron Serve The Interests Of The American Deep State?

Authored by Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

As I write, the French stock market (the CAC 40), is doing a grand jeté (up 4.5 percent!) in celebration of Emmanuel Macron's assumed slaying of the dragon Le Pen. But that was just the first round under the interesting French election system. Consider that two other candidates who were eliminated, Monsieurs Fillon and Mélenchon, got nearly 40 percent of the vote. Are we so sure about where their voters go in the second and final round two weeks from now?

I suspect that most Americans — even the ones who follow Rachel Maddow — are about as interested in French politics as differential calculus. Macron, 36, is a blank slate. He was finance minister under current president François Hollande, of the Socialist Party, but declared during the election campaign that he's not a socialist, he only wanted to be of service to his country, and this time he ran under his own party, En Marche! He appears to represent the continuation of business-as-usual with the European Union, which seems to put him on the wrong side of history at this crucial moment — if you suppose, as I do, that the EU is so riddled with hopeless financial contradictions and centrifugal political tensions that it is unlikely to persist.

Yet, understandably, people are reluctant to change the system they're living under. Le Pen wants to blow the EU up, especially the bureaucracy lodged in Brussels that has become a self-serving and self perpetuating monster. Blowing up the EU would necessarily, it seems, mean the end of the European Central Bank, and with it the scams and Ponzi schemes that have provided an appearance of normality, despite an official 10.5 percent unemployment rate in France and a constant chain of public massacres by resident Jihad ...

Goldman Burned By These Corporate Debt Trades In Q1

Last week we noted that Goldman posted a 'yuge' miss in fixed income trading of $335 million (see "Goldman Misses As FICC Disappoints, Stock Slides As Average Banker Comp Hits $360K"):

Broken down by key operating group, most segments reported numbers that beat expectations with the exception of FICC:

FICC sales & trading revenue was $1.695bn, missing estimates of $2.03bn

Overall sales and trading revenue $3.36 billion, missing estimates of $3.62 billion

Investment banking revenue of $1.7bn beating estimates of $1.56bn.

Investment and Lending, formerly known as prop, reported $1.48bn in revenue, virtually unchanged from a year ago.

The full breakdown of Goldman's various revenue segments is shown in the chart below:

The massive miss perplexed wall street as other banks posted solid YoY gains in fixed-income trading revenue...

...which caused a nasty little selloff in Goldman's stock.

Marine Le Pen Temporarily Steps Down As Head Of National Front Party

In a headline that spooked headline-scanning algos, moments ago French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen announced that she is stepping down as head of her National Front party. What the headline ignored to add is that her leadership departure is only "temporary", and as AP notes is just an attempt by Le Pen, who according to polls is trailing Macron as much as 25 points in the runoff round, to embrace, or rather be embraced by, a wide range of potential voters ahead of the May 7 vote between herself and Emmanuel Macron.

Cited by AP, Le Pen said on public TV that"tonight, I am no longer the president of the National Front. I am the presidential candidate."

To be sure, Le Pen has said in the past that she is not a candidate of her party, and made that point when she rolled out her platform in February, saying the measures she was espousing were not her party's, but her own.

Le Pen has worked to bring in voters from the left and right for several years, cleaning up her party's far-right image in the process. Facing a deficit of at least 20 points in the runoff round, the anti-establishment candidate will face an uphill climb if she hopes to catch up to Macron over the next two weeks, assuming of course that the polls are accurate.

French Election Result Helps Euro Slip Political Shackles

When it comes to the euro, what doesn't kill it should make it stronger. The existential threat posed to the single currency by the French elections has faded. The focus should move to the economy and the European Central Bank.

Bleak Outlook for Big Drug Makers

Without price increases or deals to boost earnings, the pharmaceuticals sector faces a weak earnings season.

Don't Succumb to Sticker Shock on Becton Dickinson Deal

Becton Dickinson's acquisition of C.R. Bard is worth the high price.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President pledges border wall will be built as shutdown looms

President Trump on Monday redoubled his pledge for a border wall between Mexico and the U.S., spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the "urgent security challenge" posed by North Korea and is reportedly pushing for cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%.

Key Words: A grim warning from the usually upbeat Jack Ma: There will be pain

Jack Ma, the typically upbeat chairman of Alibaba Group and China's richest technology billionaire, had some unsettling things to say about the future at an entrepreneurship conference over the weekend in his home country.

Currencies: Euro jumps to more than 5-month high in French election relief rally

The euro surged Monday to its strongest level against the greenback in 5½ months after establishment favorite Emmanuel Macron took first place in the first round of the French presidential election.

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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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