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05May2017 Market Close: Wall Street Investors Are Generally Happy With Improving Jobs Data, DOW Up 55 Points, Crude Prices Higher And US Dollar Settles Lower

Written by Gary

US stock markets closed moderately higher (SPY +0.4%) after trading mostly sideways during the morning hours. Afternoon gains buoyed by positive U.S. jobs data and improving oil prices. Crude prices closed 1.5 percent higher unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent and the US dollar remains weak.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

Looking at the last three columns (below), the first one (Actual), is what was reported this morning. The second column (Forecast) is what analysts had forecast and the third column is the previous report. Full calendar HERE.

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street edges up as U.S. job growth rebounds

(Reuters) - Wall Street edged higher on Friday as energy stocks bounced back along with oil prices and U.S. job growth rebounded.

U.S. job growth rebounds sharply, unemployment rate hits 4.4 percent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job growth rebounded sharply in April and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent, near a 10-year low, pointing to a tightening labor market that likely seals the case for an interest rate increase next month despite moderate wage growth.

Fed's Williams pushes new approach to U.S. inflation goal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - One of the Federal Reserve's experts on navigating a world of low inflation and economic growth said on Friday the U.S. central bank should seriously consider ditching its old policy framework for a new approach to hitting its price-level goal.

Latest victim of retail downturn, Revlon tumbles 23 percent

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Revlon slumped 23 percent on Friday and were headed for their biggest one-day drop since the financial crisis after the cosmetics company said declining mall traffic hurt its quarterly sales.

Exclusive: Billionaire investor Draper to participate in blockchain token sale for first time

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper soon plans to take a step that even he, a long-time bitcoin aficionado, has eschewed to now: buying a new digital currency offered by a technology startup.

Trump signs spending bill, averting government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Friday signed a $1.2 trillion spending bill approved by Congress, averting a government shutdown that would have begun at midnight.

Oil rebounds on Saudi assurances Russia will extend supply cuts

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices closed 1.5 percent higher on Friday, rebounding from five-month lows, following positive U.S. jobs data and assurances by Saudi Arabia that Russia is ready to join OPEC in extending supply cuts to reduce a persistent glut.

AccorHotels shareholders stick to double voting rights

PARIS (Reuters) - The shareholders of AccorHotels on Friday granted former French President Nicolas Sarkozy a seat on the board of Europe's largest hotel group, and rejected a bid to block long-term shareholders from getting more double voting rights.

With maiden jet flight, China enters dog-fight with Boeing, Airbus

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's home-grown C919 passenger jet completed its long-delayed maiden flight on Friday, a major first step for Beijing as it looks to raise its profile in the global aviation market and boost high-tech manufacturing at home.

One-Third Of Americans Are On Government Healthcare

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

The US House of Representatives voted today to "repeal and replace" Obamacare. Unfortunately, those who use the phrase "repeal and replace" are greatly exaggerating the extent to which the Affordable Care Act is actually repealed.

While perhaps a tiny step in the right direction, the new legislation signals no departure whatsoever from the long-established trend of expanding the role of government programs in subsidizing and regulating the healthcare industry.

Perhaps worst of all, since this is being called a "repeal," many may be prompted to think that the US health care system is a "free market" system, or that government spending has only a very small role in the industry.

This couldn't be further from the truth.

In fact, the US is fourth in the world in terms of per capita government spending on health care, behind only Norway, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. That's government spending, not overall spending:

In fact, those numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO) are from 2014, and with the expansion in Medicaid spending under Obamacare, it's entirely plausible that the US has moved into third place in the past two years.


But how does this translate into actual persons on governmen ...

Friday Humor: Elites Pay Up For $2150 'IKEA' Bag

Anyone who's shopped at IKEA is familiar with the retailer's signature tote - the Frakta.

Generously oversized and sensibly priced, the iconic blue bags are known for their versatility and (for better or for worse) their capability to hold even the most impressive hauls. Needless to say, the shopping bag has essentially become synonymous with the brand, boasting the classic bright blue hue with pops of yellow.

However, as's Anna Kocharian notes, last week, luxe fashion brand Balenciaga rolled out a new tote that bore an uncanny resemblance to the Swedish retailer's own.

The difference?

It would come to set you back an extra $2,149.01, thanks to its "blue wrinkled, glazed leather" composition and Balenciaga label.

US Student, Auto Loans Hit New All Time High Of $2.6 Trillion

One month after we, and every other financial media, reported that US credit card debt had risen back over $1 trillion for the first time since January 2017, the Fed demonstrated just how meaningless such reports are when in its latest consumer credit report it revised the total stock of revolving debt back under $1 trillion for the month of March, while boosting December's amount to $1,000.1 billion, meaning that all those "$1 trillion in credit card" debt headlines were about 4 months late.

Fed screwing around with the financial reporters aside, the latest monthly report showed that total consumer credit rose by $16.4 billion, more than the $14 billion expected, an increase which was offset by a downward revision to the February consumer credit number from $15.2 billion to $13.8 billion. Revolving credit accounted for $2 billion of the increase with the rest, or $14.4 billion, in the form of auto and student loans.

And speaking of student and auto loans, the Fed also released its latest quarterly estimate for the two series as of March 31, and as one would expect, the numbers rose to new all time highs, and as of the end of the first quarter, US consumers owed $1.44 trillion in student lo ...

Navy SEAL Killed In Somalia Is Fourth U.S. Service Member Death In The Past Week

For an administration that was supposed to eliminate "foreign US entanglements" and bring America's troops home, the offshore combat deaths sure are piling up fast.

A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed on Thursday while fighting an al Qaeda-affiliated militant group in Somalia, the Pentagon said on Friday, marking the first U.S. combat death in the country since 1993 and the fourth U.S. service member to be killed within the past week with the casualties spread out over three warzones. Two other service members were wounded in a firefight with al-Shabaab militants near the capital, Mogadishu, on Thursday, military officials said.

The last time a US soldier died in Somalia was in 1993, when 18 U.S. service members were killed in what became known as the battle of Mogadishu, later memorialized in the film "Black Hawk Down."

The mission was targeting a compound of al Shabaab militants that "has been associated with some attacks on facilities that we use and that our Somali partners use nearby."

"U.S. forces were conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army," according to a statement from the U.S. Africa Command, which oversees American personnel on the continent. Thursday's firefight took place near Barli, Somalia, 40 miles west of Mogadishu. "The entire team was able to return fire and suppress the militants."

According to Navy Capt. Jeff Davis during an advise-and-assist mission led by the Somali National Army, U.S. Special Operations troops unexpectedly came under fire; the U.S. then forces used their aircraft to bring the Somali forces to the compound near Barii, about 40 miles west of the capital of Mogadishu. The U.S. troops "were there maintaining a distance back as they conducted the operation and that's when our forces came under fire. We had the unfortunate casualty."

The attack which wounded several U.S. troops took place "in the early phase in the mission ...

Tight Jobs Market Equals Higher Pay, Lower Profits

The job market's move from tightening to tight could mark a change for investors used to being the winners in the long-running battle between capital and labor.

Oil-Plunge Explanation Isn't That Scary

After six exuberant months, oil and commodities markets have awakened to the realization that neither China's big stimulus nor Trump's election is a game changer. But that doesn't signal the collapse of global growth.

How GM Might Unlock a Tesla-Like Valuation

An idea to separate GM's future-technology projects from its core production business would help meet investor demand for car-tech plays

03 May 2017 Fed's Balance Sheet Little Changed

Total Fed Balance Sheet:

Fed's Balance Sheet week ending balance sheet was $4,442 trillion.

The Tell: Goldman says oil prices on the brink of 'capitulation'

After crude-oil prices take a beating over the past week, falling to their lowest level since before OPEC-led a deal to curb output in November, analysts at Goldman Sachs say crude may reaching a "capitulation" point.

Trump Today: Trump Today: 'Everybody' has better health care than U.S., president says

President Trump spent Friday at his home in Bedminster, N.J., with no public events on his schedule. But he signed legislation to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year and tweeted about how other countries — including Australia — have better health care than the U.S.

The Fed: Fed officials say balance sheet could be cut in half to $2 trillion

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said he thought the central bank could shrink to $2 trillion from its current $4.5 trillion size.

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