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25May2017 Market Close: NASDAQ And SP 500 Close At Record Highs; Amazon Nears $1,000; Oil Drops 4%

Written by Gary

U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Consumer Services, Technology and Utilities sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.34% to hit a new 1-month high, while the S&P 500 index added 0.44%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 0.69%.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

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The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

S&P 500 hits record high after upbeat retail results

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record closing highs on Thursday, with the market propped up by gains in the consumer discretionary sector after strong reports from Best Buy and other retailers.

OPEC, non-OPEC extend oil output cut by nine months to fight glut

VIENNA (Reuters) - OPEC and non-members led by Russia decided on Thursday to extend cuts in oil output by nine months to March 2018 as they battle a global glut of crude after seeing prices halve and revenues drop sharply in the past three years.

Big drop in U.S. oil stocks finally on the way, traders say

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil traders and analysts are expecting large volumes of crude to draw from storage tanks across the United States in coming weeks, in what would be the most tangible sign of an inventory overhang reduction that has punished prices over the last two years.

Wilbur Ross seeks bigger budget for trade enforcement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that a $5.5 million increase requested for the agency's enforcement budget this year will have a "real impact" in cracking down on unfair trade practices and export security violations.

New Ford CEO relies on veterans to reboot profits

BENGALURU/DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co on Thursday reshuffled senior management and brought back a former executive from Uber Technologies Inc, signaling its new chief executive officer will rely on tested company veterans to turn Ford around rather than outside talent.

Jobless claims edge up; goods trade deficit widens

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week and the four-week moving average of claims hit a 44-year low, suggesting a further tightening of the labor market that could encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month.

Exclusive: Bankrupt Westinghouse ends pensions for ex-CEOs, executives

WILMINGTON, Del (Reuters) - Bankrupt Westinghouse Electric Co LLC, the U.S. nuclear technology firm owned by Toshiba Corp , has stopped making pension payments to former executives, according to a letter seen by Reuters, removing a benefit that has helped the company retain top talent.

GM is accused in lawsuit of cheating on diesel truck emissions

(Reuters) - General Motors Co was accused in a lawsuit on Thursday of rigging hundreds of thousands of diesel trucks with devices similar to those used by Volkswagen AG , to ensure they pass emissions tests.

Viacom networks to return to Suddenlink customers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A number of Viacom Inc's networks, which include Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV, will be available to Altice NV's Suddenlink subscribers more than two years after the cable provider dropped them in a carriage dispute, the companies said on Thursday.

Another Member Of Mises Cuba Is Now Missing

Update from Mises Cuba: Nelson Rodriguez Chartrand, who disappeared Monday night, has reappeared. He was beaten and spooked, but alive and in one piece. Details in a few days. Sincere thanks to the supporters of our international wing who mobilized on his behalf.

* * *

Authored by Tho Bishop via The Mises Institute,

Mises Cuba has announced that Nelson Rodríguez Chartrand is missing. The organization believes he was taken by state security forces.

In February, Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez, another member of Mises Cuba, was arrested by an undercover state agent along with fellow human rights activist Manuel Velazquez Visea. Since then, the two have been charged with additional crimes and placed in the notorious Melena II maximum security prison. Other libertarian activists on the island have been threatened and temporarily detained by Cuban officials.

Chartrand, an attorney and fierce critic of the Castro regime, w ...

List of Seven Troubles Assailing the US Economy as We Head into Summer

The following article by David Haggith was published on The Great Recession Blog:

The following is not simply a list of negative risks to the economy but a list of of serious economic conditions& ...

Wards Slashes 2017 Auto SAAR Forecast; Sees May Sales Down 1.9% YoY

With the bottom seemingly falling out from under the auto market over the past several months, all eyes will be looking to May sales for confirmation of whether the recent 17-18mm unit SAAR range is truly a 'plateau' (Ford's description, not ours) or the peak of another massive auto bubble. In their monthly preview, Wards has decided to play in safe in May by forecasting a flat-ish MoM SAAR of 16.9mm units, which is down roughly 1.9% YoY.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate for the month will be 16.9 million vehicles, down from 17.3 million last year.

"While consumers will see substantial discounts this Memorial Day weekend, they are not expected to overcome the slowing demand in auto sales," said Deirdre Borrego, senior vice president of automotive data and analytics at J.D. Power.

Of course, 16.9mm would put the May SAAR right at the bottom end of the plateau-range that first developed as far back as 2014.

The May decline also prompted Wards to cut their forecast for 2017 to 17.2 million units from 17.5 million units.

Meanwhile, here is how Wards sees May playing out for the largest OEMs:

What Not To Buy In Today's Stock Market

Authored by Vitaliy Katsenelson via Contrarian Edge blog,

Dear reader, if you are overcome with fear of missing out on the next stock market move; if you feel like you have to own stocks no matter the cost; if you tell yourself, "Stocks are expensive, but I am a long-term investor"; then consider this article a public service announcement written just for you.

Before we jump into the stock discussion, let's quickly scan the global economic environment.

The health of the European Union did not improve in 2016, and Brexit only increased the possibility of other "exits" as the structural issues that render this union dysfunctional went unfixed.

Japan's population has not gotten any younger since the last time I wrote about it — it is still the oldest in the world. Japan's debt pile got bigger, and it remains the most indebted developed nation (though, in all fairness, other countries are desperately trying to take that title away from it). Despite the growing debt, Japanese five-year government bonds are "paying" an interest rate of -0.10 percent. Imagine what will happen to its government's budget when Japan has to start actually paying to borrow money commensurate with its debtor profile.

Regarding China, there is little I can say that I have not said before.

Canada's Banks Can't Dodge Housing Risks Forever

Risks to Canadian banks from the country's housing bubble should not be overstated, but are very real.

The Latest Drug Pricing Threat: The FDA

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb is the latest public official to signal a tougher environment for drug pricing.

Where the China Credit Crunch Could Really Bite

What Moody's didn't say this week is that China's sovereign bailout of troubled state companies is in fact already well under way, with a little help from provincial governments.

25May2017 Market Update: SP 500 Records New Historic High, Strong Earnings In Retail Sector, Crude Prices Tumble

Written by Gary

The SP 500 and Nasdaq rose to new historic record highs this morning, buoyed by strong earnings from the embattled retailer sector. Crude prices tumbles 4% as OPEC confirms production cut extension to April 2018 (WTI 48.76).

A Japanese Technique To Overcome Laziness

Almost all of us set ourselves a new goal and in the end fails to achieve them. We end up telling ourselves that we're just not ready yet, that we'll do it next week, next year. it's time to take this whole 'starting a new life' thing more slowly. Why does it always turn out like this? The answer's fairly obvious: Because we try to achieve too much, too fast; because we get sick of the new responsibility; because it's difficult to change old habits and try something new.

Memorial Day Weekend is No. 1 for fatal traffic accidents

This weekend, traffic could hit a new high.

These two airlines are benefiting handsomely from United's woes

The airline's approval rating 'bottomed out,' YouGov BrandIndex said.

The Tell: Wall Street laughed at a call for bitcoin at $25,000—but after a 400% surge, the laughter is fading

As the digital currency, bitcoin, has surged a breathtaking 400% over the past year, Wall Street may be apt to take Yves Lamoureux's call a little more seriously. At least, that is the hope of the 54-year-old former retail broker and trader who established what he describes as macroeconomic research firm, Lamoureux & Co., about four years ago.

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