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16Aug2017 Market Close: Stocks Closed Higher, Dow Back Above 22,000, While Oil Closed Lower On Rising Supply Data

Written by Gary

U.S. stocks closed higher on Wednesday, shaking off subpar U.S. housing data and earlier negative sentiment following President Donald Trump decision to disbanded his manufacturing council amid a raft of CEO exits. Crude futures settled lower on Wednesday, as data showing U.S. crude production rose to its highest in over two years offsetting a decline in supplies of U.S. crude for a seventh-straight week.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street up on Fed view but Trump agenda doubts weigh

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended up slightly on Wednesday, but off the day's highs, as worries mounted over President Donald Trump's agenda and minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting suggested policymakers are worried about weak inflation.

U.S. takes tough lines as NAFTA negotiations begin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday laid down a tough line for modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement, demanding major changes to the pact that would reduce U.S. trade deficits with Mexico and Canada and increase U.S. content for autos.

Fed policymakers grow more worried about weak inflation: minutes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve policymakers appeared increasingly wary about recent weak inflation and some called for a halt to further interest rate hikes until it was clear the trend was transitory, according to the minutes of the central bank's last policy meeting.

Fed's Mester says U.S. rate hikes should continue despite weak inflation

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said the recent weakness in U.S. inflation has not convinced her the Fed should delay plans for further interest rate hikes in an economy she feels remains on track for steady growth and rising wages.

Trump, in tweet, hits Amazon over taxes, jobs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized Amazon.com on Twitter over taxes and jobs and accused the global retailer, without offering evidence, of hurting U.S. localities and causing job losses.

Black banker sues Goldman Sachs for racial discrimination

(Reuters) - A black banker in Goldman Sachs Group Inc's personal wealth management unit filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing the firm of steering top clients to her white colleagues and denying her promotions because of her race.

Mexican Supreme Court favors Slim's America Movil in telecom reform battle

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The Mexican Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously found billionaire Carlos Slim's telecom firm America Movil SAB de CV should not be barred by law from charging its rivals interconnection fees, in a setback to a reform intended to curb the firm's dominance.

Maersk upbeat on shipping outlook, faces hefty cyber attack bill

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark's A.P. Moller Maersk gave an upbeat outlook for container shipping on Wednesday, lifting its shares by as much as 4.5 percent as investors looked beyond one-off second-quarter charges and a costly cyber attack on its operations.

GM's Maven may compete with Lyft and Uber in ride services

(Reuters) - General Motors Co's Maven car sharing and rental unit could wind up competing with two of its biggest customers, Uber Technologies and Lyft Inc, with an ambitious expansion plan that could take it eventually into ride and delivery services.

Gold Gains As Stocks Sink After Trump Turmoil, Fed Fearmongering

Shitty day for Housing Recovery enthusiasts, the Trump administration, and Fed followers...

Stock actually ended the day higher thanks to the overnight bid and panic squeeze at the open but the theme of the day was simple - Trump is in trouble (agenda on the rocks) and The Fed is explicitly warning about bubbles...

VIX ended the day lower but once again it was a game of two halves (NOTE Russell 2000 'VIX' was higher on the day)...

AAPL pushed to new record highs as the great rotation from FANG stocks continues...

The Dollar was dumped and bond yields tumbled after Trump and accelerated after The Fed...

With the AMZN iss ...

1 In 7 New York City Public-School Students Is Homeless

Despite promising to do everything in his power to improve the quality of life for New York City's most economically vulnerable residents, Mayor Bill De Blasio has instead presided over one of the largest expansions in homelessness in New York City history.

Over the past two years, the population of homeless students in NYC's public schools has exploded, increasing by 20% between the 2015-2016 school year and the 2016-2017 school year, which concluded in June. There are now more than 140,000 homeless public-school students, according to the Atlas of Student Homelessness, an annual study conducted by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness. At any given time, roughly 9% of NYC public-school students are homeless. Another four percent were currently housed, but had experienced homelessness at some point since 2010-2011 school year. Furthermore, one in seven NYC students will have been homeless at least temporarily during their tenure.

According to the New York Times, which published a summary of the study's findings, the increase in homelessness since De Blasio took office has been driven by three factors: Dwindling federal aid for housing-insecure Americans, rising rents and the closure of state-run renters' assistance programs.

"The growing number of homeless children is part of the ...

Here's How Government Pension Funds Are Trying To Close Their $7 Trillion Funding Gap

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

There may perhaps be no other group of investors that's more DESPERATE today than pension funds.

Pensions, of course, are the giant funds responsible for paying out retirement benefits to workers.

The idea is that both the employer and the employee typically contribute a set percentage of the employee's salary throughout his or her career with the promise that, upon retirement, he or she will receive a fixed monthly payment.

Many state and local governments rely on these 'defined benefit' pension pension plans, as do a handful of large corporations.

The reason that these pension fund are so desperate is that the vast majority of them are underfunded.

We talk a lot of about how Social Security is rapidly running out of money.

But according to Credit-rating agency Moody's, state and local government pension plans are also $7 trillion short in funding.

And corporate pension funds are underfunded by $375 billion.

The reason is quite simple: investment returns are simply too low.

Pension fund managers invest all of their funds' cash in various assets- stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. with the hope of generating safe investment returns.

And that's precisely the problem.

With interest rates still hovering near the lowest levels they'v ...

Venezuelans Face 25 Years In Prison For "Hate Or Intolerance"

In a harbinger of what - for various reasons - may be coming to the US, Venezuela's brand new "all-powerful" constituent assembly is set to pass a bill that will jail anyone who expresses "hate or intolerance" for up to 25 years, a measure which the local opposition - and everyone else - is certain will be used by Maduro's regime to silence and punish all dissent.

"The question is whether this is the peace he's looking for: creating a law that gives him and his obedient supreme court judiciary powers to lock up dissidents for 25 years," Tamara Taraciuk, head Venezuela researcher for Human Rights Watch, told Reuters in a Wednesday telephone interview. To be sure, less extreme versions of this proposal have cropped up across the developed world, where while "hate or intolerance" - as defined by some arbitrary but very powerful authority - will result if not in jail time, then certainly in loss of freedom of speech or worse.

As for Venezuela, the "the proposal includes incredibly vague language that would allow them to jail anyone for almost anything," she added, a blueprint for how crackdown against dissent in "developed" countries may materialize. It gets worse: straight out of "1984", Venezuela's assembly is scheduled later on Wednesday to empanel a "Truth Commission" headed by Maduro loyalist and former Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, to prosecute those responsible for violent anti-government protests.

Over the past month, in his attempt to copycat Turkey's president Erdogan and seize supreme power, President Nicolas Maduro installed a 545-member assembly stacked with Socialist Party allies earlier this month, who provide him with a greenlight to do virtually anything. The president defen ...

Does the World Really Want Content From Apple?

Big money can't guarantee Apple success in Hollywood, especially when competitors are spending more.

This Auto Lender Won't Pay Off

Subprime auto lender Credit Acceptance has run circles around short-sellers, but it shares are now looking expensive and vulnerable.

Beijing's Heavy Hand in Chinese Business

China's big internet companies are investing in its No. 2 telecom provider though the reason isn't clear beyond the government wants it.

26 July 2017 FOMC Meeting Minutes: The Main Topic Continues To Be Inflation

Fed-sealSMALL-- this post authored by Steven Hansen

The 26 July 2017 meeting statement presented the actions taken. This post covers the economic discussion during this FOMC meeting between the members (minutes were released today). There was considerable discussion on inflation, and an interesting quote:

... Participants discussed possible reasons for the coexistence of low inflation and low unemployment. These included a diminished responsiveness of prices to resource pressures, a lower natural rate of unemployment, the possibility that slack may be better measured by labor market indicators other than unemployment, lags in the reaction of nominal wage growth and inflation to labor market tightening, and restraints on pricing power from global developments and from innovations to business models spurred by advances in technology. .....

16Aug2017 Market Update: Wall Street Slips Just Ahead Of Fed's Release Of The July Minutes, WTI Crude Slips To The Low 47 Handle, US Dollar Falls From Perch And Remains Volatile

Written by Gary

Late afternoon trading points to a weaker market place just before the Fed's minutes at 2 p.m. ET (SPY +0.2%). The Fed might start balance-sheet drawdown in September, FOMC minutes hint.

Market Extra: One of the most successful hedge-fund pros says we're 'nowhere near an overheated' stock market

Billionaire David Tepper thinks comparing this current stock-market environment with the overheated markets of 1999 is ridiculous.

The Margin: Barack Obama's tweet just became the most 'liked' in Twitter's history

Former President Barack Obama has made history again, it appears. This time his mark has been made in the Twitter universe, on the back of a message and photo that he posted Sunday in response to the weekend's violent and racially charged protests in Charlottesville, Va.

Apple issues Canadian-dollar bond for first time — and sets a record

The iPhone maker sold C$2.5 billion of maple bonds to raise funds to pay dividends and buy back shares.

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