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07Sep2017 Market Close: Wall Street Slips As Media Stocks, Hurricane Irma Weigh In, US Dollar Slides Fractionally Further

Written by Gary

US stock markets at the close remain mixed (SPY -0.01%), mostly flat with the $NDX as an exception at +0.2%.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. slips as media stocks, Hurricane Irma weigh

(Reuters) - Wall Street edged lower on Thursday as media stocks weighed after negative business updates from Walt Disney and Comcast and as another powerful storm neared the United States.

Hurricane Harvey boosts U.S. jobless claims to more than two-year high

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumped to a more than two-year high last week amid a surge in applications in hurricane-ravaged Texas, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a strong labor market.

Amazon opens bidding to cities for $5 billion 'HQ2', a second headquarters

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it would build a $5 billion second headquarters in North America, kicking off a competition between cities and states to offer tax cuts and incentives that could bring 50,000 new jobs.

Apple's new iPhone could face supply shortfalls after launch: WSJ

(Reuters) - Apple Inc's new iPhone had hit production glitches early in its manufacturing process and could lead to supply shortfalls and shipping delays following its launch next week, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Ex-bank manager to face charges in Philippines for cyber heist, others cleared

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine prosecutors have recommended the filing of charges against a former bank manager for her part in laundering tens of millions of dollars stolen from Bangladesh's central bank last year, but they cleared two casino agents and a remittance firm.

Whirlpool's washer battle with Samsung, LG heats up at trade hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Appliance giant Whirlpool Corp on Thursday called on the U.S. International Trade Commission to impose "global safeguard" restrictions on imported washing machines to stop its South Korean rivals Samsung and LG from flooding the American market with cheap machines.

JPMorgan creates joint venture for retail, internet banking: memo

(Reuters) - Merger and acquisition dealmakers make their livings advising companies on mergers, sales and spinoffs. But this time, investment bankers at JPMorgan Chase & Co are working on an internal deal of their own.

VW eyes sale of assets accounting for 20 percent of revenues: WSJ

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen is actively working on deals to sell non-core assets accounting for as much as 20 percent of the German carmaker's annual revenues, The Wall Street Journal quoted its chief executive as saying on Thursday.

Lilly to lay off 8 percent of employees in bid to cut costs

(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co said on Thursday it would lay off about 8 percent of its employees as the drugmaker, which has suffered setbacks over the past year in the development of two potential blockbuster drugs, works to cut costs.

Dollar & Bond Yields Plunge As Cohn Doubts, A Draghi Dud, & Debt Ceiling Denials Dominate

Ugly jobs data (hopefully transitory), uglier energy industry data, and ugliest comments from Trump on throwing away any fiscal restraint with the debt-ceiling bathwater left the dollar down, stocks lower, and bonds and bullion bid...

Was this Gary Cohn driven?

The Dow (hurt by DIS, GS, and TRV) and Small Caps sank on the day... (stockas levitated after Europe closed yet again)

Trannies scrambled back to unch on the week...

Reinsurers extended losses today...

VIX limped lower again today, desperate to get S&P green (but failed)

White House Denies Cohn Report, Says Considering "At Least Six" For Fed Chair

Denying yesterday's WSJ report that Trump has "fired" Gary Cohn from his future role as Fed chair due to his strong opposition to Trump's handling of the Charlotteville tragedy, Bloomberg reports that the White House is considering "at least a half-dozen candidates to be the next head of the Federal Reserve, including economists, executives with banking experience and other business people"

The breadth of the search goes against the narrative that has taken hold in Washington and on Wall Street that the Fed chair nomination is a two-horse race between National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires in February.

Actually, according to many, including online betting markets, the race has - for a while - been between mostly Yellen and Kevin Warsh, who as of today are both neck and neck in their online odds of being nominated Fed chair on February 4.

Previously, President Donald Trump said that both Yellen and Cohn, were being considered for the top Fed job. Since then, Cohn's prospects have grown cloudy after he publicly criticized remarks the president made in the wake of racially-charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Trump is unlikely to pick Cohn for the post, and three people close to Trump told Bloomberg that Cohn's prospects for the Fed job have dimmed.

Trump Jr. Says He Only Took Meeting With Russian Lawyer To Assess Clinton's "Fitness" For Office

After managing to escape a public hearing, at least for now, Donald Trump Jr. told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in a closed session this morning that he only accepted his now-infamous meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in order to ascertain Hillary's "fitness" for office. Per The Hill:

Donald Trump Jr. on Thursday morning told Senate investigators that he accepted a meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton to determine the Democratic presidential nominee's "fitness" for office, according to an opening statement reported by The New York Times.

"To the extent they had information concerning the fitness, character or qualifications of a presidential candidate, I believed that I should at least hear them out," he said. "Depending on what, if any, information they had, I could then consult with counsel to make an informed decision as to whether to give it further consideration."

Trump Jr.

Of course, as most are aware by now, despite the media's attempts to cast the Trump Jr. meeting as proof of the Trump campaign's coordination with Russia during the 2016 election, the meeting with Veselnitskaya appears likely to have been, as Jr. described it, "a complete waste of time." As we noted back in July (see: How Hermitage Capital, Ziff Brothers And The Clinton Global Initiative Prompted The Tru ...

Senate Passes Debt Ceiling/Govt Funding Deal: Here's What Happens Next

Moments ago the Senat passed the debt ceiling/government funding/hurricane aid deal, cobbled between Trump and the Democrats to howls of protest from the GOP, in an 80-17 vote.

As a result, the debt limit will be suspended until December 8 and and fund govt through Dec. 8; it also provides $15.25b in disaster funding for hurricane assistance. A vote in the House is expected tomorrow, where the bill will also pass: it will be interesting which Republicans vote against the Trump/Democratic proposal.

As discussed yesterday and this morning, the deal has faced widespread opposition in the GOP, particularly among conservatives. Though Republicans support helping communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey, many are loath to raise the debt ceiling or fund the government without spending or entitlement reforms. The Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest GOP caucus in the House with more than 150 members, came out against the deal on Thursday, calling it irresponsible. The RSC's opposition means the deal might pass the House mainly with Democratic votes — an unusual dynamic with a Republican in the White House.

Meanwhile in the Senate, while few Republican senators were happy with the deal, they thought Trump was within his rights to make it. "I think Senator McConnell said it's the president's prerogative to cut a deal if he wants to. And he apparently thought that was advantageous," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican. But Cornyn added he would have preferred to have a longer extension noting that "lifting the debt ceiling is alw ...

How to Gauge Whether Irma Will Be an Insurance Catastrophe

Hurricane Irma could be the costliest hurricane ever for insurers. But it may take a loss of more than $100 billion to turn the industry's tide of more capital and weaker returns.

A Healthy Dose of Profits at Cigna

Cigna has produced great growth and with pricing power and protection from government rules should keep growing.

Big Bank Plays Regulatory Hopscotch

Nordea is moving its headquarters from Sweden to the eurozone, where the bank hopes for better tax and capital treatment.

2Q2017 (Final): Headline Productivity Shows Significant Gain

Written by Steven Hansen

A simple summary of the headlines for this release is that there was significant growth of productivity while the labor costs grew less. There continues too much backward revision which completely reversed trends making one wonder wtf is going on.

As Amazon hunts for HQ2, here's how the 'City Maker' claims to have reshaped Seattle

Amazon is looking for the right metro area for its second headquarters. Here's how it claims to have helped Seattle, its first home.

Outside the Box: Trump's debt deal with Democrats is anything but normal

Even Republicans now see the president can't be trusted, writes Chris Edelson.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President says Dreamers 'have nothing to worry about' for 6 months

President Donald Trump said Thursday that so-called Dreamers have nothing to worry about during the six months he's given Congress to work out reforms to an Obama-era immigration program that he rescinded earlier this week. He also praised Kuwait's emir for being a partner in fighting ISIS, and was scheduled to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan for dinner.

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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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