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18Sep2017 Market Close: Wall Street Remains Strong, New Historic Highs Seen Ahead, BTFDers Are Working The Room Again

Written by Gary

US stock markets held on to small gains today at the closing (SPY +0.2%), which was led by financial stocks. Nothing on the radar ahead of the Fed's meeting shows a market slowdown.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. clings to records, helped by banks; tech falters

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 clung to a small gain on Monday, led by financial stocks ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting, while Nasdaq pared gains sharply as technology stocks reversed course after news of a pricing change at's web services business.

Northrop Grumman to buy missile maker Orbital for $7.8 billion

(Reuters) - U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp said on Monday it would buy Orbital ATK Inc for about $7.8 billion, getting access to lucrative government contracts and expanding its arsenal of missile defense systems and space rockets.

Cisco's Executive Chairman Chambers not to seek re-election

(Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc said on Monday that Executive Chairman John Chambers would not seek re-election after his term expires in December.

Chipotle slides as customers turn up nose at cheese dip

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill sank 3 percent on Monday as customers on social media turned up their noses at the burrito seller's new "queso" cheese topping.

Toy companies' shares fall on concerns of Toys 'R' Us bankruptcy

(Reuters) - Shares of U.S. toy companies Mattel Inc and Hasbro Inc fell on Monday on concerns that retailer Toys "R" Us, a major customer, could be filing for bankruptcy before the holiday sales season.

Intel collaborates with Waymo on self-driving compute design

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Intel Corp on Monday announced a collaboration with Alphabet's Waymo self-driving unit, saying it had worked with the company during the design of its compute platform to allow autonomous cars to process information in real time.

Slack valued at $5.1 billion after new funding led by SoftBank

(Reuters) - Software startup Slack Technologies Inc said it raised $250 million from SoftBank Group Corp and other investors in its latest funding round, boosting the company's valuation to $5.1 billion.

Justice Department barred from sharing Volkswagen documents: judge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal magistrate judge blocked the U.S. Justice Department from sharing with a German law firm 25 million pages of records disclosed by Volkswagen AG in the government's diesel emissions investigation.

Honda invests $267 million, to add 300 jobs for new Accord model

DETROIT (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd said on Monday its has invested $267 million and will add 300 new jobs to support increased production of its revamped 2018 Accord sedan model at the Japanese automaker's plant in Marysville, Ohio.

The Myths Of Recovery: Why American Households Aren't Better Off

Authored by Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev via,

The stagnation of real incomes from 1999 through today is structural, not cyclical...

Off the top, the figures published by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday are encouraging:

Median household income rose to $59,039, the second straight gain;

The percentage of people in poverty fell to 12.7%, returning to around pre-recession levels;

The supplementary poverty measure also fell, to 13.9%;

The percentage of people without health insurance coverage fell to 8.8%.

The excitement of some analysts reporting these as a major breakthrough along the trend is understandable, as notionally, 2016 U.S. median household income has finally surpassed the previous peak, recorded in 1999.

Back then, median household income (adjusted for official inflation) stood at $58,665 and at the end of 2016 it registered $59,039.

As this chart clearly illustrates, notionally, we are in the "new historical peak" territory.

Alas, notional is not the same as ta ...

UAE: Financial and Transit Hub of 9/11 Terror

Background here.

By Kristen Breitweiser, one of the four 9/11 widows - known as the "Jersey Girls" - instrumental in forcing the government to form the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 2001 attacks. Follow Kristen Breitweiser on Twitter:

Everyone knows about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's connections to the September 11th attacks. In fact, most Americans can easily recite that 15 of the 19 September 11th hijackers were Saudi.

Martin Shkreli Sells Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin" For $1 Million

Despite having his bail revoked and being remanded to one of New York City's toughest jails to await his sentencing in January, the eBay auction that former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli launched earlier month seeking to offload the only existing copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" has ended. According to its eBay page, the album received 343 bids.

And the winning bid was $1,025,100 - or about half what Shkreli paid for the album when he anonymously purchased it from the group in late 2015, shortly before the Daraprim pricing scandal transformed him into the "most hated man in America."

The top bid had held steady for much of the last week, suggesting that a story published by Bloomberg alleging that several associates of the group have raised doubts about the album's legitimacy may have impacted the final price.

Shkreli posted this message on his auction page:

"This is the one and only Wu-Tang album.

I decided to purchase this album as a gift to the Wu-Tang Clan for their tremendous musical output. Instead I received scorn from at least one of their (least-intelligent) members, and the world at large failed to see my purpose of putting a serious value behind music. I will be curious to see if the world values music ne ...

Getting Back To "Bourgeois Basics"?

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,

A very brave law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, named Amy Wax has published the astounding argument that human beings in America would benefit from adopting "bourgeois values" and behaving accordingly.

Bourgeois (Boozh-wah, for the underspeeched) may be an unfortunate term-of-art, since it came to be used as a pejorative back in the old hippie days - something that Ms. Wax might remember, since she is a Baby Boomer - but what else might you call this bundle of traditional values: honesty, fidelity, thrift, temperance, punctuality, fortitude, gratitude, dedication, kindness, loyalty, et cetera?

A glance at Amy Wax's credentials might induce a head-snap.

Amy Laura Wax received a B.S. summa cum laude in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale in 1975. She was then a Marshall Scholar in Philosophy, Physiology, and Psychology at Somerville College at Oxford University. She earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1981, training as a neurologist, and received a J.D. from Columbia in 1987, where she was an editor of the Law Review. She was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Abner J. Mikva, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1987-88. From 1988-94, she served as Assistant to the Office of the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice, where she argued 15 cases before the United States Supreme Court. Wax was a member of the Legal Affairs Committee, American Academy of Neurology from 1986-1992. In 1994, she joined the faculty of UVA [U. of Virginia]. She taught courses in civil procedure, labor law, and poverty law and welfare poli ...

Dear Apple: Thanks for the Memory

Little noticed amid the hype around the newest iPhones is the boon that the new wave of fancy phones means for the makers of memory chips inside.

A $15 Billion Merger at Risk From Shareholders Who Don't Vote

The merger of chemical giants Huntsman and Clariant could trip up on weak turnout in a Swiss shareholder vote.

Why P&G Investors Should Want Nelson Peltz on the Board

After some serious missteps, the once irreproachable consumer-goods giant has lost the right to say: Just trust me.

The harsh truth about income inequality

Walter Scheidel, a professor of Roman History at Stanford University, in his new book, "The Great Leveler," says only the so-called "four horsemen" of war, disease, state collapse and revolution have succeeded in leveling income. And as soon as the devastation is over, income inequality builds again.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President opens UN speech by promoting one of his buildings

President Donald Trump kicked off a United Nations speech on Monday with a plug for his nearby residential tower, beginning a week of meetings and speeches in New York.

Capitol Report: Obamacare repeal effort picks up steam as McCain signals he's a 'yes'

Senate Republicans have only until the end of the month to repeal Obamacare under a special legislative process, and there were new signs Monday that the GOP is getting closer to the magic number of votes.

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