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20Oct2017 Market Close: Wall Street Rises Along With Tax-cut Hopes, US Dollar Rises To Its Highest Level In Roughly Three Months, Investors Awaiting The Nomination Of The Next Federal Reserve Chair

Written by Gary

US stocks rose on this last day of the week (SPY +0.5%) after the Senate passed a budget resolution, lifting hopes that President Donald Trump's tax-cut plan may move forward.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street rises along with tax-cut hopes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Friday after the Senate passed a budget resolution, lifting hopes that President Donald Trump's tax-cut plan may move forward.

Merck to cut 1,800 U.S. sales jobs, add 960 in chronic care

(Reuters) - Drugmaker Merck & Co Inc , moving to a new sales team structure in the United States, plans to cut 1,800 sales positions, while adding 960 jobs to a new chronic care sales force, the company said on Friday.

Stock market's future in Trump's hands as Federal Reserve chair pick looms

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors awaiting the nomination of the next Federal Reserve chair are hoping whoever is nominated pursues the same monetary policy that has supported rising stock prices for the past nine years.

Top oilfield services firms signal fourth-quarter uncertainty

(Reuters) - The world's top two oilfield service firms on Friday warned slower producer spending and weakness in offshore exploration may weigh on current-quarter earnings, but said activity could improve in the longer term as the global crude market comes into balance.

U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly rebound in September

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales unexpectedly increased in September as the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma began to dissipate, but a persistent dearth of properties for sale continued to weigh on overall activity.

Bitcoin soars to record high above $6,000

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bitcoin surged to a record high of more than $6,000 on Friday, pushing its market capitalization to $100 billion at one point, as investors continued to bet on an asset that has a limited supply and has paved the way for a whole slew of crypto-currencies.

Consumer Reports says Tesla misunderstands 'positive' Model 3 rating

DETROIT (Reuters) - Consumer Reports said on Friday that Tesla Inc had apparently misunderstood the "average" reliability rating the magazine assigned to the electric carmaker's Model 3 sedan this week, calling it generally "positive" for an all-new vehicle.

Gillette weakens P&G report after Peltz row

(Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co disappointed Wall Street with sales on Friday, hurt by continuing weakness in its Gillette business, a week after it claimed to have fought off hedge-fund manager Nelson Peltz's move to muscle onto the board.

Nestle CEO praised by Third Point but hedge fund still wants more

LONDON/BOSTON (Reuters) - Nine months into leading the world's biggest packaged food company, Nestle SA Chief Executive Mark Schneider got a tentative thumbs-up from a prominent investor, who praised his early steps on Friday but said there was more work to be done.

Fired Tesla Workers Discover They Were Replaced With Cheap Temp Labor

Just last week, amid their Model 3 "production hell," Tesla shocked the auto world with news that they would be firing hundreds of workers. Of course, firing seasoned production staff is somewhat atypical for a 'growing' company (shrinking cash flow aside) that was already having difficulty meeting their own production schedule. Of course, the irony was apparently 'lost' on Tesla who tried to dismiss the mass firings as "performance-based terminations." Per Capital and Main:

Tesla announced the firings, which are reportedly still continuing, last week. Though no official number of terminations would be given, estimates range from 400 to 1,200. The company did not give advance notice under the WARN Act because, it insisted, they were performance-based terminations, not layoffs. "Like all companies, Tesla conducts an annual performance review during which a manager and employee discuss the results that were achieved during the performance period," said a Tesla spokesperson in an emailed statement. "As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures."

As it turns out, we're not the only ones who were surprised by Tesla's mass termination event as laid off workers are now coming forward to say the decision was nothing more than an attempt to break up unionization efforts at the company's Fremont, CA plant and replace seasoned employees with cheap, temporary contract labor.

Those are the question ...

US Spent A Record $4 Trillion In Fiscal 2017, Pushing Deficit To $666 Billion

One year ago, the CBO forecasted that the Fiscal 2017 US deficit (for the year ended September 30), would be in the mid-$500 billion range. It was not meant to be, however, and on Friday the Treasury reported that with outlays of $341 billion in the last month of the fiscal year, offset by $349 billion in receipts, the full year deficit grew to a nice, round and very memorable $666 billion in fiscal 2017, up $80 billion or 14% from fiscal 2016. The government ran an $8 billion surplus in September, much smaller than the $33 billion surplus in September 2016. Receipts fell 2% while outlays grew 5% last month compared with the same period a year earlier.

For the full year, federal tax receipts reached a record high $3.315 trillion, thanks to slightly faster growth, according to a Treasury official quoted by the WSJ. But government outlays also hit a record high last year at nearly $4 trillion ($3.981 trillion to be precise), 3% higher than they were in the previous fiscal year, thanks to increased spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as higher interest payments on the public debt. And that's with interest rates that were near all time lows. We can't wait until the $20+ trillion in Federal debt starts really hitting the bottom budget line as the Fed starts pushing rates higher.

As a percentage of gross do ...

Latest Fear Mongering About Self Sufficiency: Salmonella in Backyard Chickens

Via The Daily Bell

Two years ago I moved to Florida from Massachusetts. When people found out I was moving, they would often immediately remark, "Get ready for the brutal heat and humidity!"

It was their first instinct to bring up any possible negative about moving to a much more pleasant climate.

About a year later, I posted pictures of vegetables we had grown, and chickens we keep. I also mentioned the name we call our mini-farm: Prickly Pear Plantation.

Was the first comment from my progressive liberal friend all about how great it is that we aren't using any pesticides? Was it about how happy our free-range chickens look, or about how great it is that we aren't supporting Monsanto? Did he remark on the fact that basically everything we build has some materials recycled from old projects and equipm ...

Catastrophes Everywhere, but Big Insurers May Do Alright

Much uncertainty remains around the costs from recent storms and earthquakes that will fall on investors. But for the big traditional groups like Swiss Re and XL, the storm damage may not be that bad.

The Downside of Big Profits at Google and Facebook

Google, Facebook and Twitter face serious questions about their outsize influence. Strong earnings reports won't help that.

P&G Does Itself No Favors Post-Peltz

Life isn't getting easier for Procter & Gamble after its unconfirmed victory in the proxy fight with activist Nelson Peltz.

GE's profit miss was a shock, and so was the stock's bounce

General Electric's stock retreated then recovered after the conglomerate's earnings report shocked investors with the first profit miss in 2 1/2 years but soothed with an intact dividend for now.

Currencies: Dollar strengthens, set to book weekly gain on revived tax-reform hope

The U.S. dollar rises to its highest level in roughly three months against the yen, strengthening against other rivals on Friday.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President hails budget passage and says U.N. chief has 'talent'

President Donald Trump on Friday applauded passage of a budget in the Senate that paves the way for a tax cut, met with the head of the United Nations and angered British lawmakers with a tweet about crime.

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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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