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02Nov2017 Market Update: Wall Street Flat As Investors Assess Tax-cut Plan, Q3 Productivity Fastest In Three Years, Jobless Claims Fall Suggesting Recent Economic Growth Is Unlikely To Be Sustained

Written by Gary

US stocks were lower in late morning trading as investors assessed long-awaited tax-cut proposals (SPY -0.05%). Early afternoon trading is flat with the small caps down fractionally.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are lower today with shares in Brazil off the most. The Bovespa is down 0.65% while Mexico's IPC is off 0.60% and U.S.'s S&P 500 is lower by 0.09%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street dips as investors assess Republican tax-cut plan

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were lower in late morning trading on Thursday as investors assessed long-awaited tax-cut proposals unveiled by Republicans amid deep skepticism around the passing of the bill.

Exclusive: Airbus begins external search for new sales chief - sources

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus has embarked on a fresh search for a sales chief to take over from soon-to-retire John Leahy as the aerospace group seeks a clean break from turmoil over investigations into the use of middlemen, said three people familiar with the plans.

U.S., AT&T discussing conditions for Time Warner deal: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc and the U.S. Department of Justice are discussing conditions the U.S. No. 2 wireless carrier needs to meet in order for its $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc to win government approval, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

Spending plans trigger Facebook stock retreat

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc shares slid on Thursday, as investors shrugged off strong quarterly results and worried about the cost of the company's decision to spend more on preventing misuse of the world's biggest social media network.

Goldman's Blankfein is only major financial firm CEO to join Trump on China trip

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein will visit China as part of a business delegation in November at the same time as U.S. President Donald Trump, a Goldman spokesman confirmed.

U.S. third quarter productivity fastest in three years; jobless claims fall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. worker productivity increased at its fastest pace in three years in the third quarter but the trend remained moderate, suggesting that a recent acceleration in economic growth was unlikely to be sustained.

Bank of England sees only gentle rate rises ahead after historic hike

LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than 10 years on Thursday, but sterling slid after the central bank said it expected only "very gradual" further increases as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.

Shareholder sues GE after 'unacceptable' results hurt stock

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two weeks after General Electric Co's new chief executive vowed to shed $20 billion of assets, a shareholder has sued the company for failing to divulge its problems sooner and posting quarterly results that were "unacceptable, to say the least."

Apple draws options bulls ahead of quarterly results

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ahead of Apple Inc's quarterly report on Thursday, traders in the options market have taken positions close to the most bullish since late December, options data showed.

Twitter-Russia Collusion?: New Email Reveals Twitter Pressing RT To Ramp Up Election Ads

A few weeks ago, after Twitter provided their first "Russian Collusion" update, which consisted basically of nothing other than details on the amount of advertising purchased by Russian news outlets via completely legitimate means, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan fired back at Twitter with a snarky article saying she wasn't aware that paying for advertising is now considered suspicious or harmful in a developed democracy such as the United States. She went on to say that she's very excited to find out how much U.S. media outlets spend in the Russian segment of Twitter...you know, since advertising on social media in foreign countries now seems to be a criminal act.

"This is forcing us to go a step further and come clean that we also spent money on advertising at airports, in taxis, on billboards, on the Internet, on TV and radio. Even CNN ran our commercials," Simonyan said. "By the way, similar campaigns are conducted by the American media in the Russian segment of Twitter. It'll be very interesting to find out how much they spend on it, who they target and for what purpose."

Well it seems that Simonyan may now be exacting her revenge on Twitter as the following email from one of the company's advertising executives sent to RT conveniently made its way into the hands of BuzzFeed News. Among other things, the email reveals a proverbial 'full-court press' from Twitter to get RT to ramp up their U.S. election advertising spend by offering 15% of Twitter's total Share of Voice for the bargain basement prices of just $3 million.

13 Shocking Facts About Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller

Talking heads act like Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is fair, impartial and unbiased.

But the facts are a wee bit different ...

Failure to Aggressively Prosecute the BCCI Scandal

The BBC noted:

[Mueller] is also known for leading the probe into the 1991 collapse of the Luxembourg-registered Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

Williams Safire wrote in the New York Times:

The B.C.C.I. scandal involves the laundering of drug money, the illicit financing of terrorism and of arms to Iraq, the easy purchase of respectability and the corruption of the world banking system.

For more than a decade, the biggest banking swindle in history worked beautifully. Between $5 billion and $15 billion was bilked from governments and individual depositors to be put to the most evil of purposes -- while lawmen and regulators slept.

Now the fight among investigators is coming out into the open. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who gave impetus to long-contained probes, told a Senate subcommittee headed by Senator John Kerry that he is getting no cooperation from the Thornburgh Justice Department.

Justice's Criminal Division chief, Robert Mueller, tells me he will have a hatchet-burying session with the independent-minded D.A. next week, and vehemently denies having told British intelligence to stop cooperating with the Manhattan grand jury.

Mueller's handling of the BCCI scandal as the point m ...

Ron Paul Warns "Government Interest In Bitcoin Makes Me Nervous"

Former presidential candidate Ron Paul urged legalization of all competing cryptocurrencies to fiat during a televised phone interview with The Street's Daniela Cambone, Editor-in-Chief for Canadian outlet Kitco News...

As Coinivore reports, Paul noted how the trend seems to be that the government waits until something grows successful enough and then attempts to severely restrict it with regulations.

"If Bitcoin is a really good deal and a good process," he said, "rest assured the government will be looking at it very carefully."

Government interest in Bitcoin "makes me a little bit nervous," he added, "people should be very cautious."

As for currency competition, "If the people want Bitcoin and want to use it, the government should stay out of it," he told Cambone.

Paul also alluded to the IRS's attempt to force popular Bitcoin exchange Coi ...

Yield Curve Flattest Since 2007 After Trump Tax Plan

If 'growth' was the goal of the tax-reform plan, the bond market ain't buying it...

The yield curve continues to slump...

Breaking down to new cycle lows - flattest since 2007...

World Record $5 Billion Skyscraper Sale a Tall Order

A consortium led by a Chinese Communist Party-backed oil company has bought a landmark building in the world's biggest commercial property deal.

Bank of England Raises Rates Amid the Brexit Gloom

The U.K. economy is lagging the world, and the Bank of England says that Brexit is having a "noticeable impact" on the economic outlook. That is a gloomy place to start from for a rate increase.

Shell's Caution May Prove Better Part of BP's Valor

Brent oil has rallied above $60 a barrel for the first time since 2015, and oil majors such as BP, left for dead just a few years ago, are busy buying back shares. Is it game on again for energy shares?

London Markets: U.K. stocks end at 3-week high as Bank of England delivers 'dovish' rate hike

Blue-chip stocks in the U.K. finished at a three-week high Thursday while the pound dropped after the Bank of England flagged risks to the British economy as it raised rates its key interest rate for the first time in 10 years.

Housing stock tumble may be overblown as pushback on tax bill's ding to mortgage deduction is likely

The housing industry reacted fiercely to a tax proposal calling for a popular mortgage interest deduction to be scaled back.

Europe Markets: European stocks close lower, snapping 5-session win streak

European stocks ended lower on Thursday, with shares of exporters under pressure as the euro rallies, while British blue-chips climb after the Bank of England strikes a dovish while delivering its first rate hike in a decade.

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gary@econintersect.com

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