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13Nov2017 Market Update: Wall Street Flat, DOW Up 12 Points, Tax Reform Plan In Doubt, WTI Crude Steady, Gold Trending Higher

Written by Gary

US equities market opened moderately lower as expected, but immediately clawed its way back to green, but flat trading (SPY +0.03%). GE's dismal outlook has weighed on indexes and investors fretted over the future of the U.S. tax reform plan.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed. The S&P 500 is higher by 0.03%, while Mexico's IPC is off 0.16%. Shares in Brazil are unchanged with the Bovespa at 72,165.64.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

GE to shrink, investors worry it will be less profitable

(Reuters) - General Electric Co will radically shrink to focus on aviation, power and healthcare, betting on sectors where it thinks it can make a profit, as the most famous U.S. conglomerate tries to end a decade and a half of share price stagnation.

Qualcomm rejects Broadcom's $103-billion takeover bid

(Reuters) - Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm Inc on Monday rejected rival Broadcom Ltd's $103-billion takeover bid, saying the offer undervalued the company and would face regulatory hurdles.

Wall Street flat as GE, tax plan doubts weigh

(Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed in late morning trading on Monday as GE's dismal outlook weighed on indexes and investors fretted over the future of the U.S. tax reform plan.

Bitcoin claws back over $1,000 after losing almost a third of value

LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin surged on Monday, recovering more than $1,000 after losing almost a third of its value in less than four days as traders bought back into the volatile cryptocurrency.

Aramco plans to spend $300 billion over 10 years in upstream oil and gas: CEO

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco plans to spend close to $300 billion over 10 years in upstream oil and gas projects, Chief Executive Amin Nasser said on Monday.

AB InBev replaces North America chief to stem sales slide

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - The world's biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev , is replacing its North American chief to stem a years-long sales decline in its largest market.

Airbus looks at more capacity for A350 with new layout

DUBAI (Reuters) - Airbus is working on increasing the capacity of its A350-900 aircraft as airlines look to reduce their operating costs per seat, industry executives said on Monday.

China's swings to third-quarter profit, lifting shares

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's second biggest e-commerce company,, reported an unexpected profit in the third quarter, though it lost about 100 merchants to fierce competition in the run-up to this month's Singles' Day shopping extravaganza.

GM's electric car sales will meet quotas by 2019, says China chief

BEIJING (Reuters) - General Motors Co's China joint ventures will be able to generate enough new energy vehicle (NEV) sales volume to account for NEV production quotas by 2019 and without the need to buy credits, GM China chief Matt Tsien said on Monday.

Roy Moore Responds To Mitch McConnell

Just minutes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sided with "the women," and called for Alabama Senate candidate to "step aside," the outspoken former judge has responded...

The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell. He has failed conservatives and must be replaced. #DrainTheSwamp

— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) November 13, 2017

We suspect this twitter battle is far from over, and for now President Trump has not stepped in...

North Korean Soldier Shot While Fleeing Across The DMZ

Less than a week after an unusually heavy bout of fog forced President Donald Trump to cancel a hastily scheduled visit to the DMZ, one North Korean soldier succeeded in pulling off one of the most extraordinarily brazen defections in recent memory when he bolted across the heavily fortified four-kilometer border area, successfully completing his trip to the South despite being shot twice by his fellow troops.

The New York Times reported that the North Korean soldier defected through Panmunjom, a village that straddles the border between the two Koreas. Alerted by gunshots, South Korean guards found the North Korean soldier about 55 yards south of the border line that bisects Panmunjom. He was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds to an elbow and shoulder, South Korean officials said.

As the Associated Press pointed out, North Korean soldiers have occasionally defected to South Korea across the border. But it's rare for a North Korean soldier to defect by fleeing across the Joint Security Area, where border guards of the rival Koreas stand facing each other just meters away. The fact that he was shot twice during it makes his success all the more improbable.

The soldier bolted from a guard post at the northern side of Panmunjom village, a once-obscure farming village inside the DMZ. He entered South Korea through the southern side of the village, according to South Korea's Joint Chief ...

Bill Blain: "Why We Should Be Very Nervous About Corporate Bonds"

Blain's Morning Porridge, Submitted by Bill Blain of Mint Partners

Why we should be very nervous about corporate bonds

"Before the fiddlers have fled, before they ask us to pay for the bill and while we still have the chance...."

This might be week the proverbial chickens have more need than ever of somewhere to recover from the last 9 years of frothy market madness. Take a look at the signs and signals - the Nikkei taking a 1000 point spanking last week, the US stock market looking wobbly on the lack of any real prospect of tax reform (my stock chartists have picked though the graphs, and see sell signals everywhere), articles saying Europe is poised on the edge of an economic boom-time (which, by the laws of financial common sense means its about the tumble back into recession...)

And then there is the UK - where sterling is in flight on rumours of a no confidence motion in Theresa May.. FFS.. Does the fact a confidence vote might be on the cards actually mean there are still people who have any confidence in her? I though we all understood how this plays out? I though we all agreed she is absolutely the worst possible leader of the conservatives and worst ever choice for prime minster, with the notable exception of any other elected conservative MPs?

Very interesting research note from a US investment banks says there is a 40% likelihood of a Labour Corbyn government by 2022. The risks of an election are elevated by the party spilt/civil war on Brexit, but also on May fundamentally misreading the leftwards shift in UK electoral attitudes - the Tories need a socially liberal leader to win an election. (I've got the phone number of the other Milliband brother if they are interested.)

It's increas ...

"I Believe The Women" - Mitch McConnell Calls For Moore To "Step Aside"

Following Roy Moore's vehement denial of teen sex abuse allegations on Friday, the weekend saw political furore rising and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may have just sealed the Bannon-backed candidate's future.

"It never happened... If you abuse a 14-year-old you shouldn't be a Senate candidate. I agree with that," Moore said. "But I did not do that."

But, as The Hill reports, Mitch McConnel on Monday called for GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore to "step aside," according to the Associated Press...

Here is the video of @SenateMajLdr saying he believes the women accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually assaulting a 14-year old and pursuing other teens.

— Nick Storm (@NStorm_Politics) November 13, 2017

McConnell was asked if he believes the allegations are true.

Break Up And Die: Why Spinoff Fever Can't Last Forever

General Electric and other industrial conglomerates are under pressure to slim down, but big will likely become beautiful again when markets turn sour.

SoftBank's Uber Deal Shows Doubts About Ride-Hailing

The Japanese company's $10 billion investment effectively lowers Uber's value. It may still be overpaying.

Why Legal Risks Matter for Generic Drug Stocks

Generic drugmakers and their investors have so far shrugged off a state lawsuit and federal investigation into possible price collusion. That may be the right bet, but there are a few things that investors should watch closely.

Capitol Report: Elevated CAPE ratio suggests stock market returns to decline, regional Fed bank finds

A popular measure of valuing stocks looks set for a decline, and stock returns will suffer because of it, according to new research published Monday by the San Francisco Fed.

Market Snapshot: Stocks fight for traction amid tax uncertainty; GE tumbles after dividend cut

U.S. stocks struggle to gain traction on Monday as uncertainty continued to swirl around the state of Republican tax-cut legislation.

Earnings Outlook: Target earnings: Analysts see growth potential, and growing Amazon overlap

Target is showing signs of growth potential, but analysts are still concerned that the retailer is facing competition from Wal-Mart and Amazon.

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