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05Dec2017 Market Update: Wall Street Main Indexes Are Trading Sideways, DOW Down 23 Points, Nasdaq Recovering From Two Day Blight, Gold Index Remains Depressed

Written by Gary

US equities market Tech stocks have recovered as investors assess tax bill details, but morning and afternoon traffic has been mostly sideways (SPY +0.1%).

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are higher today with shares in Mexico leading the region. The IPC is up 0.46% while Brazil's Bovespa is up 0.29% and U.S.'s S&P 500 is up 0.02%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Nestle to buy vitamin maker Atrium Innovations for $2.3 billion

LONDON (Reuters) - Nestle is buying Canadian vitamin maker Atrium Innovations for $2.3 billion, expanding its presence in consumer healthcare as it seeks to offset weakness in packaged foods.

Tech stocks rebound as investors assess tax bill details

(Reuters) - The tech-heavy Nasdaq recovered from a two-day selloff on Tuesday but other U.S. share indexes were mixed as investors assessed changes to the Senate's version of a tax overhaul that could reduce gains for companies.

Disney's bid for Fox assets gains momentum: sources

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co is in the lead to acquire much of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's media empire, though rival suitor Comcast Corp remains in contention, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Apple wins EU trademark case against Xiaomi

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Apple Inc succeeded on Tuesday in preventing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc from registering its "Mi Pad" tablet computer as an EU trademark because the name was too similar to Apple's "iPad".

CVS likely wants FTC antitrust review, not Justice Department, of Aetna deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It is uncertain who in the U.S. government will carry out an antitrust review of CVS Health Corp's deal to buy health insurer Aetna Inc , but the drugstore company is likely hoping the potentially more lenient Federal Trade Commission gets the nod, antitrust experts say.

Exxon takes climate-change probe fight to Massachusetts top court

BOSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp urged Massachusetts' top court on Tuesday to block the state's attorney general from obtaining records to investigate whether the company for decades concealed its knowledge of the role fossil fuels have on climate change.

Wells Fargo CEO sees better commercial loan results in fourth quarter

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co will likely see improvement in its business lending segment when it reports fourth-quarter earnings in January, Chief Executive Officer Tim Sloan said at an investor presentation on Tuesday.

Sprint expects pace of customer defections to slow in holiday quarter

(Reuters) - U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp expects the pace of customer defections to slow in the key holiday quarter, helped by higher promotions, its chief financial officer said on Tuesday.

Google unveils new Android software in India to power cheap smartphones

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google launched a stripped-down version of its Android software in India on Tuesday, as it attempts to woo millions of basic phone users in the fast-growing wireless services market.

Citi Shows What Today's Artificial Market Looks Like In One Chart

Two weeks ago, in his must-read 2018 credit outlook report (which we urge everyone to read) Citi's credit strategist Hans Lorenzen made three striking observations.

The first had to do with explicit central banker fears that they have now lost control of a market which, no matter what the Fed does or says, no longer believes that tighter financial conditions are possible - after all even a 5% correction gets hints of QE4 from the Bullards of the world - and as a result keeps bidding up risk and selling vol to new daily records:

In the context of a self-reinforcing, herding market, the pivot point where the marginal investor is indifferent between putting more money back into risk assets and holding cash instead is fluid. But when the herd suddenly changes direction, the result is a sharp non-linear shift in asset prices. That is a problem not only for us trying to call the market, but also for central bankers trying to remove policy accommodation at the right pace without setting off a chain reaction - especially because the longer current market dynamics run, the more energy will eventually be released.

That seems to be a growing fear among a number of central bankers that we have spoken to recently. In our experience, they too are somewhat baffled by the lack of volatility and concerned about the lack of response to negative headlines.... Our guess is that sooner or later in the process of retrenchment they will end up going too far - though that will only be obvious with hindsight.

The above hardly needs a clarification, as "a growing fear among central bankers" who are baffled by a market that no longer resp ...

Russia Warns Korean Peninsula "On Brink Of War"

Following the launch of the "largest ever" US-South Korean aerial military drills, and Pyongyang's latest, most impressive, missile test, the Russian foreign ministry issued a warning that "the situation on the Korean Peninsula is on the brink of war," adding that "Kim seeks to raise the stakes before any talks."

The US and South Korea launched their largest aerial drills yet on Monday, less than a week after North Korea tested its new Hwasong-15 missile which military observers said has the capacity to strike Washington DC, or nearly any other location in the continental US. The launched shattered nearly two months of calm as many suspected the North's benefactors in China were making good on their promises to rein in the restive state's belligerent behavior.

As we reported Sunday, the annual US-South Korean drills, called Vigilant Ace, will run until Friday. Six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters will be deployed among the more than 230 aircraft taking part. The North has condemned the exercises as yet another provocation.

F-35 fighters will also participate in the drill, which will involve the largest number of 5th generation fighters, according to a South Korea-based US Air Force spokesman quoted by Reuters.

Around 12,000 US troops, including the Marines and Navy, will join South Korean troops. Aircraft participating in the drills will take off from eight different US and South Korean military installations.

Trump Reportedly Tells Mideast Leaders He Intends To Move Embassy To Jerusalem

Update: With local news reporting that Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, one of his most trusted allies in the region, it's becoming clear that Trump is calling leaders in the region to prepare them for the US's decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem - a decision that will likely outrage much of the region. According to Reuters, Trump told both Palestinian and Jordanian leaders, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his intentions.

One by one, world leaders - most recently Jordna's King Abdullah - have warned that such a move would have "dangerous repercussions" for security and stability in the region.

Meanwhile, the State Department is warning consulates across the world to prepare to boost security if Trump decides to move the embassy. Trump promised to move the embassy during his campaign but decided to delay back in June, according to the Daily Caller.

State has urged consulates across the world to boost security if President Donald Trump announces a relocation of the embassy in Israel.

"The impending Jerusalem announcement has me very worried about the possibility of violent responses that could affect embassies," a State Department official told Politico. "I hope I'm wrong."

Israeli security agencies have met over the past few days to prepare for riots and other attacks, according to the Ynet news agency. Authorities believe Trump's announcement could spark attacks from established terror groups, as well as so-called "lone wolf" terrorists.

An Angry Rudy Havenstein Lashes Out: "No, The Fed Is Not Populist"

Submitted by Rudy Havenstein

After years of seeing terrible market news and commentary, I'm pretty jaded, but when I saw the recent Marketwatch op-ed, "Janet Yellen's true legacy is her focus on middle-class wages" (by Tim Mullaney), I thought such nonsense needed a reponse that went beyond 280 characters. (Half of Mullaney's article is an anti-Trump rant, which is fine, and which I will ignore).

"If something is nonsense, you say it and say it loud."
- Nassim Taleb

The article's tagline, "Outgoing Federal Reserve chairwoman is a true populist, representing the interests of ordinary people", reflects an Orwellian perversion of language that is so common today, a bizarro land where "inflation" is "growth", "debt" is "wealth," "QE" is "economic stimulus," and "plutocracy" is "populism".

Janet Yellen heads what is arguably the most anti-populist entity on Earth. It's a very strange world we live in, where the actions of the head of a private bank cartel are declared to be "populist" by countless econ professor cultists and their media acolytes, as average Americans stand in stunned amazement at the elites' cluelessness.

So what is "populism"? I asked Google, which hopefully e ...

The Great Tax-Windfall Surprise

The biggest winners of the Republican tax plan are corporations. How they actually spend their windfall could jolt the economy and surprise markets.

Spotify, Like Google, Wants to Reinvent the Tech IPO

Spotify is next year expected to mount what is arguably the greatest challenge to the Wall Street IPO machine since Google went public in 2004. Silicon Valley's startup giants will be watching closely.

How China's Migrant Crisis Could Hit Alibaba

Despite all the talk about artificial intelligence and big data, the success of China's e-commerce industry relies on something more dull: millions of workers willing to work cheaply to deliver parcels to customers' doorsteps. The workers being evicted in Beijing have been vital to e-commerce giant Alibaba's low-cost model.

November 2017 ISM and Markit Services Remain In Expansion

Written by Steven Hansen

The ISM non-manufacturing (aka ISM Services) index continues its growth cycle and marginally declined. Markit PMI Services Index slightly declined but remains in expansion.

Tesla stock downgraded to sell on signs Model 3 demand is starting to flag

Cascend Securities says new customers who have not already preordered the Model 3 are realizing that they can't get new vehicles until 2019, and are beginning to look elsewhere.

Key Words: Alibaba's Jack Ma: Give Trump a chance

President Donald Trump just got a pat on the back from one of Asia's wealthiest men:

Capitol Report: Here's what else tax reform means: another bailout of Fannie and Freddie

The government-sponsored enterprises that back much of the mortgage system will have no capital in the first quarter of the year, as directed by Congress, and the value of certain assets on their balance sheets will also be whacked by tax reform, likely causing the need for funds from Treasury.

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