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06Dec2017 Market Close: Bitcoin Clears $13,000

Written by Gary

The Dow and S&P 500 were marginally down with Nasdaq up marginally. WTI is off a buck and a half with gold and silver off for the day. Read below the financial headlines that moved the markets today.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

S&P 500 down for fourth straight session; energy drags

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 fell marginally on Wednesday, with modest gains in Microsoft and other technology stocks not quite offsetting losses in energy shares after oil prices dropped more than 2 percent.

Britain pushes back date for provisional findings on Sky-Fox deal

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's competition watchdog will give its initial verdict on Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy Sky next month, later than expected, due to the vast number of responses it has received on the deal.

Bitcoin zooms above $13,000 to record high on relentless demand

TOKYO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bitcoin extended its rally on Wednesday, breaking above $13,000 to a record high despite questions about the cryptocurrency's real value and worries about a dangerous bubble.

Home Depot sets $15 billion share buyback, investment plan

(Reuters) - Home Depot Inc announced a $15 billion share buyback plan on Wednesday and said it would invest in improving its stores to hit a $120 billion annual sales target in the next three years.

U.S. Comptroller halts plan to remove in-house bank examiners

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bank examiners can continue working inside the banks they supervise, U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said on Wednesday, in a policy reversal for the U.S. banking regulator.

Google beats class action sex bias claims, for now

(Reuters) - A California state judge has dismissed class action claims accusing Alphabet Inc's Google of paying female employees less than men and giving them fewer opportunities for promotions.

General Electric to cut 4,500 jobs in Europe: source

(Reuters) - General Electric Co plans to cut as many as 4,500 jobs in Europe as the U.S. industrial conglomerate shrinks its troubled power generation business, a labor union source said on Tuesday.

Disney CEO Bob Iger to extend tenure past 2019: WSJ

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Iger will likely extend his tenure past 2019 to facilitate integration of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's assets with the company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

EU urges internet companies to do more to remove extremist content

(Reuters) - Internet groups such as Facebook , Google's YouTube and Twitter need to do more to stem the proliferation of extremist content on their platforms, the European Commission said after a meeting on Wednesday.

Largest Crypto-Mining Exchange Confirms It Was Hacked, Over $50 Million In Bitcoin Stolen

As Bitcoin explodes higher on what now appears to be constant demand out of South Korea, there were unconfirmed (at least until recently) reports that Nice Hash, the largest crypto-mining marketplace, has been hacked with over 4,000 bitcoins worth over $50 million stolen.

NiceHash has suffered a completely unpredictable and unforeshadowed cut and run^W^W^Whack, so much for the home miners and their extensive graphics card collections

— David Gerard (@davidgerard) December 6, 2017

Visits to the website over the past 13 hours were greeted with the following maintenance notice.

Dear NiceHash user, our service is currently under maintenance.
We are sorry for the inconvenience and please stay tuned for updates.
Thank you for your understanding.

— NiceHash (@NiceHashMining) December 6, 2017

According to TweakTown, there are some posts by people saying that NiceHash transferred all of the BTC sitting in miners' wallets into a single wallet before NH fully went down.

The World Reacts To Trump's Jerusalem Decision, In Photos

President Trump formally declared Jerusalem to be Israel's capital and directed the State Department to start the process of moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv. The move was said to demonstrate Trump's inclination to prioritize domestic politics over the desires of U.S. allies in the Middle East and Europe who warned the announcement could spark violence in a region that is already a powder keg, with the exception of Israel of course.

Here, courtesy of Bloomberg and Reuters, is a snapshot of the world's response to the historic Trump announcement:

Palestinian demonstrators burn Israeli and American flags in Gaza City on Dec. 6, 2017.

Palestinians burn posters Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump.

The Global Equity Market's 20 Trillion Dollar Mistake Exposed

Authored by Kevin Muir via The Macro Tourist blog,

Last week there were all sorts of articles hitting the newswires about the fact the world's stock market total capitalization was pushing $100 trillion.

This article and chart from Business Insider sums up the reaction:

We first saw the chart in a note from CLSA analyst Damian Kestel: "I almost fell off my chair when I saw this and went to check that Bloomberg hadn't reclassified some data... but no. I included this chart of total equity market cap in [a previous note to clients] in early June this year. At that point total world market cap was US$74 trillion, it's now US$93 trillion," he wrote. (The chart excludes ETFs and the like, so there is no double-counting of single stocks in different indexes.)

What is worrying about the chart is that final, fast peak in 2017. Until then, world market cap looked like any other stock index: A series of incremental gains building on each other over time, with a pronounced dip around the Great Financial Crisis in 2008, followed by a healthy recovery.

How Unusual Is It for An Incoming Administration to Talk to Russian Leaders?

Those who want to impeach Trump say his contacts (through Flynn and others) with high-level Russians, such as Russian Ambassador Kislyak, was treason ... or at the very least an impeachable offense.

Others - without any proof - say that the president-elect's team contacting foreign leaders is normal.

Who's right?

The New York Times reports:

It is common and not improper for transition officials to meet with foreign officials.

Jack Matlock, the 4-year U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987-1991, at the time that the USSR dissolved, writes:

Our press seems to be in a feeding frenzy regarding contacts that President Trump's supporters had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and with other Russian diplomats. The assumption seems to be that there was something sinister about these contacts, just because they were with Russian diplomats. As one who spent a 35-year diplomatic career working to open up the Soviet Union and to make communication between our diplomats and ordinary citizens a normal practice, I find the attitude of much of our political establishment and of some of our once respected media outlets quite incomprehensible. What in the world is wrong with consulting a foreign embassy about ways to improve relations?

Pharma's Helping Hand May Pinch Investors

Scrutiny of patient-assistance charities, a key profit source for the drug industry, is increasing. That means it is getting harder for investors to forecast industry growth.

Don't Get Left Behind in Health-Care Deal Frenzy

Investors should expect health-care deal-making to continue in the wake of UnitedHealth's move to acquire DaVita Medical Group, days after CVS Health agreed to buy Aetna.

Accounting Blowup at Steinhoff Was Hiding in Plain Sight

Steinhoff had lumps in its mattress long before the 63% plunge in its stock price Wednesday. Lest they suffer another sleepless night, investors should stay up late studying the string of warning signs that preceded an admission of "accounting irregularities" by one of the world's largest furniture retailers.

SpaceX Monthly Recap Testing Mishap, Moon First, And More Funding

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., doing business as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has since developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family, which both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit.

The Moneyist: After my father died, my brother has been bullying me to lend him money

Sometimes, it's hard to break a lifetime of entitlement.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President says government could shut down over Democrats' immigration demands

President Donald Trump said Wednesday the government could shut down later this week, recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and said he saw "no reason" why the U.S. economy couldn't grow at 6%.

The Wall Street Journal: Live TV network ratings are missing out on streaming viewers

Networks haven't been getting full credit from Nielsen for all of the people watching live television through streaming services, the ratings firm acknowledged Wednesday, illustrating the pressures on the measurement company to keep up with the rapid evolution of viewing habits.

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