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14Dec2017 Market Update: Wall Street Indexes Are Hovering Around Record Levels, Tax Code Overhaul Is Set To Face Final Votes In Congress, Internet Vendors, U.S. Retail Sales Get Big Boost In November From Black Friday

Written by Gary

US equities market's SP 500 and DOW indexes remain near previous highs (SPY -0.04%) after morning trading sideways. The DOW briefly hit a new high on the opening bell, but has fallen back to flat status.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed. The IPC is higher by 0.32%, while the Bovespa is leading the S&P 500 lower. They are down 0.54% and 0.03% respectively.

Traders Corner - Health of the Market

Looking at the last three columns (below), the first one (Actual), is what was reported this morning. The second column (Forecast) is what analysts had forecast and the third column is the previous report. Full calendar HERE.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Disney buying Fox film, TV units for $52 billion in digital push

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co has struck a deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc for $52.4 billion in stock, giving the world's largest entertainment company an arsenal of shows and movies to combat growing digital rivals Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

Wall Street higher on optimism over tax bill, Fed's economic outlook

(Reuters) - Wall Street indexes hovered around record levels on Thursday, perked up by the Federal Reserve's upbeat view on the economy and news that the Republicans' tax code overhaul is set to face final votes in Congress before the year-end.

Republicans forge tax deal, final votes seen next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congressional Republicans reached a deal on final tax legislation on Wednesday, clearing the way for final votes next week on a package that would slash the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21 percent and cut taxes for wealthy Americans.

Teva Pharm to lay off a quarter of workforce, suspends dividend

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is to cut its workforce by more than a quarter, give up many of its manufacturing plants and suspend its dividend on ordinary shares in a much-anticipated overhaul to help pay off its debts.

Exclusive: Luxottica, Essilor tie-up on track for unconditional EU okay - sources

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italian eyewear maker Luxottica and French lens manufacturer Essilor are set to win unconditional EU antitrust approval for their 48 billion-euro ($57 billion) merger, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Delaware court reverses controversial Dell buyout ruling

WILMINGTON, Del (Reuters) - Delaware's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a lower court erred in its controversial finding last year that the 2013 buyout of computer maker Dell Inc was vastly underpriced.

Spotify price tag rises ahead of filing for NYSE listing: sources

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The value of music streaming service Spotify, which is planning a stock market listing, has grown around 20 percent to at least $19 billion in the past few months, outperforming U.S. and European tech indexes, sources familiar with the matter said.

Record number of Americans to travel during Christmas holiday: AAA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. travelers will hit the roads, rails and skies this Christmas holiday in their largest numbers on record, lured by cheap plane tickets and a growing economy, the nation's largest motor advocacy group said on Thursday.

Delta Air Lines to place order for Airbus jets

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines said on Thursday it will place a firm order for 100 Airbus A321neo jets and an optional order for 100 of the aircraft. Delta, the No. 2 U.S. airline by passenger traffic, said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects deliveries to begin in the first quarter of 2020, with new aircraft arriving through 2023.

US F-22s Fire Warning Flares At Russian Su-25 Jets In Near Incident Over Syria

On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported an "Incident" had taken place involving a USAF F-22 over Syria which according to the Russians "actively prevented the Russian pair of Su-25 attack aircraft from carrying out a combat mission to destroy the Daesh stronghold in the suburbs of the city of Mayadin in the airspace over the western bank of the Euphrates River on November 23" with the The F-22 firing off heat flares and released brake shields with "permanent maneuvering, imitating an air battle" to which we said that in the apparent eagerness by the US to re-engage Russia, it is likely that more such near-incidents will take place.

Sure enough, on Thursday morning, a Pentagon official confirmed that a pair of U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighters fired flares to chase two Russian Su-25 fighter jets out of restricted airspace over Syria on Wednesday.



U.S. OFFICIAL SAYS U.S. F-22 JETS FIRED WARNING FLARES ON WEDNESDAY AFTER RUSSIAN JETS ENTERED AGREED UPON "DECONFLICTION ZONE" OVER SYRIA

As the Washington Examiner adds, the aerial encounter occurred "when the Russian jets strayed into airspace east of the Euphrates River, putting them on the wrong side of a "deconfliction zone" established between Moscow and Washington to avoid confrontation in the skies over Syria."

The Russian jets immedi ...

What are Rights? Do Rights Even Exist?

Via The Daily Bell

What is a right? Do rights exist? They are intangible, yet philosophical constructs can be real.

A right defines a state of being; it describes a condition. "Right of way," is how we describe who has first use of a road. People can certainly ignore the concept of a right of way. But that doesn't void the concept. Right of way still serves as a tool to establish who is liable should a car accident occur.

In the same way, a right serves as a natural basis for who is wrong in a given dispute. It establishes who should be held accountable in a legal setting. And "legal" does not just refer to our current court system. Common law is a natural law system which solves disputes.

Saying someone has a "right" is a statement about an individual's condition in nature. That is why rights are expressed in the negative. ...

Dear Janet Yellen: Here Is Your Own Watchdog Warning About Financial Stability Risks In "Red And Orange"

In the most interesting exchange during Janet Yellen's final news conference, CNBC's seemingly flustered Steve Liesman asked Janet Yelen a question which in other times would have led to his loss of FOMC access privileges: "Every day it seems the stock market goes up triple digits on the Dow Jones: is it now, or will it soon become a worry for the central bank that valuations are this high?"

Yellen's response was predictable, colorfully so in fact.

Of course, the stock market has gone up a great deal this year. And we have in recent months characterized the general level of asset valuations as elevated. What that reflects is simply the assessment that looking at price-earnings ratios and comparable metrics for other assets other than equities, we see ratios that are in the high end of historical ranges. And so that's worth pointing out. But economists are not great at knowing what appropriate valuations are, we don't have the terrific record. And the fact that those valuations are high doesn't mean that they're necessarily overvalued.

So I think what we need to and are trying to think through is if there were an adjustment in asset valuations, the stock market, what impact would that have on the economy? And would it provoke financial stability concerns?

Here is the best part from Yellen's response:

... I think when we look at other indicators of financial stability risks, there's nothing flashing red there or possibly even orange. We have a much more resilient, stronger banking s ...

Judicial Watch President: "Forget Mueller," The Real Question Is "Do We Need To Shut Down The FBI?"

Echoing the thoughts that are undoubtedly running through the minds of many Americans following startling revelations of an "insurance policy" crafted by FBI agents Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok to prevent a Trump presidency at all costs (something we covered here: FBI Texts Reveal "Insurance Policy" To Prevent Trump Presidency), Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton appeared on Fox News last night to say it's time to move beyond discussing whether or not it's appropriate to shut down Special Counsel Mueller's investigation and move on to consider whether it's now time to consider shutting down the entire FBI after "it was turned into a KGB-type operation by the Obama administration?"

"Fusion GPS was a Hillary Clinton campaign vendor and the DOJ was working hand and glove with it...perhaps paying them money...the suspicion is they were paying them money...top DOJ official's wife was working with them. There was no distinction between the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Department of Justice and the FBI."

"Forget about the FBI investigation into Clinton and Trump being compromised by these conflicts. I think the FBI's been compromised. Forget about shutting down Mr. Mueller...do we need to shut down the FBI because it was turned into a KGB-type operation by the Obama administration?"

.@TomFitton: "I think the FBI's been compromised. Forget about shutting down Mr. Mueller. Do we need to shut down the @FBI because it was turned into a KGB-type operat ...

No Sequel to 'Massacre at the Shopping Mall'

Amazon didn't stop retailers' Christmas from coming. Somehow or other, it came just the same.

How to Tell If Disney Is Getting Fox for a Good Price

Rupert Murdoch is selling out to Disney and getting a fairy-tale ending. Disney shareholders shouldn't be too worried about overpaying though.

China Still Fears the Fed

Markets had largely stopped worrying about capital outflows from China. The People's Bank of China's rate increase shows that may be a mistake.

October 2017 Headline Business Sales Significantly Improved

Written by Steven Hansen

Econintersect's analysis of final business sales data (retail plus wholesale plus manufacturing) shows unadjusted sales expanded relative to last month whilst inventories declined.

Gifts That Pay Off: Cryptocurrency novices are asking, 'Should I buy bitcoin?' Read this first...

The booming digital currency makes for an interesting stocking stuffer.

London Markets: FTSE 100 falls after May loses key Brexit vote; BOE holds rate steady

Blue-chip stocks in the U.K. fall by the most in two weeks Thursday, as traders react to a defeat for the government's Brexit bill.

How to get a job working with bitcoin

Hiring in the field has spiked 82% in the past three months, according to one estimate.

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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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