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19Dec2017 Market Update: Wall Street Takes A Breather And Slides Fractionally As Investors Await Tax Vote, Single-family Housing Starts, Permits Hit 10-year High

Written by Gary

The US equities main benchmarks opened higher but balked at making new highs (SPY -0.3%) and have been in a moderate down-trend since the opening as tax bill vote draws near.

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 0.74% while U.S.'s S&P 500 is off 0.21% and Mexico's IPC is lower by 0.12%.

Traders Corner - Health of the Market

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

S&P, Dow open higher as tax bill vote draws near

(Reuters) - The benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher on Tuesday amid rising hopes that the U.S. Congress will vote in favor of the proposed tax overhaul.

Single-family housing starts, permits hit 10-year high

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. single-family homebuilding and permits surged to more than 10-year highs in November, in a hopeful sign for a housing market that has been hobbled by supply constraints.

Facebook makes German marketing push as hate speech law bites

BERLIN (Reuters) - Facebook is making a big marketing drive in Germany just as the country starts to implement tough regulations designed to clamp down on online hate speech.

SEC suspends trading in tiny firm after eye-popping rise

(Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators have temporarily suspended trading in the shares of Crypto Company, a small California firm whose stock sky-rocketed more than 2,700 percent this month.

UPS pre-orders 125 Tesla electric semi-trucks, largest order yet

DETROIT (Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc said on Tuesday it is buying 125 Tesla Inc all-electric semi-trucks, the largest order for the big rig so far, as the package delivery company expands its fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles.

Central banks, trade and bubbles threaten the 2018 status quo

LONDON(Reuters) - After a year of relatively healthy global economic growth, economists are predicting pretty much the same for 2018 -- a neither too-hot nor too-cold Goldilocks scenario, but with little sight of the three bears.

Hershey, Campbell bet nearly $6 billion on healthy snacks makers

(Reuters) - Campbell Soup Co and Hershey Co on Monday unveiled deals totaling nearly $6 billion to buy healthy packaged snacks makers, the latest example of big U.S. food companies trying to cater to an increasing American preference for healthy foods.

Greenyard targets U.S. market with talks to acquire Dole Food

(Reuters) - Belgian fresh and frozen foods company Greenyard NV said on Tuesday it was in advanced negotiations to acquire Dole Food Company [DFCI.UL], the world's largest fruit and vegetable producer, confirming a Reuters report.

Boeing-Bombardier spat puts U.S.-Canadian trade deals in spotlight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co and Bombardier Inc traded barbs on Monday over the U.S. planemaker's claim that its Canadian rival benefited from billions of dollars in illegal government subsidies and dumped its newest jetliner in the United States at below cost.

ECB Trapped: Steinhoff Liquidity Collapses As Lenders Pull Credit Lines

When yesterday we discussed the latest troubles facing embattled retailer Steinhoff, whose bonds are owned by none other than the ECB, we said that while the company's bonds mature in 2025, its bankruptcy is at most months away. In retrospect, and in light of the latest news, that may have been optimistic, because it now appears that a bankruptcy may be imminent and is at most just weeks away. According to Bloomberg, Steinhoff - which is facing an accounting scandal that led to the recent departure of its CEO and destroyed most of the company's value - said lenders are starting to cut off support.

The reason why Steinhoff is suddenly facing not only a solvency but liquidity crisis is that the company which owns Conforama in France, Mattress Firm in the U.S. and Poundland in the U.K. isn't yet able to assess the magnitude of financial irregularities disclosed two weeks ago, it said in a presentation to lenders in London on Tuesday (presentation below). The South African company also said it didn't know when it would be able to publish audited results for 2017 and 2016, nor whether additional years will need to be restated.

Furthermore, Steinhoff also revealed that it didn't have "detailed visibility" of the cash flows of individual operating companies. The units rely on the company for working ...

Paul Ryan Adds Disaster Aid, Child Health-Insurance To Spending Bill

House Republicans have decided to attach provisions reauthorizing a popular child health-insurance program and allocating an unprecedented $81 billion in disaster-aid spending to a continuing resolution that would keep the federal government funded until Jan. 19, Politico reported Tuesday, citing anonymous Congressional aids.

House Speaker Paul Ryan disclosed the new strategy in a GOP conference meeting Wednesday morning.

NEWS— Ryan tells House Republicans he will attach the $81 billion supplemental disaster spending bill to the stopgap bill to keep the government open.

— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 19, 2017

Funding for the federal government is set to run out on Friday at midnight, and Republican leaders have been preoccupied with tax reform and unable to focus on averting a shutdown and the myriad other legislative priorities that demand action before Congress enters recess.

By combining all the measures into one bill, Ryan will likely attract the support of Democrats in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, California and other states affected by this year's natural disasters, who probably wouldn't risk being seen opposing badly needed funding for their home states. ...

SEC Suspends Trading In Crypto Company Which Soared To $11 Billion Amid Bitcoin Mania

Following last night's chaotic appearance of LongFin CEO on CNBC's FastMoney, it appears The SEC has finally had enough of the unusually explosive price gains of previously tranquil publicly-traded companies adding the word 'blockchain' to their names (or mission statements). In what we suspect will be the first of many, The SEC has suspended trading of shares in "The Crypto Company" - a name we're familiar with - due to "potentially manipulative transactions in the company's stock."

The Securities and Exchange Commission cites concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information about compensation paid for promotion of the company, and statements in Commission filings about the plans of the company's insiders to sell their shares of The Crypto Company's common stock.

As Bloomberg reports, through Monday, Crypto's market value had surged to more $11.9 billion. The company invests in digital assets, and is developing source code for managing them, according to its regulatory filings.

James Gilbert, the company's president, held a stake valued at nearly $4.2 billion based on Monday's closing price.

The SEC said its concerns include the compensation paid for promotion of Crypto and statements made in regulatory filings about plans for insiders to sell their shares.

Full SEC Statement:

The Securities and Exchange Commission ( ...

The Flawed Bull Case for Bitcoin

Even after taking full account of its technological advantages, the argument for bitcoin to keep rallying still falls apart.

The Climate for Coal Just Got Even Chillier

BHP, the world's largest mining company, has announced that it may withdraw from the World Coal Association, citing disagreements about climate change. Better profits in coal in the past 18 months shouldn't distract investors from the increasingly clear writing on the wall for the black stuff.

Get Your Groceries Online, Find Your Profits Elsewhere

Investors can expect more deals between supermarket groups and the tech industry as online orders grow.

November 2017 Residential Building Declines

Written by Steven Hansen

The headline residential building permits declined and construction completions declined. But we keep our eyes on the rolling averages because of the significant monthly fluctuations.

6 gadgets NOT to buy in 2018

People may want to hold off on buying some consumer electronics next year.

Gifts That Pay Off: This holiday season, give someone their life back with a personal organizer

What NOT to do when giving 'decluttering' as a gift.

Americans are putting trampolines and diamond rings on layaway this Christmas

About 13% of shoppers use layaway to pay off items over time.

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