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22Dec2017 Market Update: Wall Street Slips As Nike, UnitedHealth Drag, WTI Crude Trends Higher, US Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count Remains The Same As Last Week, Unchanged

Written by Gary

The US equities main benchmarks slipped in thin pre-holiday trading (SPY -0.2%) today, pressured by losses in Nike and UnitedHealth.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed. The IPC is higher by 0.07%, while the S&P 500 is leading the Bovespa lower. They are down 0.15% and 0.02% 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.

Wall Street slips as Nike, UnitedHealth drag

(Reuters) - Wall Street's major indexes slipped in thin pre-holiday trading on Friday, pressured by losses in Nike and UnitedHealth.

Bitcoin plunges below $12,000, heads for worst week since 2013

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin plunged by a quarter to below $12,000 on Friday as investors dumped the cryptocurrency in manic trading after its blistering ascent to a peak close to $20,000 prompted warnings by experts of a bubble.

Strong U.S. consumer, business spending bolster growth picture

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending accelerated in November and shipments of key capital goods orders increased for the 10th straight month, data showed on Friday, the latest signs of strong momentum in the economy as the year winds down.

UnitedHealth to buy Chile's Banmedica for $2.8 billion

(Reuters) - UnitedHealth Group Inc said on Friday it signed a definitive agreement to buy Chilean healthcare company Banmedica SA for $2.8 billion, expanding the health insurer's footprint in South America.

Republican tax plan to dent U.S. home sales next year

(Reuters) - U.S. home sales will likely take a hit next year as middle-class Americans receive fewer perks under an overhaul of U.S. taxes and face rising home prices and interest rates, industry experts said.

Daimler says U.S. tax reform to lift 2017 net income

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German carmaker Daimler said on Friday the U.S. tax reform would result in an income tax benefit increasing its 2017 net income by around 1.7 billion euros ($2.01 billion).

Ford CEO apologizes, voices zero tolerance for harassment

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co chief executive Jim Hackett has apologized to employees for accusations detailed in a New York Times report that management at two Chicago plants did not respond adequately to complaints of sexual harassment.

In Silicon Valley, much-feared tax bill pays dividends for workers

(This version of December 21's story refiles to add dropped words 'for couples' in paragraph 8.)

IAG among bidders chosen for Austrian airline Niki: sources

BERLIN (Reuters) - IAG , the owner of British Airways and low-cost carrier Vueling, is one of the four bidders selected for the final stages of talks over the assets of insolvent Austrian airline Niki, three people familiar said.

Trump Commutes 27 Year Sentence Of Kosher Meat Executive After Congress Finally Agrees On Something

Content originally published at

In an action encouraged by over 100 "bipartisan leaders from across the political spectrum," including Nancy Pelosi and Orrin Hatch, President Trump commut ...

Peso Pounded Most Since Election As Corruption Probe Deepens

The Mexican peso has tumbled over 3% in the last 4 days, plunging to its weakest against the USDollar since March as the ongoing corruption investigation soured market sentiment.

As we detailed yesterday, a deepening graft investigation involving Alejandro Gutierrez, a former deputy of sitting President Enrique Pena Nieto could imperil his party's chances in the coming July elections. An ongoing scandal could also bolster the prospects of leftist rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

"The news of this arrest scares investors," said Jesus Lopez, a strategist at Banco Base in Monterrey, Mexico.

"These days, the exchange rate is more sensitive because of low liquidity, and we already know that the peso is more vulnerable from the political side."

And the pso is extending losses...

This is the biggest 4-day drop since Trump's election.

Combined with the coming elections and NAFTA uncertainty, Citi warns that Xmas illiquidity may provide more peso downside into 2018.

Bitcoin Breakdown: Should You 'Invest'

Second Part of a Series. Orignally posted on the aurthors site HedgeAccordingly.Com

By Evan McDaniel, @sellputs

Hey guys. Remember the giddy Internet bubble and what it spawned—the Tech Wreck of 2000? I was somewhat aware of the destruction, despite my distractions as a teenager with raging hormones at the time. A decade later I was trading hard, scared of losing it all in the aftermath of the real estate bubble and the Great Meltdown of 2009.

And now, as the Bitcoin Bubble inflates to ever more epic proportions, I get a creeping feeling of dread. There's this way old sequel to "Alien," and this one character, Hudson, is played with scary, panicky intensity by the late actor Bill Paxton. He keeps warning his shipmates: "Game over, man, game over! We're fucked!"

He was right about that, he got ripped apart moments later.

So, will you get ripped apart if you invest in bitcoin, much less the lesser copycat cryptocurrencies it has inspired: Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash et al? No doubt a lot of speculators will meet a monstrous end by chasing the Bitcoin Bubble, while others get in early enough and get out early enough to pocket profits in fantastical proportions.

It's more about gambling than investing. In fact, I've heard that some professional poker players in the legal card rooms of Los Angeles are investing in bitcoin's fly-by-night rivals, targeting what they believe to be Ponzi-like scams and using them as "escalators" (my term)—you board at the bottom, ...

Novogratz Delays Crypto Hedge Fund Launch, Warns Of Drop To $8,000 But "Bull Market" Isn't Over

Last week, Mike Novogratz surprised more than a few market participants by telling CNBC's Fast Money that he was bringing forward the launch date of his crypto hedge fund; today he killed those plans.

On December 12th, Novogratz said he thinks bitcoin could hit $40,000 in 2-3 months. The Galaxy Fund was supposed to launch of December 15th.

Today, Novogratz has shelved plans to launch his fund, warning that:

"We didn't like market conditions and we wanted to re-evaluate what we're doing...I look pretty smart pressing the pause button right now."

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

Novogratz tweeted...

Looks to me like a short term top is in. My hunch is we consolidate between 10-16k for a while. Extreme would be 8k. Bull market isn't over. Just pausing.

— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) December 22, 2017

Adding that...

How Buying the Dips Made Them Disappear

Lack of volatility helped drive valuations higher but when the dip-buying strategy fails, there could be a wipeout.

Burgundy vs. Bordeaux: Holiday Guide to Wine Investing

Christmas cheer in a bottle may not come cheap this year, with a price index for 150 top-end Burgundies—delicate reds that pair well with festive meals—up 27% over the year through November. Some merchants are starting to wonder if a bubble is forming.

Tax Bill Makes 2018 the Year of the Deal

With tax uncertainty in the rear-view mirror, pressure on companies to combine will keep growing.

December 2017 Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Remains Positive But Declines

Of the three regional manufacturing surveys released for December, all were in expansion.

Sorry for the delay in publishing this post - but the internet sucks on Princess Cruises (as they use most of the bandwidth for their internal use). Specifically I would like to thank Brian OConnor, Vice President, Public Relations for Princess Cruises who refused my request for assistance.

The Ratings Game: Nike's North American revival is a must for retailers like Finish Line, too

Nike is putting a number of efforts in place, including online partnerships, to jump start growth in North America, but analysts say there are still challenges ahead.

Capitol Report: Here are the winners and losers of the new tax law

The final version of the tax law benefits most American taxpayers, at least until key provisions sunset. Those gains, however, still fall mostly to the wealthy.

Europe Markets: Spanish stocks end lower after separatists win Catalonia election

Spanish stocks lead European markets lower on Friday, after parliamentary elections in Catalonia handed a win to the separatist movement, rekindling fears of the re-emergence of tensions in Spain.

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