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28Dec2017 Market Close: Wall Street Tries For Gains Near End Of Trading Year, DOW Gains 63 Points, Oil Rebounds Higher As Inventory Report Shows Decline In Crude Supplies

Written by Gary

US equities markets edged modestly higher in light trading today (SPY +0.2%), buoyed by gains in financial stocks and as technology stocks continued to slowly recover.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Bank stocks buoy Wall Street in another low-volume session

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher in light trading on Thursday, buoyed by gains in financial stocks and as technology stocks continued to slowly recover from a losing skid.

With lineup widening, Apple depends less on iPhone X

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - In years past, demand for Apple Inc's latest flagship phone was critical to the company's results over the holiday shopping quarter.

Citigroup to pay $11.5 million fines, compensation over errant stock ratings

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc will pay at least $11.5 million in fines and restitution to settle charges it displayed the wrong research ratings on more than 1,800 stocks, causing many customers to own shares they never would have bought, a U.S. regulator said on Thursday.

IAG is remaining bidder for insolvent airline Niki: source

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - British Airways owner IAG is negotiating exclusively with Niki's insolvency administrator to take over the collapsed Austrian airline, a source close to the process said on Thursday.

SoftBank tender for Uber stake succeeds at discounted price: WSJ

(Reuters) - A consortium led by SoftBank Group Corp will buy a more than 15 percent stake in Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] after existing investors in the ride services company agreed to sell shares at a price that values the startup at $48 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

GM wins ruling that could narrow ignition switch litigation

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co on Thursday won a court ruling that could reduce the private litigation it faces over flawed vehicle ignition switches, which have been linked to 124 deaths and triggered a big recall.

VW to try to block emissions audit in constitutional court

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG said on Thursday it would petition Germany's constitutional court in an effort to overturn the appointment of a special auditor to investigate the actions of management in the "Dieselgate" emissions scandal.

Apple, Epson face French legal complaints over allegedly shortening life of products

PARIS (Reuters) - Smartphone maker Apple and Japanese printer company Epson are facing legal complaints in France over allegedly speeding up the aging process of their products to stimulate demand.

Oil prices stay near high on strong U.S. refinery runs, China data

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped on Thursday but stayed close to their highest in 2-1/2 years, as data showed strong demand for crude imports in China and on increased refining activity in the United States that drew more crude from inventories.

China Beige Book Warns Economic Slowdown Has Begun

When it comes to the global economy, few things matter as much as China, the trajectory of its economy and especially the pace and impulse of its credit creation, which is ironic because virtually all data coming out of China is fabricated and manipulated, and thoroughly untrustworthy, either on purpose or "by accident."

The latest example of the former was highlighted over the weekend, when we discussed that a nationwide Chinese audit found some local governments inflated revenue levels and raised debt illegally, once again making a mockery of China's credibility on the global stage. As Bloomberg reported ten cities, counties or districts in the Yunnan, Hunan and Jilin provinces, as well as the southwestern city of Chongqing, inflated fiscal revenues by 1.55 billion yuan, the National Audit Office said in a statement on its website dated Dec. 8.

An even more blatant example of the former was highlighted in October ahead of China's Communist Party Congress, when the local securities watchdog literally "advised" some loss-making companies to avoid publishing quarterly results ahead of the Congress as authorities sought to ensure stock-market stability during the critical gathering of China's political elite. As a result, at least 17 Shenzhen-listed companies announced delays to their earnings reports from Oct. 20 to Oct. 24, up from three during the same period last year.

However, now that the Party Congress is long over, China's recent economic data offer a ...

Lacy Hunt On The Unintended Consequences Of Federal Reserve Policies

Authored by Mike Shedlock via www.themaven.net/mishtalk,

The Financial Repression Authority interviewed Lacy Hunt, Chief Economist at Hoisington Management on Fed policies.

The interview below first appeared on the FRA website along with a video.

The emphasis in italics is mine.

FRA: Hi, welcome to FRA's Roundtable Insight. Today, we have Dr. Lacy Hunt. He's an internationally recognized economist and the Executive V.P. and Chief Economist of Hoisington Investment Management Company, a firm that manages over $4.5 billion USD and specializing in the management of fixed income accounts for large institutional clients. He also served in the past as Senior Economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, where he was a member of the Federal Reserve System Committee on Financial Analysis. Welcome. Dr. Hunt.

Dr. Lacy Hunt: Nice to be with you, Richard.

FRA: Great. I thought we'd have a discussion on a variety of topics relating to the economy and the financial markets. You recently mentioned that you thought this was the worst economic expansion recovery in U.S. history since 1790. Wow. Can you elaborate?

Dr. Lacy Hunt: If you calculate the average growth rate in the expansions since 1790, this is a long-running expansion, b ...

Vanity Fair Editors Relentlessly Attacked Over "Don't-Run-Again-Hillary" Satirical Video

It appears the McResistance is on the warpath once again, and this time they're going after Vanity Fair, which to the surprise of many published a satirical video about Hillary Clinton's future prospects in the days just before Christmas with the caption, "Maybe it's time for Hillary Clinton to take up a new hobby in 2018" as part of a broader series on New Year's resolutions.

"Take up a new hobby in the new year," suggested Vanity Fair writer Maya Kosoff. "Volunteer work, knitting, improv comedy - literally anything that will keep you from running again."

Editor John Kelly, meanwhile, suggested that Clinton "finally put away your James Comey voodoo doll." And added further with cheerful snark, "We all know you think James Comey cost you the election and he might have, but so did a handful of other things. It's a year later and time to move on."

Maybe it's time for Hillary Clinton to take up a new hobby in 2018 pic.twitter.com/sbE78rA5At

— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) December 23, 2017

Editors from the magazine's politics and business section, Hive, published the one-minute video entitled "Six New Year's Resolutions for Hillary Clinton" featuring themselves holding Champagne flutes while giving New Year's advice, which includes telling the former secretary of state and failed presidential candidate to give up and retire in 2018.

Though the ...

Hannity Promises To Expose CNN & NBC News In "EpicFail"

"Tick tock."

In a mysterious tweet yesterday evening to his 3.19 million followers, Fox News' Sean Hannity offered a preview of what is to come from his show next week, warning that he "will expose" CNN and NBC News for what he calls a "#EpicFail."

He followed up last night's tweet...

One week from tonight i will expose @CNN and @NBCNews news for #EpicFail. Happy New Year to all irredeemable deplorables. 2018, cling to God Faith Bibles religion.

— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 27, 2017

With another tonight, highlighting the "fake news" being spewed forth from various media entities...

So @CNN fake news, HRC's campaign PAID for the RUSSIAN lies in the dossier. That sounds like COLLUSION!! Lies paid for, to RIG an election. https://t.co/b9G6k41LMT

— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 27, 2017

We will just have to be patient to di ...

The Winners and Losers of the Heard's Stock-Picking Event

Heard on the Street's columnists ran an experiment to see if they could beat the market by picking, or panning, 23 stocks, indexes or currencies. They tracked their performance over several months, and the results were humbling.

Why A Stronger Dollar Could Spoil the Emerging-Market Party

When it comes to emerging markets, the dollar giveth, and the dollar taketh away. In 2017, it has been generous: a softer dollar has buoyed equities and bonds and juiced returns for foreign investors. But nobody should take that for granted.

Apple's Nearly Trillion-Dollar iPhone

The iPhone maker's stock price has soared, but is unlikely to repeat the performance.

Time magazine names 'The Silence Breakers' 2017 person of the year

Time magazine named "The Silence Breakers" as its 2017 person of the year on Wednesday, referring to the many individuals who helped expose the prevalence of sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the world of entertainment, technology, the media and other sectors this year.

Tesla shares slide after KeyBanc slashes Model 3 estimates

Tesla Inc. shares slid about 2% Wednesday, after KeyBanc analysts slashed their fourth-quarter estimates for Model 3 deliveries to about 5,000 from 15,000.

A year after George Michael's death, how singer's expensive legal battle with Sony changed the music industry

Was the late singer-songwriter right to take on record company in doomed court case?

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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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