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29Dec2017 Market Close: Wall Street Ends On A Modestly Negative Note In A Thinly Traded Session, Gold Breaks Above $1,300 Oz On Way To Best Year Since 2010, WTI Crude Settles In The Low 60 Handle

Written by Gary

All three major benchmarks recorded fractional closing lows today (SPY -0.1%), as losses in technology and financial stocks weighed. Gold hit its highest in 2-1/2 months today and remained on track for its biggest annual rise since 2010.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street set to end the year on dour note

(Reuters) - Losses in technology and financial stocks weighed on Wall Street on the last trading day of 2017, in what has been a banner year for U.S. shares.

Goldman to take $5 billion earnings hit from U.S. tax law

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc will take a $5 billion earnings hit in the fourth quarter due to a new U.S. tax law, the Wall Street bank said in a regulatory filing on Friday.

Trump targets Amazon in call for postal service to hike prices

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump targeted Amazon on Friday in a call for the country's postal service to raise prices of shipments in order to recoup costs, picking another fight with the online retail giant he has criticized in the past.

Gold breaks above $1,300/oz on way to best year since 2010

LONDON (Reuters) - Gold hit its highest in 2-1/2 months on Friday and remained on track for its biggest annual rise since 2010 as a wilting dollar, political tensions and receding concerns over the impact of U.S. interest rate hikes fed into its rally.

The year in U.S. markets in five graphs

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks are poised to close out 2017 with a stellar performance, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average , S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all poised for gains of roughly 20 percent or more.

AT&T says all U.S. states will use its public safety netwowrk

NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc said on Friday that all 50 U.S. states had decided to participate in the nationwide broadband network it is building for first responders as part of a $6.5 billion government contract.

Amazon ordered not to pull in customers who can't spell 'Birkenstock'

A German court has ordered Amazon not to lure internet shoppers to its online marketplace when they mistakenly search for "Brikenstock", "Birkenstok", "Bierkenstock" and other variations in Google.

Germany's top court rejects VW's bid to suspend emissions audit

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's highest court has rejected a bid by Volkswagen AG to suspend the work of a special auditor appointed to investigate management's actions in the "Dieselgate" emissions scandal.

London Stock Exchange's company floats hit 3-year high at 15 billion pounds

LONDON (Reuters) - The London Stock Exchange raised 15 billion pounds ($20.28 billion) from 106 initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2017, a 63 percent increase compared to last year and the highest level for three years.

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.

For Tesla, Deliver, Don't Promise, in 2018

The new year will present Tesla's greatest operational challenge: how to produce hundreds of thousands of mass-market sedans at a profit.

Why Bonds Had a Great Year for Doing Nothing

For bond markets, 2017 was the year of going nowhere slowly: With the risk of deflation defeated but higher inflation yet to arrive, bonds were stuck in no man's land.

How to claim your tax break for charitable donations under the Republican tax act

Here's how donating to charities will change and what donors can do.

Market Snapshot: Stock market drifts lower as Wall Street looks to close out record year

U.S. stocks trade lower Friday afternoon, suggesting that an otherwise stellar year for equities in 2017 would end on a modestly negative note in a thinly traded session.

Biggest Dow winners and losers in 2017: Boeing soars to record levels, while GE slumps

Biggest gainer on the Dow this year is not a Silicon Valley startup, but an old-economy company with roots going back to 1916.

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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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