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19Jan2018 Market Close: Wall Street Closes Higher, DOW Falls Behind The SP 500 And Nasdaq In Setting New Highs, A Possible Government Shutdown Tonight

Written by Gary

SP 500 and the Nasdaq hit new historical highs (SPY +0.5%) led by gains in consumer stocks. DOW muted at plus 54 points as government shutdown looms.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

S&P, Nasdaq hit records, Dow muted as government shutdown looms

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose on Friday, led by gains in consumer stocks and hitting intraday highs, even as a possible government shutdown loomed.

Exclusive: Trump's coal job push stumbles in most states - data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's effort to put coal miners back to work stumbled in most coal producing states last year, even as overall employment in the downtrodden sector grew modestly, according to preliminary government data obtained by Reuters.

FTC set to make second request on Broadcom's bid for Qualcomm: sources

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is set to make a second request for information on chipmaker Broadcom Ltd's $103 billion hostile bid for Qualcomm Inc , people familiar with the matter said on Friday, indicating heightened antitrust scrutiny.

Possible U.S. shutdown won't affect U.S.'s AAA-rating: Fitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fitch Ratings said on Friday its top AAA debt rating for the United States would not be directly impacted by a possible federal shutdown, which will begin on Saturday if lawmakers fail to clinch a deal to fund the government.

Fed's Quarles details steps to ease rules from Volcker to stress tests

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top bank regulator at the U.S. Federal Reserve is planning several imminent changes that Wall Street has wanted involving capital rules, proprietary trading and a process known as "living wills" that aims to prevent taxpayer bailouts.

General Electric shares drop for fifth straight session

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Electric shares tumbled for a fifth straight session on Friday, flirting with their biggest weekly percentage drop since the financial crisis, after the company flagged a possible breakup and more than $11 billion in charges earlier in the week.

NAFTA talks seen ending happily, despite growls from Trump

BENGALURU/SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The North American Free Trade Agreement will probably be renegotiated successfully with only marginal changes, said a large majority of economists in a Reuters poll, despite the Trump administration's saber-rattling.

Delaware sues opioid manufacturers, distributors over epidemic

(Reuters) - Delaware on Friday became the latest state to file a lawsuit accusing corporations of helping fuel the national opioid epidemic, suing a wide range of companies involved in making, distributing and selling prescription painkillers.

Nike at two-year high as analysts tout margin benefits of direct sales

(Reuters) - Nike Inc's shares surged to a two-year high on Friday after two Wall Street brokerages said the footwear maker's profitability would soon reap the benefits of its recent move to sell directly to consumers.

Where Will Bitcoin Close The Year? Online Bookies Have The Answer

As if the spot price of bitcoin wasn't volatile enough, in recent weeks so-called cryptocurrency analysts have come out with some truly bizarre, if not ridiculous, predictions where they see the digital currency headed next, and none has been more outspoken, or eager for the spotlight, than former JPM equity strategist, Tom Lee, who now expects the price of one Bitcoin to surge to $125,000 by 2022. If that number seems a little aggressive to everyone else, it would have been a shock to Lee as well just two months ago: after all, his latest forecast is 400% higher than his forecast from October, when he said the top digital token may reach $25,000 over the same period. (it was trading at $11,250 in Thursday).

"While returns should be strong, we forecast returns to be lower than 2017," wrote Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, in a report. "We expect Bitcoin's major low to be $9,000 and would be aggressive buyers around that level."

Maybe he's on to something: bitcoin did drop to $9,000 during its latest swoon swoon just two days ago, and has since rebounded as much as 25%. Among Lee's other forecasts: Ethereum will hit $1,900 by the end of 2018, Ethereum Classic will rise to $60, and NEO will rally to $225.

Yet while one can debate the fate of cryptos - which have no intrinsic value yet, and are merely worth what someone else will pay for them - with Lee and others until blue in the face, the reason why all of the above numbers are meaningless is that they are merely an extrapolation of recent upward momentum: and with no downside to a wrong prediction - as this Bloomberg report confirms - bombastic forecasts quic ...

The 'MARVEL' Market - Bonds, Bullion, & The Dollar

In the years ahead, the world will MARVEL as the dollar drinks the rest of the world's Milkshake.

So says Santiago Capital's Brent Johnson in his latest presentation...

Gold staged a furious rally at the end of 2017. So what happens now that we are back to levels that have provided stiff resistance in the past? Since gold just sits there, we need to look elsewhere to help find the answer.

As global equity markets continue to attract all the attention, behinds the scenes its really a story about the dollar and interest rates. Many argue the dollar weakness of the last 12 months is due to continue, that the FED will need to abandon its narrative of higher rates (or risk recession), and that US equities follow down with it.

But I don't think so. Using Marvel Comics / Superheroes as a backdrop, I show why the dollar is still very much alive. And over the next few years, the heights to which is rises will surprise many. And be a source of strength for the US economy, rather than a weakness.

I take a look at the three biggest arguments against a strong dollar an ...

Dr.Copper Slides For 3rd Straight Week, Options Signal More To Come

Dr.Copper is down for the three straight weeks after trading up to four-year highs, providing cover for the bullish global reflation bet.

As we noted previously, there's just one little problem with all this copper-futures-price-based exuberance and extrapolation.

The one thing that's missing is buyers of the actual metal.

As Bloomberg reports, evidence of the anomaly can be seen in the premiums that purchasers of physical copper pay over futures prices to cover shipping and other costs.


America's "Matrix Of Extreme Fragility" Is Breaking

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,

In case you're worked up about the looming federal government shut-down, this is exactly how we're supposed to roll in the long emergency: everything organized at the gigantic scale is going to wobble and fail. It's nature's way of saying, "get smaller, get realer, scale down, and get local." The catch is, we probably won't listen to nature. Instead, we'll just behave like bystanders and do nothing until the full force of failure is upon us, just as we're doing with climate change — the tragedy of the commons at planetary scale.

The failure of national party politics is deep and systemic, as you would expect from activities nurtured in a shit-hole called Washington, corruption being the manifestation of sepsis. The lethal vector of this illness is money. There's the money flowing into the "campaign funds" (so-called) of congressmen and senators, of course, but there's also the "money" that is flowing in and out of the leviathan government — a whole lot of it is not really there. It's a figment of promises to pay back loans on top of a monumental heap of past promises that will never be kept. The threatened government shutdown is just a symptom of the illness ...

Is Lithium the Next Canary in the Markets Mine?

Suppliers of key battery component lithium are selling off after reports that heavyweight Chilean miner SQM will boost output.

How Hospitals' Woes Are Making Health Lines Blur

Hospitals starting their own generic-drug company is the latest sign that traditional industry barriers are breaking down.

IBM's Growth Comes at a Cost

For IBM, a bit of growth, as it turns out, isn't quite enough to assuage concerns about how the company gets there.

Personal Finance Daily: Government shutdown could delay tax refunds and is Amazon Prime still worth it after the monthly price hike?

Friday's top personal finance stories

Market Extra: GE's stock plunge puts 110-year run in the Dow industrials at risk

General Electric shares extend slide to more than 6-year low, and to a price that is less than 1/20th the highest priced Dow industrials stock, which increases the risk that GE's 110-year streak as a Dow member may be near an end.

Commodities Corner: Gold rally brightens the outlook for mining stocks

Gold mining stocks lagged behind the performance in prices for the precious metal last year, but they could surpass gold's rise in 2018.

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