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24Jan2018 Market Close: Dow Up, SP Flat And NASDAQ Down; Dollar Crashes Driving Oil And Gold Higher; China Trade Worries Weigh

Written by Gary

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 41.38 points, while the S&P 500 was flat on Wednesday and the Nasdaq lost ground in choppy trading in the wake of comments by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross which hinted at action against China in a trade war. The dollar lost almost 1% to 89.00 while oil surged above $65 for WTI and $70 for Brent. The falling dollar pushed gold to $1,359.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

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The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

S&P 500 dips after choppy session; chipmakers drag Nasdaq

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was little changed on Wednesday while the Nasdaq lagged in choppy trading in the wake of comments by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross which hinted at action against China in a trade war.

U.S. official backs weak dollar amid fears of trade war

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin welcomed a weaker dollar on Wednesday, sending the greenback reeling and underlining concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump is stepping up his attack on China and other big trading partners as part of his America First agenda.

Aramco seeks to expand in U.S., says Trump is pro-oil

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Saudi oil giant Aramco is looking to expand in the United States where President Donald Trump's tax cuts and support for the oil industry are making business increasingly attractive, its chief executive told Reuters.

U.S. home sales fall as record-low inventory boosts prices

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home sales fell more than expected in December as the supply of houses on the market dropped to a record low, pushing up prices and sidelining some potential first-time buyers.

SEC investigating GE charge; company posts $10 billion loss

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators are probing a massive insurance charge recently announced by General Electric Co , the latest blow to the nation's largest industrial conglomerate as it struggles to reverse steep declines in some of its units and is looking to sell off $20 billion of assets.

Scaramucci hits pause button on Las Vegas hedge fund party

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Anthony Scaramucci's annual schmooze fest for Wall Street on the Las Vegas strip is on hold.

Apple to add battery features after slowdown row

(Reuters) - Apple Inc announced changes on Wednesday that make good on its promise to allow users to turn off a controversial feature that slows down iPhones when batteries are running low, although it signaled it might take months more to deliver.

LG Electronics to hike washer prices in U.S. after tariffs

(Reuters) - The U.S. unit of LG Electronics Inc will raise prices of most of its washers in the United States after the government announced tariffs on imports of large, residential washers, according to a letter sent by LG to its partners.

Meg Whitman to lead Katzenberg's mobile media startup NewTV

(Reuters) - Departing Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co CEO Meg Whitman will become chief executive of DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg's mobile media firm NewTV, a move that places her back into unchartered territory.

The Mnuchin Massacre: Precious Metals Surge Amid Dollar's Worst Start In 30 Years

The Dollar was smashed with the ugly-stick today as Mnuchin's comments sparked chaos in FX markets... and as precious metals surged and bond yields jumped... and stocks actually sank (briefly)... we were reminded by the mainstream media that a falling dollar is great for 'Murica so buy the dip in stocks with all your money on the sidelines...

The Mnuchin Massacre (or Ross Rout)...

The Dollar crashed over 1% today - its worst day since The Fed hiked rates in March 2017...

This is the worst start to a year since 1987...

Judicial Watch Sues DOJ For Text Messages Of FBI's Strzok And Page

While we wait for Congress to #releasethememo, Judicial Watch has just done what it has been so good at doing in the past: suing the DOJ to get documents under a Freedom of Information lawsuit, in this case the infamous text messages and all other records between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

In a just issued press release, Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for text messages and other records of FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)).

Judicial Watch filed suit after the Justice Department failed to respond to a December 4, 2017, FOIA request for:

All records of communications, including but not limited to, emails, text messages and instant chats, between FBI official Peter Strozk and FBI attorney Lisa Page;

All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Peter Strozk;

All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Lisa Page.

The time frame for the requested records is February 1, 2015 to the present.

The text messages are of public interest because Strzok and Page were key investigators in the Clinton email and Trump Russia collusion investigations. Strzok was reportedly removed from the Mueller investigative team in August and reassigned to a human resources position after it was discovered that he and a FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, who worked for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and with whom Strzok was carrying on an extramarital affair, exchanged pro-Clinton and anti-Trump text messages.

Strzok reportedly oversaw the FBI's interviews of former National Secur ...

Andrew Napolitano: Wrong To Keep Mass Surveillance Memo Secret

Authored by Adam Dick via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

What is the deal with a memorandum by Republican employees at the Intelligence Committee of the United States House of Representatives that allegedly demonstrates very disturbing use of surveillance power through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court not being publicized or shared widely among Congress members until shortly after legislation (S 139) to extend legal authority for such surveillance for six years cleared the Congress?

If the memorandum provides as disturbing of revelations as some Congress members are claiming, every House and Senate member, and the American people too, being able to review it before congressional votes on the bill could have had significant consequences.

Maybe the memorandum's wide distribution would have resulted in the bill failing to pass, passing with alterations to address problems evidenced in the memorandum, or passing with a significantly shorter reauthorization period. That a small group of Congress members "sat on" the memorandum, keeping its information from th ...

Momentum Traders Wreak Havoc For 2Y Treasurys, Could Unleash Sharp Bond Liquidation

It's not just the Fed who is eager to push short-end rates higher while hopefully steepening the curve (so far it hasn't worked quite as planned judging by the biggest curve flattening in a decade): as a result of the sharp move higher in 2Y yields, momentum traders and CTA in general have joined the fray, and not just in equities, but on the Treasury curve.

As Bank of America's momentum team points out today, thanks to the historic performance in equities year-to-date, momentum strategies have been enjoying one of the best periods in recent years. And while not receiving as many headlines, there have been record trends in the rates market. And, as BofA shows in its Chart of the Day, the duration the 2y yield traded above its one-month moving average is the longest since February 1991.

The problem, now that momentum has crept into what has traditionally been a relatively boring, and directionless asset class, is that it is becoming difficult to determine just who is trading: quants or real money.

According to BofA, with the momentum in the rates market building across the curve, the balance of risks from a flow perspective has shifted to participants that follow momentum as opposed to those that focus on value. The bank's analysis suggests investors ranging from CTA strategies, convexity hedgers, to foreign private investors could all exacerbate the recent moves.

In ...

GE Looks Ugly in Its Underwear

General Electric's new transparency is welcome, but a focus on cash shows that the company is probably no bargain even after its swoon.

Investors Pile Into World's Only Listed Ride-Hailing Company

Stock investors can't invest in Uber, but they can invest in Nasdaq-listed Yandex, owner of Russia's top ride-hailing platform. The terrain up for grabs is vast, the potholes legion.

Little Reason to Watch Comcast and Verizon

For Verizon and Comcast, both of which reported fourth-quarter earnings this week, video-customer losses are getting worse as subscribers opt for streaming services like Netflix.

December 2017 Headline Existing Home Growth Declines But Up For Whole of 2017

Written by Steven Hansen

The headline existing home sales growth declined with the authors saying "new listings struggled to keep up with what was sold very quickly, and buying became less affordable in a large swath of the country". Our analysis of the unadjusted data is a bleaker picture than the headline data.

24Jan2018 Market Update: Wall Street Slips Lower After Making New Historic Highs, US Crude Prices Rally Above $65, Existing-home Sales Fizzle, Gold And Silver Prices Jump

Written by Gary

US equities markets have mostly fallen in midday trading (SPY -0.03%) as losses for Texas Instruments and other chipmakers, as well as Apple, pull technology companies lower.

Nicolas Cage on why he hates social media —'I wanna meet people!'

Oscar-winning actor: 'Can you imagine me after two bottles of wine with a Twitter account?'

Sen. Tammy Duckworth and New Zealand's prime minister will give birth while in office — but the 'motherhood penalty' persists

How corporate America has gotten worse (instead of better) for working mothers.

Market Extra: 2-year Treasury yield extends climb after Mnuchin touts benefits of weak dollar

Treasury yields rose after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a weaker greenback could be a boon to trade

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