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30Jan2018 Market Close: Wall Street Posted Sharp Losses Today, DOW Down 363 Points, Crude And The Dollar Index Stable

Written by Gary

All three major benchmarks closed lower today as health care and energy stocks weighed on the market (SPY -1.0%). Amazon.com Inc, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co said they will form a new health care company to cut health costs.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan partner to cut U.S. healthcare costs

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Tuesday they will form a company to cut health costs for hundreds of thousands of their U.S. employees, setting up a major challenge to an inefficient U.S. healthcare system.

U.S. agencies investigate Apple over slowing iPhones: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether Apple Inc violated securities laws concerning its disclosures that it slowed older iPhones with flagging batteries, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

U.S. consumer confidence rebounds; house prices march higher

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S consumer confidence rebounded in January and house prices increased further in November, suggesting that a recent acceleration in consumer spending was likely to be sustained despite sluggish wage growth.

Wall St. stumbles over high bond yields, health stocks

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell for the second straight day on Tuesday as healthcare stocks and rising bond yields weighed on all three major U.S. indexes.

Reuters News to get $325 million annually under Blackstone offer: sources

LONDON (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP has agreed that annual payments of $325 million would be made for 30 years to the Reuters News business as part of an offer by the U.S. private equity firm to buy a majority stake in Thomson Reuters' Financial and Risk unit, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Facebook to ban cryptocurrency-related ads

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it will ban ads promoting financial products and services tied to cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.

#MeToo movement puts pressure on U.S. banks to disclose diversity data

(Reuters) - The #MeToo movement has put new momentum behind efforts to have companies, especially in finance, disclose details about their workforce diversity - data that could throw into sharper relief the slow pace of progress for women and minorities in the field.

Pfizer's new tax rate higher than investors hoped, shares fall

(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc said on Tuesday it expected to pay tax at an adjusted rate of about 17 percent this year, higher than some investors had expected, sending its shares down more than 3 percent.

Exclusive: Coincheck hackers trying to move stolen cryptocurrency - executive

LONDON (Reuters) - Hackers who stole around $530 million worth of cryptocurrency from the Coincheck exchange last week -- one of the biggest such heists ever -- are trying to move the stolen "XEM" coins, the foundation behind the digital currency said on Tuesday.

Markets In Turmoil: Bonds Bloodbath, Stocks Slammed, VIX Vertical

For the first time since Dec 20th, The Dow dared to lose investors' money for two days straight.

This is the biggest two-day drop since September 2016.

The culprits...?

And what they said afterwards...

Bear in mind that stocks are still on the path to their best monthly gain in 2 years (and the 15th monthly gain in a row).

The Dow kicked off Tues regular trading session with a gap down that amounted to 241 pts, or 0.91 pct loss on the open. As a percentage of prior day's close, that's the worst opening gap since Sept 11, 2002, when the blue-chip average started with a 0.96 pct loss (Thomson Reuters data).

That said, today's sharp Dow opening slide skewed by one stock, UnitedHealth; UNH responsible ...

Employee Who Sent False Hawaii Ballistic Missile Alert Has Been Fired

Update: Following the publication of an FCC report on the Hawaii ballistic missile false alarm, the as-yet-unnamed employee has finally been fired.

In the days after the epic mistake, the employee was transferred to another department where he wouldn't be near the emergency alert function.

* * *

In an interesting twist to the story of the erroneous ballistic missile alert that sent Hawaiians into state of frenzied panic earlier this month after it materialized on their smartphone screens, the Associated Press reported that the Federal Communications Commission said the employee who sent the alert believed at the time that a missile attack was underway.

That differs markedly from the previous official story, which said the employee mistakenly sent the alert during a shift-change drill that takes place three times a day at the emergency command post of Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency.

According to the Associated Press, the employee mistook the drill for a real warning about a missile, and responded by sending the alert without a sign-off from the shift supervisor.

The alert was retracted 38 minutes after it was sent, eliciting swift criticism from the state's leaders, who said the long delay was completely unacceptable.

"What happened today was totally unacceptable," said Gov. David Y. Ige shortly after the incident. "Many in our community were deeply affected by this. I am sorry for that pain and confusi ...

What Wall Street Expects, And Fears, From Trump Tonight

While the State of the Union address is rarely a significant market-moving event, in light of recent comments by both President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and with global trade suddenly on everyone's radar, if there is one market-sensitive topic that may get a kick start tonight at 9pm it is both the deficit funding needs of the US, should Trump unveil more details of his debt-requiring infrastructure project and US trade relations with China (and Beijing's potential retaliation-liquidation), especially since as Cumberland's David Kotok observes, "markets today are much more worried about rising bond yields and trade wars."

Earlier, we laid out some of the key items expected to be addressed by Trump tonight. In this article, we share some perspectives, considerations, concerns and general observations how markets may react to Trump's annual address from Wall Street analysts, starting with Citi, which has a relatively sanguine view of how traders will respond to Trump, writing that from a 30,000ft perspective, the State of the Union address is rarely the venue in which policy specifics are discussed. Rather it is an opportunity for Presidents to reflect on developments over the past year and spell out priorities for the coming one.

This is consistent with recent guidance from US officials, with media repo ...

DNC Unraveling: CEO Quits After 8 Months Amid Bailing Megadonors And Cash Panic

The Democratic National Committee has suffered yet another major setback - losing its CEO after just eight months on the job amid a massive cash crunch, the loss of a major donor, the leaking of emails which revealed rampant corruption throughout the DNC, and the still-unsolved murder of IT staffer Seth Rich.

Veteran Democrat operative Jess O'Connell left her post as CEO for personal reasons after taking on the role last May according to one DNC official, however no official reason has been given to DNC staffers.

"Rebuilding the party will take time. While it isn't an easy task, we developed a strategy, we implemented it, and we won races up and down the ballot in 2017," O'Connell said in a statement to NBC.

"While I've made the decision to pass th ...

Investors Appear Fed Up with MetLife Missteps

For a company that says it is getting simpler and more predictable, MetLife has produced too many financial surprises. Investors are running out of patience.

Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan Partner to Pare Health Costs

Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan are forming a company to figure out how to reduce health-care costs for their hundreds of thousands of U.S. employees.

Dell's Problem: Bigger Not Always Better

One way or another, Dell will likely go public again. But after four years as a private company, it risks looking hopelessly out of style.

February 2018 Economic Forecast: Relapse This Month

Written by Steven Hansen

Econintersect's Economic Index (EEI) declined and returned to territory associated with modest economic growth.

Bond Report: Yield curve steepens ahead of Trump's State of the Union speech

Short-dated Treasury yields are flat while longer dated yields resume a climb ahead of an important State of the Union address from President Donald Trump.

Most people aren't willing to spend more than $20 on streaming services

The growing number of options and the fragmentation of streaming TV has raised questions about when is it too costly to subscribe to a significant number of services to build out a satisfying collection of content.

The Moneyist: After my father died, my entitled brother has been bullying me to lend him money

Sometimes, it's hard to break a lifetime of being handed everything for free.

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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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