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14Feb2018 Market Close: Wall Street Surged Today Uncowed By Inflation, Extends Rally As Tech, Bank Shares Jump, WTI Climbs From 58 To The 60 Handle

Written by Gary

The US equities main benchmarks have closed higher extending the markets lovenest (SPY +1.4%). Investors shrugged off stronger-than-expected inflation data and snapped up shares of Facebook, Amazon.com and Apple.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. climbs, uncowed by inflation

(Reuters) - Wall Street surged on Wednesday as investors shrugged off stronger-than-expected inflation data and snapped up shares of Facebook, Amazon.com and Apple.

Rise in U.S. inflation puts spotlight on Fed's Powell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in January as Americans paid more for gasoline, rental accommodation and healthcare, raising pressure on new Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell to prevent a possible overheating of the economy.

Campaigners to challenge 'fit and proper' ruling on Fox bid for Sky in court

LONDON (Reuters) - The decision by regulators that Twenty-First Century Fox would be a "fit and proper" owner of Sky will be challenged in court, campaign group Avaaz said on Wednesday.

Exclusive: Russia's En+ invites banks to pitch for $1 billion share sale - sources

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's En+ Group has invited international banks to pitch for the sale of $1 billion(721.60 million pounds) of shares in the company that manages the aluminum and hydropower businesses of Russian businessmen Oleg Deripaska, three sources said.

More banks joining $14 billion debt for Blackstone's TR unit buy

LONDON (Reuters) - More banks are poised to join a $14 billion financing backing U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group's acquisition of a majority stake in the Financial and Risk business of Thomson Reuters Corp , banking sources said on Wednesday.

Sky investor Polygon says Fox offer undervalues broadcaster

LONDON (Reuters) - Hedge fund Polygon Global Partners, which is an investor in Sky , said the outcome of the English Premier League soccer rights auction supported its view that the takeover by Twenty-First Century Fox undervalues the British company.

Berkshire's Munger urges regulators to ease up on Wells Fargo

(Reuters) - Charlie Munger, the longtime business partner of fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, said on Wednesday it is time for regulators to "let up" on Wells Fargo & Co , which was barred this month from asset growth until it addresses a series of problems.

GE's chief communications officer Deirdre Latour to leave company

(Reuters) - General Electric Co said on Wednesday that its chief communications officer and senior adviser, Deirdre Latour, would be leaving the company in mid-March to pursue other opportunities.

Airbus names Safran executive as head of helicopter unit

BERLIN (Reuters) - Airbus Group said on Wednesday it has appointed Bruno Even as head of its helicopter division, effective from April 1.

Zuma Resigns As President of South Africa

In a nearly hour-long televised address, Jacob Zuma - the beleaguered president of South Africa who was facing a coup by his own party, the African National Congress - announced he is resigning, putting an end to the debate whether he will comply with yesterday's recall vote which effectively removed him from power.



ZUMA RESIGNS AS SOUTH AFRICA PRESIDENT WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT

ZUMA SAYS HE DISAGREES WITH DECISION OF ANC LEADERSHIP

ZUMA THANKS MEMBERS OF CABINET, MINISTERS, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

USDZAR ticked higher as President Zuma first addressed the nation, after early comments suggested that he would go forward with Thursday's confidence vote indicating that he would fight the decision to remove him. However, his resignation announcement should put an end to any speculation over his fate, and also clear the path for the pro-business Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Zuma.

It also sent the USDZAR tumbling, and the rand hit the strongest level against the dollar since March 2015, although it has since pared some of its gains as there are no more immediate upside catalysts.

Hotflation Sparks Gold Surge, Dollar Purge, Stock Splurge

Before we start, let's summarize what we learned today (courtesy of @Lee_Saks)

Yields: many many rate hikes

Dollar: no rate hikes

Stocks: mmm maybe some rate hikes

Gold: we blew up the fed. no rate hikes.

Anyone else feel like the financial system is doing this again...

Futures show today's fun-and-games best...

NYT Axes Latest Editorial Board Addition Over Tweet Defending Nazis

In a rare and unexpected move, the New York Times has axed the latest addition to its widely maligned editorial board less than a day after announcing her hiring after leftist pundits exploded in outrage over questionable tweets from her past.

The tweets in question - which were published more than four years ago - suggested that the writer, Quinn Norton, was "friends with" some neo-nazis - but didn't share their views.

As the New York Post reported, the NYT fired Norton, a tech writer, after the controversy - which also included her use of racial and homophobic slurs - erupted late Tuesday.

"Despite our review of Quinn Norton's work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us," read a statement from editorial page editor, James Bennet.

"Based on it, we've decided to go our separate ways."

Yes, you read that correctly: A newsroom full of the world's finest (purportedly) journalist completely forgot to double-check the ol' TL.

Quinn

Quinn has since deleted her controversial tweets, but the NYP provided a brief description of their contents:< ...

Axel Merk On Volatility, Correlation: This Time Is Different. Really?!

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Axel Merk at Merk Investments discusses volatility and the next thing likely to blow sky high: Correlation strategies.

This Time is Different. Really?!

By Axel Merk

"Don't panic, buy the dip, who cares?" or "These are rumblings of an earthquake, people will be hurt like in 1929" - which one is it? I would call it a wake-up call. Let me explain:

In recent years, markets had appeared eerily "safe". Central banks promised to do "whatever it takes", provided "forward guidance" to keep rates low, even printed money to buy government debt, calling it "quantitative easing." Sure enough, volatility has been low, valuations have risen. Now, just as the fellow from the cartoon above, many might have thought something isn't quite right. As a result, many investors have been looking to buy some insurance, protection, just in case this goldilocks env ...

Why Private Equity Risks Tripping on Its Own Success

The past decade has seen a flood of capital into hard-to-see, less liquid assets, transforming the scale and scope of the private-equity firms managing this money.

Does Private Equity Really Beat the Stock Market?

Private-equity returns are really hard to measure and come with big caveats. It helps to understand just exactly what sort of performance private-equity managers are selling.

The Next Big Number Keeping Markets on Edge

Throughout last year, investors worried about a phantom menace that could upset markets: higher U.S. inflation. They were wrong, to their own pleasant surprise. Now they could be right, which creates its own complications.

Amazon passes Microsoft to become the 3rd-largest U.S. company

Amazon has knocked Microsoft off the podium, to take over as the third-largest U.S. company by market capitalization for the first time.

The Ratings Game: Fossil shares skyrocket, is short covering to blame?

Fossil's earnings were a surprise beat, but there are lingering fundamental issues, Wells Fargo analysts say.

Trump Today: President says he's 'totally opposed to domestic violence' as House opens probe into ex-aide Porter

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he's "totally opposed" to domestic violence, as a House committee chairman said he was opening a probe into ex-White House aide Rob Porter.

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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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