Saturday, March 04, 2017

Today's Headlines

  • S&P 500 Makes It Six Weeks of Gains as Economic Signals Brighten. U.S. stocks advanced for the sixth consecutive week as economic data sailed past forecasts and shares of financial companies rose with higher bond yields. So strong were signals on growth in the U.S. and beyond that investors were left almost completely unfazed by the surging odds of a Federal Reserve interest rate increase, as the likelihood priced by Fed funds futures more than doubled. Chair Janet Yellen on Friday capped the week of rising expectations by explicitly supporting a hike if economic progress persists. The S&P 500 nevertheless rose for the fifth time in seven days. The benchmark gauge for American equity added 0.7 percent over the five days to end the week at 2,383.12. Helped by President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress, the index briefly crossed 2,400 for the first time ever on Wednesday, before closing that session, the best of the year, at a record 2,395.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.9 percent to end the week 21,005.71 as small-cap shares finished lower for a second week.
  • Trump Tweets Obama Tapped His Phones, Calls Ex-President ‘Sick’. President Donald Trump said, without providing evidence, that Barack Obama had the candidate’s phones tapped during the 2016 election campaign and that a good lawyer could bring a legal case against the former president for a “Nixon/Watergate” plot. “Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory,’’ the president wrote Saturday on his personal Twitter account. “Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!’’ Comparing Obama’s actions to those of former President Richard Nixon during the 1970s Watergate scandal, Trump took his long-running feud with the former president to a new level in four separate tweets to his almost 26 million Twitter followers. “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” Trump said.
  • Peugeot Reaches Deal to Buy European Brands From General Motors. PSA Group and General Motors Co. are set to announce on Monday the purchase of the Opel brand by the French company, creating the region’s second-largest automaker and allowing GM to exit the European market, according to people familiar with the matter. The two carmakers, which sent an invitation for a joint press conference in Paris on Monday, have reached a framework agreement to complete the deal, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because negotiations are private. While final talks on remaining details of the transaction are ongoing, PSA’s board signed off on the transaction on Friday, the people said. Spokesmen for PSA and Opel declined to comment.
  • Yellen Hints at More Aggressive Rate Path Upon Locking in March. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen left little doubt on Friday that the central bank will raise interest rates this month. More importantly, she dropped hints that it might end up having to increase them this year more than planned. In a speech to The Executives’ Club of Chicago, Yellen singled out the danger of the central bank being too slow in boosting rates.
Wall Street Journal: 
  • Had bullish commentary on (ROK), (XRX), (RRC), (TRCO), (GOOGL) and (AMZN).
  • Had bearish commentary on (SNAP) and (BBY).
Zero Hedge:

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