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SEC’s acting chair scales back enforcement unit’s subpoena powers

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 SEC’s acting chair scales back enforcement unit’s subpoena powers

By Sarah N. Lynch| WASHINGTON

Acting U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Michael Piwowar has taken steps to limit the agency’s enforcement division’s powers to initiate investigations and issue subpoenas, according to people familiar with the matter.

Under the new policy, the enforcement division’s associate directors will no longer have authority to issue subpoenas or formally launch probes.

Instead, all such requests will be routed through the SEC’s Acting Enforcement Division Director Stephanie Avakian, according to the sources, who spoke anonymously because the change has not been publicly announced.

The new policy of routing subpoena requests through the enforcement director as opposed to associate directors is not expected to have a major impact on the division, and it is still less cumbersome than routing it through the commission itself, the sources said. Anything put for consideration before the full commission must also be reviewed by all of the SEC’s divisions, a time consuming process.

The change marks a departure from the policy unveiled by former SEC Chair Mary Schapiro in 2009 as a response to the agency’s failures to detect Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme.

Schapiro’s policy, which was met with applause from SEC staff and defense attorneys at the time, delegated subpoena authority to a broader number of enforcement division managers to make the division more nimble and streamline the opening of cases.

Prior to that, the full five-member commission had to sign off first.

The SEC has the power to delegate various duties to senior staffers in its different divisions, whether it involves issuing subpoenas, approving corporate requests for regulatory waivers or granting regulatory relief.

The internal changes that Piwowar made in how these powers are delegated is not limited to the enforcement division, and apply to all other SEC divisions including Corporation Finance.

Piwowar, who joined the SEC as a commissioner in 2013, has been critical of that approach amid concerns it could lead to a lack of uniformity and undercut commissioners’ oversight.

“I question whether the processes currently in place are sufficient for the Commission to exercise the appropriate level of oversight of the formal order process,” Piwowar said in a 2013 speech.

SEC Commissioner Kara Stein, a Democrat, at times has also previously steered some decisions away from career staffers so they could be vetted by the full commission. She has focused questions about whether the SEC should be approving regulatory waivers to companies that break the law.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; editing by Linda Stern and Chizu Nomiyama)
Published at Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:16:38 +0000

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Schedule for Week of Feb 19, 2017

by hzv_westfalen_de from Pixabay

Schedule for Week of Feb 19, 2017

by Bill McBride on 2/18/2017 08:11:00 AM

The key economic report this week are January New and Existing Home sales.

—– Monday, Feb 20th —–

All US markets are closed in observance of the Presidents’ Day holiday.
—– Tuesday, Feb 21st—–

No major economic releases scheduled.
—– Wednesday, Feb 22nd —–

7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.Existing Home Sales10:00 AM: Existing Home Sales for January from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for 5.55 million SAAR, up from 5.49 million in December.

Housing economist Tom Lawler expects the NAR to report sales of 5.60 million SAAR in January.

During the day: The AIA’s Architecture Billings Index for January (a leading indicator for commercial real estate).

2:00 PM: FOMC Minutes for the Meeting of January 31-February 1, 2017

—– Thursday, Feb 23rd —–

8:30 AM ET: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for 240 thousand initial claims, up from 239 thousand the previous week.8:30 AM: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for January. This is a composite index of other data.

9:00 AM: FHFA House Price Index for December 2016. This was originally a GSE only repeat sales, however there is also an expanded index.

11:00 AM: the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for February.

—– Friday, Feb 24th —–

New Home Sales10:00 AM ET: New Home Sales for January from the Census Bureau.This graph shows New Home Sales since 1963. The dashed line is the December sales rate.

The consensus is for a increase in sales to 573 thousand Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in January from 536 thousand in December.

10:00 AM: University of Michigan’s Consumer sentiment index (final for February). The consensus is for a reading of 96.0, up from the preliminary reading 95.7.

Published at Sat, 18 Feb 2017 13:11:00 +0000

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With stocks at highs, investors eye consumer results

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 With stocks at highs, investors eye consumer results

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed| NEW YORK

U.S. stock investors may look to a host of results from consumer-facing companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) next week for signs on whether the recent market rally has more room to run.

The consumer names are among the last major companies of the S&P 500 earnings season to report, but the results will also be watched for a read on spending as well as for commentary from executives on President Donald Trump’s proposal to tax imports.

Retail executives, some of whom met with Trump this week, have argued such a tax will raise consumer prices and hurt their businesses.

Besides Wal-Mart, Macy’s (M.N) and Home Depot Inc (HD.N) are among the heavyweights due to report next week.

Investors also will keep a close eye on housing-related data to gauge if a recent rise in consumer spending and inflation data is translating into higher home prices and a pick-up in home sales, market strategists said.

Wall Street ended the week on a high note, with all three major indexes registering record highs and the Dow reaching a seventh straight record close. [.N/C]

Investors were watching consumer names this week as Trump met with chief executives of Target Corp (TGT.N), Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) and six other major retailers.

Next week, investors may be looking for more clues about the impact of Trump’s proposals on retailers, with particular focus on Wal-Mart, JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago said.

“Maybe not so much what their earnings say as much as what their conference call will say about some of the president’s proposals around border taxes and immigration,” he said.

Results from some of the largest consumer-facing companies will also provide a read on whether improving consumer sentiment is reflected in actual results, said Steve Chiavarone, portfolio manager at Federated Investors.

“Does sentiment continue to work higher and eventually pull up actual results or can sentiment only take you so far until you have some follow-through in the real data? Those are the things that will be on our minds,” he said.

Results from small-cap retail companies will also be pored over as these companies have struggled from a profitability standpoint, said Steven DeSanctis, equity strategist at Jefferies.

“Though retail sales numbers have been good, profitability for a lot of the retailers has not been good,” he said.

“That’s going to be a big telltale sign for us. We’re overweight discretionary, thinking that was the cheapest group out there, and it still is the cheapest but… if the E drops out the PE, you run into a problem there,” he said, referring to price-to-earnings for the group.

 

(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by James Dalgleish)
Published at Fri, 17 Feb 2017 22:44:46 +0000

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Wall Street slips as bank, health stocks weigh

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Wall Street slips as bank, health stocks weigh

The Dow and S&P 500 dipped on Friday, led by bank and healthcare stocks, as investors booked profits after a record-setting few days, while gains in Kraft Heinz help limit losses on the Nasdaq.

Since President Donald Trump vowed last week to announce a tax reform in the coming weeks, Wall Street has inched up to record intraday and closing highs in successive days in a rally where financials, mainly banks, outperformed other sectors.

But, with a strong fourth-quarter earnings season mostly complete, many investors say they need concrete signs of progress from Trump on his policy plans to justify more gains.

“While the markets have continued to melt up a little in the past two weeks, I’m not seeing depth, volume or conviction of the market that is looking to break out higher,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US LLP.

“If anything I think we are setting up for a period of profit taking, while forward-looking investors await more signs from the White House.”

With a long weekend ahead due to the Presidents Day holiday on Monday, investors are unlikely to make too many new bets and trading volumes are likely to be thin.

At 11:04 a.m. ET (1604 GMT), the Dow .DJI was down 56.36 points, or 0.27 percent, at 20,563.41, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 4.75 points, or 0.20 percent, at 2,342.47.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 0.68 points, or 0.01 percent, at 5,814.22.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors fell, with gains only in the defensive consumer staples .SPLRCS and real estate .SPLRCR sectors.

The S&P 500 financial index .SPSY, which has also gained on prospects of higher interest rates, was down 0.7 percent and the KBW Bank index .BKX fell nearly 0.8 percent.

The biggest drags were Bank of America (BAC.N) and Citigroup (C.N), which fell about 1 percent.

UnitedHealth (UNH.N) sank 3.7 percent to $157.55 after it was sued by the Justice Department over Medicare charges.

Other health insurers also fell, including Aetna (AET.N) by nearly 3 percent.

Kraft (KHC.O) jumped 8.2 percent to $94.45 after it said it would continue to pursue a $143 billion bid for Unilever (ULVR.L), despite being rebuffed. Unilever’s U.S.-listed shares (UL.N) surged 9.5 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,886 to 904. On the Nasdaq, 1,624 issues fell and 1,041 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 23 new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 71 new highs and 15 new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)
Published at Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:39:30 +0000

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The Bull Market No One Believes In

The Bull Market No One Believes In

By: Clif Droke | Tue, Feb 14, 2017


The stock market continues to make new highs, yet none of the signs which
accompany a market bubble are evident. Investors are asking, “When will the
Dow finally correct?” By “correct” they mean “decline.” However, a market correction
doesn’t always entail a decline for the major averages and can sometimes take
the form of a lateral consolidation or trading range. That appears to be the
case for the 2-month period from December through early February when the Dow
and S&P made little headway.

In fact, in January the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) recorded its tightest
trading range of only 1.1% in over 100 years. This continues a prolonged sideways
pattern in the Dow and other averages since mid-December when the post-election
rally reached a plateau. The question everyone was asking was whether this
plateau was merely a temporary “pause that refreshes” in an ongoing rally or
the end of the rally and the prelude to another market setback. The Dow provided
the answer to that with the last week’s breakout above the top of the trading
range ceiling. It has rallied each day since, putatively on the hopes generated
by President Trump’s forthcoming tax-related announcement.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Daily Chart

While the bull market in equities continues, a surprising number of investors
are either mistrustful of the rally or outright bearish. According to a recent
article in BBC News, there are a growing number of wealthy and politically
liberal U.S. citizens who are doing things in the wake of Donald Trump’s election
that were commonly seen by politically conservative citizens during the Obama
years. That is, they are buying guns, becoming survivalists, and preparing
for an impending catastrophe related to the Trump presidency, the article reported.

It was also reported that a number of wealthy Americans are preparing for
what they believe is the apocalypse. According to Business Insider,
some have purchased underground bunkers while other wealthy individuals are
planning to emigrate to New Zealand. “Saying you’re ‘buying a house in New
Zealand’ is kind of a wink, wink, say no more,” said Steve Huffman, CEO of
the Reddit web site. “Once you’ve done the Masonic handshake, they’ll be, like,
‘Oh, you know, I have a broker who sells old ICBM silos, and they’re nuclear
hardened, and they kind of look like they would be interesting to live in.”

The common denominator in these accounts is fear among the upper class. The
dread of an uncertain future which was pervasive among America’s middle class
for much of the last eight years has now been transferred to the upper class.
While it might be premature to ascribe this to the recent rush back into gold,
bond funds and other safe-haven investments, it would seem that there is just
enough uncertainty among the upper crust to account for the lack of movement
in the major stock market indices since December.

Tight, narrow trading ranges in the major indices are launching pads for major
moves in either direction. In the context of a bull market, they typically
represent rest and consolidation before the next move higher. The odds technically
favored this outcome, yet a substantial number of investors still don’t believe
in the strength of the bull market. This is reflected in the manifestations
of fear among the upper class mentioned above, as well as in the path the market
rally is taking.

There is talk among some observers that the market is undergoing a “melt-up”.
This is an erroneous application of that term. A classic melt-up is characterized
by a runaway, almost straight-up and sustained market rally on high volume
with widespread participation. The trajectory of the major indices since November
can hardly be described as “melting up.” Rather, the market’s path has been
measured and well-ordered, as the daily chart of the NYSE Composite Index (NYA)
attests.

NYA Daily Chart

The real melt-up phase of this bull market hasn’t even started yet. We’ll
know it has arrived when we see runaway stock prices coupled with increased
participation among the legion of retail investors still on the sidelines.
Even institutional investors are surprisingly tempered in their usual optimism,
as expressed in their collective 2017 forecasts. Melt-ups have a way of surprisingly
even the bulls in how high they carry the market averages before peaking.
For now, though, a combination of fear and cautious optimism holds sway among
investors and this alone is enough to argue that the bull market still has
legs.


Mastering Moving Averages

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tools and should be a part of every investor’s arsenal. Far more than a simple
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place of an overbought/oversold oscillator when used in relationship to the
price of the stock or ETF you’re trading in.

In my latest book, Mastering Moving Averages, I remove
the mystique behind stock and ETF trading and reveal a completely simple and
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Order today and receive an autographed copy along with a copy
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Clif Droke

Clif Droke
ClifDroke.com

Clif Droke is a recognized authority on moving averages and internal
momentum. He is the editor of the Momentum Strategies Report newsletter,
published since 1997. He has also authored numerous books covering the fields
of economics and financial market analysis. His latest book is Mastering
Moving Averages
. For more information visit www.clifdroke.com

Copyright © 2003-2017 Clif Droke

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(Why?)
Published at Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:25:43 +0000

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Wednesday: Yellen, Retail Sales, CPI, Industrial Production, Homebuilder Confidence, Empire State Mfg

 

Wednesday: Yellen, Retail Sales, CPI, Industrial Production, Homebuilder Confidence, Empire State Mfg

by Bill McBride on 2/14/2017 07:30:00 PM

Wednesday:

• At 7:00 AM ET, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

• At 8:30 AM, Retail sales for January will be released.  The consensus is for 0.1% increase in retail sales in January.

• Also at 8:30 AM, The Consumer Price Index for January from the BLS. The consensus is for 0.3% increase in CPI, and a 0.2% increase in core CPI.

• Also at 8:30 AM, The New York Fed Empire State manufacturing survey for February. The consensus is for a reading of 7.5, up from 6.5.

• At 9:15 AM, The Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for January. The consensus is for no change in Industrial Production, and for Capacity Utilization to be unchanged at 75.5%.

• At 10:00 AM, Testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, Before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

• Also at 10:00 AM, The February NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of  68, up from 67 in January. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

• Also at 10:00 AM, Manufacturing and Trade: Inventories and Sales (business inventories) report for December.  The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in inventories.

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2017/02/wednesday-yellen-retail-sales-cpi.html#W5KD1mWkiagT4Tpu.99

Published at Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 +0000

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As banks surge, will shareholders get their cut?: James Saft

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A computer screen showing stock graphs is reflected on glasses in this illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

A computer screen showing stock graphs is reflected on glasses in this illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France, March 30, 2016.REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

 As banks surge, will shareholders get their cut?: James Saft

By James Saft

That the Trump agenda is good for banks is self-evident; that shareholders will get their cut is a lot less likely.

Friday’s news of the resignation of Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve official who served as quarterback of the effort to tame systemic risk in the banking system, touched off another leg in a sustained and powerful rally of U.S. bank shares, which are up nearly 30 percent since shortly before the election.

Coming just after Trump’s order to review and likely gut Dodd-Frank Act legislation, Tarullo’s exit, planned for April, cements the view that U.S. banks will be allowed to carry less capital. A move to delay implementation of the application of the Fiduciary Rule to retirement advisors is a good indicator that highly profitable but low-value (for clients) products will continue to generate revenues.

To an investor from Mars more revenue spread across less equity would seem to be a sure thing.

Those of us who’ve lived on Earth these past two decades should have our doubts. There is a reason banks, especially the largest and those which operate investment banks, trade at such low multiples of earnings, and it is not because they have a proud track record of rewarding shareholders.

Since February 1993 the KBW index of bank shares has returned only about 60 percent as much as the S&P 500 and done so while treating investors to teeth-rattling sell-offs in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The winners? Well, bank employees of course, who’ve trousered serial fortunes at the expense of taxpayers and shareholders. A move to relax oversight or put the capital bar lower will set taxpayers up to fund a bailout once again, but probably not before we see a couple of explosive rallies and some just as explosive sell-offs in banking shares over the next three to five years.

Complexity will come back into vogue, creating more opportunities for banks to sell clients, and bankers their banks, risks they don’t understand. You can hardly blame them. Opportunities to take the upside when others own the risks are few and far between in this life.

Expecting Trump and his appointees to govern otherwise ignores the lessons his own business career teaches. Expecting bankers to police themselves is just silly.

 

SHORT TERM VS LONG TERM

Two elements in the Trump agenda are fundamentally positive for banking profitability: deregulation and reflation. While the former leaves shareholders as likely fall guys for self-interested risk-taking by insiders, the second is legitimately positive.

Fiscal stimulus and tax cuts pose a problem down the road but over the short term even their prospect has already driven interest rate expectations higher and increased the gap between short- and long-term interest rates. As the banking business model is predicated on borrowing short and lending long, a flat yield curve is bad news and negative interest rates, as seen in much of the world last year, are poison. A bit of inflation, even more than a bit, is just what banks need; it makes them more profitable and helps whet clients’ appetite for debt.

And don’t expect the Fed to spoil the party. With Tarullo’s exit Trump will be able to fill three of the seven governor positions at the Fed. If he does not offer Janet Yellen another term at chair next February he may get another.

So why, if they will only get shafted in the end, do investors persist in backing the banking sector follies? An insight from Paul Woolley, of the London School of Economics, about how asset managers are punished and rewarded helps to explain. (here)

Most fund managers are asked to beat a stock market index, or one which tracks other funds, without taking too many huge bets. Outperform, or at least stay close to the pack, and you will probably continue to draw a hefty pay packet. Trail the market badly and out the door you go.

That forces money managers to buy what is going up strongly, and as we are seeing few sectors can rally as explosively as banks when the going is good. Just as bankers have perverse incentives to make money while times are good, so do fund managers, whose performance is judged quarter to quarter or at best over three-year intervals.

We’ve seen this movie before, and though we may like the popcorn we won’t enjoy the ending.

 

(Editing by James Dalgleish)

 
Published at Mon, 13 Feb 2017 21:57:45 +0000

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Schedule for Week of Feb 12, 2017

 

Schedule for Week of Feb 12, 2017

by Bill McBride on 2/11/2017 08:01:00 AM

The key economic reports this week are Retail Sales, Housing Starts, and the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

For manufacturing, January industrial production, and the February New York, and Philly Fed manufacturing surveys, will be released this week.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to deliver the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.

—– Monday, Feb 13th —–

No major economic releases scheduled.
—– Tuesday, Feb 14th—–

6:00 AM ET: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for January.8:30 AM: The Producer Price Index for January from the BLS. The consensus is for 0.3% increase in PPI, and a 0.2% increase in core PPI.

10:00 AM, Testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

—– Wednesday, Feb 15th —–

7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.Retail Sales8:30 AM ET: Retail sales for January will be released.  The consensus is for 0.1% increase in retail sales in January.

This graph shows retail sales since 1992 through December 2016.

8:30 AM: The Consumer Price Index for January from the BLS. The consensus is for 0.3% increase in CPI, and a 0.2% increase in core CPI.

8:30 AM ET: The New York Fed Empire State manufacturing survey for February. The consensus is for a reading of 7.5, up from 6.5.

Industrial Production9:15 AM: The Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for January.

This graph shows industrial production since 1967.

The consensus is for no change in Industrial Production, and for Capacity Utilization to be unchanged at 75.5%.

10:00 AM: The February NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of  68, up from 67 in January. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

10:00 AM: Manufacturing and Trade: Inventories and Sales (business inventories) report for December.  The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in inventories.

10:00 AM, Testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, Before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

—– Thursday, Feb 16th —–

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts8:30 AM: Housing Starts for January.The consensus is for 1.232 million, up from the December rate of 1.226 million.

8:30 AM ET: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for 246 thousand initial claims, up from 234 thousand the previous week.

8:30 AM: the Philly Fed manufacturing survey for February. The consensus is for a reading of 23.6, up from 19.3.

—– Friday, Feb 17th —–

No major economic releases scheduled.

Published at Sat, 11 Feb 2017 13:01:00 +0000

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San Francisco is taxing the rich to pay for free community college

by tpsdave from Pixabay

San Francisco is taxing the rich to pay for free community college

  @KatieLobosco

San Francisco will be the first city in the nation to offer free community college to all residents starting this fall, Mayor Ed Lee announced this week.

The city will pay for it by taxes on properties selling for more than $5 million.

The real estate transfer tax, as it’s called, was increased last year for both residential and commercial properties. The hike was approved by voters in November.

The tax starts at 2.25% and goes up to 3% for properties worth at least $25 million. It’s expected to bring in an average of $45 million a year, according to the city controller. But the money goes into the city’s general fund and is also expected to be used for affordable housing and senior support services.

The free tuition plan is expected to impact about 28,000 residents who currently take classes at City College of San Francisco and encourage more people to sign up. Chancellor Susan Lamb said the school has the capacity for 85,000 students.

It’s difficult to predict how many more people will enroll, and how much the free-tuition plan will end up costing. San Francisco has committed $5.4 million a year for the next two years, and then will have to reassess. That includes a one-time $500,000 stipend to City College to help handle an influx of students.

San Francisco’s tuition-free plan is more progressive than others round the country. First, everyone is eligible as long as they have resided in San Francisco for at least one year.

It covers the $46 cost per credit no matter how rich you are, “even to the children of the founders of Facebook,” said city lawmaker Jane Kim.

You don’t have to be enrolled full-time or be a recent high school graduate. This means that people who are seeking job retraining or want to take a few foreign language courses won’t have to pay for the cost of the credits.

Students will still be on the hook for the mandatory $17 per semester fee at City College and the cost of books, so college won’t necessarily be free.

What also sets apart San Francisco’s plan is that it offers the poorest students additional money to help pay for these other expenses. An individual has to earn less than $17,000 a year to qualify for the aid, or less than $37,000 for a family of four. Eligible full-time students will get $500 a year and part-time students will get $200 a year.

“We have the fastest growing income gap than any city across the nation,” Kim said on Monday at a press conference.

“Making city college free is going to provide greater opportunities for more San Franciscans to enter into the middle class and more San Franciscans to stay in the middle class if they currently are,” she said.

The push for free tuition is gaining support across the country. Tennessee started offering free community college to residents in 2015, and will expand the program this year to include adults returning to school. Lawmakers in New York are discussing a program that would make four-year and two-year public colleges tuition-free for residents who earn less than $125,000 a year. And Rhode Island’s governor is pushing for two free years at public colleges for recent high school graduates.

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Tough federal bank regulator calls it quits

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What does a Trump presidency mean for the Fed?
What does a Trump presidency mean for the Fed?

Tough federal bank regulator calls it quits

  @mattmegan5

President Trump’s efforts to unshackle America’s banks just got easier.

Daniel Tarullo, the point man on bank regulation at the Federal Reserve, announced on Friday he’s stepping down in April, more than four years ahead of schedule.

Tarullo spearheaded the Fed’s efforts to put banks under tighter scrutiny following the 2008 financial meltdown.

The departure will give Trump, who has promised to deregulate banks, a third vacant seat at the Fed to fill. The appointments will allow the new president to reshape the most powerful central bank in the world in his mold.

Tarullo, 64, did not explain why he’s resigning but noted that he’s served as a Fed governor for more than eight years. In a very brief letter addressed to the president, Tarullo said it’s been a “great privilege” to serve “during such a challenging period.”

Appointed by President Obama in 2009, Tarullo has emerged as one of the most powerful figures in the banking industry.

He served as chairman of the Fed’s committee on bank supervision, putting him in charge of enforcement and the stress tests that examine if lenders are prepared to weather the next economic storm.

News of Tarullo’s early resignation seemed to lift Wall Street’s spirits. Shares of big banks like Goldman Sachs (GS) and Citigroup (C) rose modestly following the announcement. The gains extend a post-election rally that’s been driven in part by Trump’s promises to roll back bank regulation.

But Jaret Seiberg, an analyst at Cowen & Co., wrote in a report that Tarullo’s departure is unlikely to spark “radical change in regulatory policy” and wasn’t a “political comment on Trump.”

It’s important to remember that Tarullo’s role as the Fed’s point man on bank regulation was expected to wane anyway. That’s because one of the vacancies Trump gets to fill is the position of vice chairman for supervision. That position was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law but was never filled by Obama.

Big banks are obviously hoping Trump taps someone who shares his pro-business philosophy of lighter regulation. Trump has promised to “do a big number” on Dodd-Frank. Last week, he signed an executive order that sets the stage for rolling back parts of the law.

Press reports indicate Trump could fill the supervision role with David Nason, an executive at General Electric (GE)who served in the Treasury Department during the financial crisis.

Nason could appeal to the pro-business faction of the Trump administration, including the handful of Goldman Sachs veterans like top economic adviser Gary Cohn.

But Seiberg warned that the strong “populist forces” within the White House could encourage Trump to tap a vice chairman of supervision who wants to crack down on big banks. One idea is to encourage these mega banks to shrink themselves by imposing higher capital requirements.

During the campaign, Trump supported breaking up big banks, a sentiment that top White House strategist Steve Bannon may share.

“There is a risk that the replacement could be tougher on the biggest banks than Tarullo,” Seiberg wrote.

Fed chief Janet Yellen, whose term doesn’t expire until February 2018, has warned against gutting Dodd-Frank. After Trump’s election, Yellen credited financial regulation with making the system “safer and sounder” and said she doesn’t “want to see the clock turned back.”

Published at Fri, 10 Feb 2017 21:18:53 +0000

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Prime Working-Age Population near 2007 Peak

Prime Working-Age Population near 2007 Peak

by Bill McBride on 2/09/2017 03:26:00 PM

The prime working age population peaked in 2007, and bottomed at the end of 2012. As of January 2017, there are still fewer people in the 25 to 54 age group than in 2007.
However the prime working age (25 to 54) will probably hit a new peak this year.

Changes in demographics are an important determinant of economic growth, and although most people focus on the aging of the “baby boomer” generation, the movement of younger cohorts into the prime working age is another key story. Here is a graph of the prime working age population (25 to 54 years old) – and prime plus (20 to 59 years old)  from 1948 through January 2017.

Note: This is population, not work force.

Prime Working Age Populaton

Click on graph for larger image.

There was a huge surge in the prime working age population in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

The prime working age labor force grew even quicker than the population in the ’70s and ’80s due to the increase in participation of women. In fact, the prime working age labor force was increasing 3%+ per year in the ’80s!

So when we compare economic growth to the ’70s, ’80, or 90’s we have to remember this difference in demographics (the ’60s saw solid economic growth as near-prime age groups increased sharply).

The good news is the prime working age group has started to grow again, and is now growing at 0.5% per year – and this should boost economic activity.  And it appears the prime working age group will exceed the previous peak this year.

If we look at the prime plus working age (20 to 59 age groups, the story is a little different.  This prime plus group is still growing, but the growth will probably slow over the next few years as the younger boomers start retiring.
 

Participation Rate by Cohort

The second graph shows the current participation rate by cohort. The prime working age is usually considered to be 25 to 54 years old. Note that the participation rate is about the same for all cohorts across these age groups (a little lower for the 50 to 54 cohort).

The cohorts with the next highest participation rates are 55 to 59 years old, and 20 to 24 years old. So these two groups are included in the first graph in the red line.

We could also add 60 to 64 too in the prime plus group (not included in first graph)
 

Population by Cohort

The third graph shows the population by cohort.

Note that 16 to 19 is only for four years; all other cohorts are five year groups.

The largest cohort is now in the 25 to 29 age group (this cohort is one reason I’ve been positive on rentals for the last 5+ years).

With these large cohorts moving into the prime working age – and the prime working age population growing again – this is a reason for optimism.

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2017/02/prime-working-age-population-near-2007.html#AKyfuTAIXR0d7vwL.99

Published at Thu, 09 Feb 2017 20:26:00 +0000

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Repubican Hensarling plans to ease Wall Street rules: memo

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Repubican Hensarling plans to ease Wall Street rules: memo

| WASHINGTON

The Republican leader of the House Financial Services Committee plans to scale back banking reforms, curb the consumer finance agency and ease regulations on financial institutions and companies looking to raise capital, according to a proposal seen by Reuters on Thursday.

In a four-page memo on the legislation he intends to introduce, Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling made a slew of proposals, including one that Wall Street banks’ “stress tests” be performed every two years instead of annually as is done now.

He also said he would have the position of director of the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau changed from its current protected status to a political appointment removable “at will” by the president under another change.

The memo, seen by Reuters, outlined dozens of changes to the Financial Choice Act that Hensarling introduced last year and plans to reintroduce. His new bill is expected to pass the House of Representatives, but faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, where it will require 60 votes to pass.

The memo does not mention the Volcker rule, which limits bank’s ability to make speculative investments in banks’ own accounts.

His original bill would have killed the Volcker rule. Its absence in the memo, which details his changes to the original bill, suggests he will again propose to eliminate that rule.

 

“It’s very aggressive and a very good starting point to rolling back a lot of the rules and regulations,” said Paul Merski of the Independent Community Bankers of America.

Besides rewriting lending rules, Hensarling’s Choice Act would add more hurdles to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement program.

The bill would also scale back a variety of rules for public companies, including some accounting and capital raising rules. It would also reduce regulations for credit rating agencies.

(Additional reporting by Amanda Becker and Sarah Lynch. Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
Published at Thu, 09 Feb 2017 20:08:32 +0000

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U.S. jobless claims near 43-year low; wholesale inventories surge

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U.S. jobless claims near 43-year low; wholesale inventories surge

By Lucia Mutikani
| WASHINGTON

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to near a 43-year low, amid a further tightening of the labor market that could eventually spur faster wage growth.

Other data on Thursday showed inventories at wholesalers surged in December for a second straight month and sales recorded their biggest increase since 2011, signs of confidence in the economy as domestic demand strengthens.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended Feb. 4, the Labor Department said. That left claims just shy of the 43-year low of 233,000 touched in early November.

Claims have now remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a strong labor market, for 101 straight weeks. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.

“There is no sign of a pickup in layoff activity. We continue to view the signal of extremely subdued layoffs from the jobless claims data as evidence of companies attempting to retain their workers in a tight labor market,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.

Prices of U.S. Treasuries fell, with yields rising to session highs, while the dollar rose against a basket of currencies.

The labor market is at or close to full employment, with the unemployment rate at 4.8 percent after hitting a more than nine-year low of 4.6 percent in November. The economy created 227,000 jobs in January.

Further tightening in labor market conditions could boost wage growth, which has remained stubbornly sluggish despite anecdotal evidence of more companies struggling to find qualified workers.

PRETTY UPBEAT SIGNAL

Lackluster wage growth, if sustained, could hurt consumer spending and crimp economic growth. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits rising to 250,000 in the latest week.

“Today’s report sent a pretty upbeat signal about conditions in the job market,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. “It looks like conditions in the job market have remained solid in the few weeks since the reference period for the January payroll report.”

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,750 to 244,250 last week, the lowest level since November 1973.

The claims report also showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid increased 15,000 to 2.08 million in the week ended Jan. 28. The four-week average of the so-called continuing claims fell 3,750 to 2.08 million.

In a separate report on Thursday, the Commerce Department said wholesale inventories increased 1.0 percent after a similar jump in November. The back-to-back strong increases of stock accumulation, however, suggest a moderation in the pace of inventory investment in the months ahead.

Wholesale stocks excluding autos, the component of wholesale inventories that goes into the calculation of gross domestic product, increased 0.9 percent in December.

Inventory investment contributed one percentage point to the economy’s 1.9 percent annualized growth rate in the fourth quarter. That was the second straight quarterly contribution to GDP growth. Inventories had been a drag on GDP growth since the second quarter of 2015.

Sales at wholesalers jumped 2.6 percent in December, the largest increase since March 2011, after increasing 0.5 percent in November.

At December’s sales pace it would take wholesalers 1.29 months to clear shelves, the smallest since December 2014 and down from 1.31 months in November. The ratio has declined from the 1.37 months touched in January of last year, which was the highest since March 2009.

 

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao and Meredith Mazzilli)
Published at Thu, 09 Feb 2017 15:40:39 +0000

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Wall Street opens higher as energy stocks gain

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Wall Street opens higher as energy stocks gain

By Lewis Krauskopf

Wall Street’s three main indexes hit record highs on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he would make a major tax announcement in a few weeks.

“Lowering the overall tax burden on American business is big league,” Trump said during a White House meeting with airline industry executives.

U.S. stocks have rallied since Trump’s Nov. 8 election amid expectations he will not only usher in lower corporate taxes, but also reduced regulations and increased infrastructure spending. The rally had stagnated in recent days as investors seek details about Trump’s economic policy agenda.

Financials .SPSY, which have soared since the election, were the best-performing group, up 1.3 percent after three sessions of declines, while energy shares .SPNY gained 0.9 percent.

Those sectors stand to benefit should lower taxes spur economic activity as interest rates and the demand for energy rise, said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank, in Cleveland.

“Given the groups that responded and the enthusiasms within the market, it seems to be the tax comments that lit off the rally today,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank, in Cleveland.

But, McCain said, “when you get to these levels of market sentiment, usually the returns are much more modest and you’re much more subject to a pullback.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 134.14 points, or 0.67 percent, to 20,188.48, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 14.72 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,309.39 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 37.58 points, or 0.66 percent, to 5,720.03.

All three indexes hit new intraday all-time highs.

The utilities sector .SPLRCU, which is considered a defensive bet, fell 0.9 percent, the worst-performing group.

The focus on Washington comes with U.S. companies in the midst of their corporate reporting season.

With about 70 percent of the S&P 500 having reported results, fourth-quarter earnings are on track to have climbed 8.5 percent, which would be the best performance since the third quarter of 2014, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Viacom (VIAB.O), Kellogg (K.N) and Prudential (PRU.N) all gained after their respective quarterly results.

Coca-Cola (KO.N) forecast a surprise drop in full-year profit. Its shares fell 2.4 and were the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P.

Twitter (TWTR.N) tumbled 11.9 percent after the social network reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since going public in 2013.

Airline stocks rose, with JetBlue (JBLU.O), Delta (DAL.N) and American Airlines (AAL.O) up more than 2 percent, after Trump’s meeting with airline executives.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.11-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.80-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 124 new highs and 19 new lows.

(additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Nick Zieminski)
Published at Thu, 09 Feb 2017 14:33:59 +0000

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White House memo confuses Wall Street on fate of fiduciary rule

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Sarah N. Lynch and Elizabeth Dilts
| WASHINGTON/NEW YORK

Conflicting messages from the White House have left U.S. brokerage firms and lobbyists unsure whether a controversial rule governing retirement advice will ever be put in place, but they are taking no chances and complying anyway.

President Donald Trump’s Friday memorandum ordered the Labor Department to review the so-called “fiduciary” rule, which requires brokers to put their clients’ interests first when advising them about 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts.

But that call for a review was significantly weaker than an earlier draft, seen by Reuters, that requested a 180-day delay in the scheduled April 10 effective date of the rule which is already on the books.

Trump’s memo did not go as far as White House early guidance to reporters that the memo would ask the department to “defer implementation” of the rule.

It is not clear just how quickly or easily the Labor Department can delay implementation of the rule.

And while a delay is expected, it still is not clear to Wall Streeters who have already started changing their business models whether they can count on a deferral or reversal of the regulation.

“There’s confusion because it injected a whole lot more noise into the system with very little specificity about what is to come,” said Michael Spellacy, the head of PWC’s wealth management consultancy, who said he spent most of his weekend on the phone with the heads of 35 U.S. brokerages discussing the memo and its implications.

Legal experts say the Labor Department likely will have to undertake a formal rulemaking process in order to delay the rule’s implementation and the lack of a permanent U.S. Labor Secretary may cause further delays.

Trump’s choice to be Labor Secretary, Andrew Puzder, has seen his own confirmation indefinitely postponed in the Senate amidst issues with his ethics paperwork.

One other possible problem that could impact the rule’s implementation is a pending legal challenge in a federal court in Texas. Last week, the judge said she plans to rule no later than Feb. 10.

The fiduciary rule is separate from the banking rules that were put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. Trump has also ordered a review of the 2010 Dodd-Frank reform.

EXPECTING A DELAY, BUT COMPLYING ANYWAY

In the meantime, lawyers are advising their financial services clients to continue preparing for the upcoming deadline.

“What is clear from the memo is that we don’t have certainty yet,” said Michael Kreps, an attorney with the Groom Law Group.

The White House did not explain why it scaled back its memo, but legal experts say it was most likely changed because the prior version may have violated the Administrative Procedures Act, a federal law that governs the rulemaking process.

That law requires public notice and a comment period before changes to a rule can be made.

Had Trump proceeded with the original plan for a 180-day delay, the change could have been vulnerable to legal challenges.

Legal experts say the Labor Department has a few possible options.

It can issue what is known as an “interim final rule,” which would immediately delay the effective date while seeking comments from the public on why a delay is justified.

 

Another option is to a proposed rulemaking to delay the rule’s compliance deadline, give the public 30 days to comment, and then issue a final rule.

A Labor Department spokeswoman reiterated on Monday that the department is reviewing its legal options to delay the rule, but declined to elaborate.

Kenneth Laverriere, an attorney at Shearman & Sterling, said he fully expects the rule to be delayed eventually, though it will come after companies have already spent a lot of money to comply.

Three of the biggest U.S. brokerages, Bank of America Corp’s (BAC.N) Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Wells Fargo Advisors (WFC.N), said Friday’s memo will not change compliance plans the firms already have in place.

Of those, Bank of America intends to adopt the most aggressive changes with its plans to scrap selling brokerage IRA accounts starting in April.

Any attempts by the Labor Department to kill the rule will draw a fight from Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who wrote the Acting Secretary of Labor Edward Hugler on Tuesday.

Warren said the nation’s largest online brokerage Charles Schwab (SCHW.K), Fidelity Investments, asset manager TIAA-CREF and around 10 other large wealth management firms told her office they are prepared to be compliant with the rule by the April 10 deadline. “The genie is certainly out of the bottle,” Laverriere said.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington and Elizabeth Dilts in New York; Additional reporting by Ayesha Rascoe in Washington; Editing by Linda Stern and Lisa Shumaker)
Published at Tue, 07 Feb 2017 22:32:29 +0000

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U.S. Courts: Bankruptcy Filings Drop 6 Percent in 2016, Lowest since 2006

by geralt from Pixabay

U.S. Courts: Bankruptcy Filings Drop 6 Percent in 2016, Lowest since 2006

by Bill McBride on 2/06/2017 04:06:00 PM

From the U.S. Courts: Bankruptcy Filings Fall 5.9%, Reach Lowest Level Since 2006

During the 12-month period ending December 31, 2016, 794,960 cases were filed in federal bankruptcy courts, down from the 844,495 bankruptcy cases filed in calendar year 2015—a 5.9 percent drop in filings.

This is the lowest number of bankruptcy filings for any calendar year since 2006, and the sixth consecutive calendar year that filings have fallen. However, it was the first calendar year since 2011 that the rate of annual decline was less than 10 percent.

non business bankruptcy filings Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the business and non-business bankruptcy filings by calendar year since 2001.

The sharp decline in 2006 was due to the so-called “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005”. (a good example of Orwellian named legislation since this was more a “Lender Protection Act”).

Other than 2006, this was the lowest level for filings since 1995. This is another indicator of an economy mostly recovered from the housing bust and financial crisis.

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2017/02/us-courts-bankruptcy-filings-drop-6.html#xpDlmGqTZOMt78sO.99

Published at Mon, 06 Feb 2017 21:06:00 +0000

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Premarket: 4 things to know before the bell

 

premarket stocks trading futuresClick chart for in-depth premarket data.

Premarket: 4 things to know before the bell

  @AlannaPetroff

Published at Tue, 07 Feb 2017 09:51:59 +0000

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Tuesday: Trade Deficit, Job Openings

Tuesday: Trade Deficit, Job Openings

by Bill McBride on 2/06/2017 07:27:00 PM

Tuesday:

• At 6:00 AM ET, NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for January.

• At 8:30 AM, Trade Balance report for December from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for the U.S. trade deficit to be at $44.9 billion in December from $45.2 billion in November.

• At 10:00 AM, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for December from the BLS. Jobs openings increased in November to 5.522 million from 5.451 million in October. The number of job openings (yellow) were up 6% year-over-year, and Quits were up 7% year-over-year.

• At 3:00 PM, Consumer credit from the Federal Reserve.  The consensus is for a $20.0 billion increase in credit.

Published at Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:27:00 +0000

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Clarity on Fed policy sought – stocks, dollar up in meantime

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By Nigel Stephenson
| LONDON

Investors sought clarity on Monday in the face of a host of economic and political uncertainties but gave the benefit of the doubt to shares and the dollar, lifting both.

A heavy week of corporate earnings was a major driver on stocks markets.

In the currency market, the question was how Friday’s U.S. labor market data will affect the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate rises. Far more jobs were added last month than expected, though hourly wages barely budged.

Oil prices rose on news that new U.S. sanctions on Iran could be extended to affect crude supplies.

French government bonds, meanwhile, underperformed German benchmarks with a gap not seen in four years after French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen launched her bid for the presidency with a vow to fight deregulated globalization.

But there was no overarching theme to Monday’s market moves, highlighting how correlations between financial market assets have broken down in recent months as investors sense the era of ultra-loose monetary policy may be winding up.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 percent, led higher by basics resources shares .SXPP and after some positive company results.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.6 percent, with Taiwan .TWII leading the pack by adding 0.9 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 rose 0.2 percent, with banks rising after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to scale back regulations in the financial industry that were implemented after the financial crisis.

 

Trump meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Feb. 10 and 11, with trade and currencies likely to be on the agenda.

China’s CSI 300 stocks index .CSI300 rose 0.3 percent, though investors were caution after the central bank unexpectedly raised short-term interest rates on Friday.

In debt markets, French 10-year government bond yields FR10YT=TWEB rose 1.6 basis points to 1.1 percent. German equivalents, the euro zone benchmark, dipped 2 bps to a two-week low of about 0.4 percent, pushing the gap between the two to its widest in four years.

“The likelihood of Le Pen winning is unlikely, but the situation in France is certainly raising fears among investors,” said DZ Bank rates strategist Christian Lenk. “French bonds will continue to underperform even though a lot is priced into the market.”

 

DOLLAR INCHES UP

The dollar inched up 0.1 percent against a basket of major currencies .DXY. Data on Friday showed average hourly earnings rose just 0.1 percent, suggesting any pick-up in inflation would be slight.

This led some analysts to conclude the Fed would be in no hurry to raise interest rates.

Currency investors are also awaiting details on expected pro-dollar tax and spending initiatives pledged by Trump..

However, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said later in the day that the central bank can prepare to raise rates this year without knowing the details of any new U.S. fiscal policies.

 

On Monday, the euro weakened 0.3 percent to $1.0747 EUR= while the yen gained 0.1 percent to 112.60 per dollar JPY= and sterling dipped 0.2 percent to $1.2450 GBP=D4.

Oil prices rose, partly due to the dollar’s relative weakness, but also on concern about any extension of new U.S. sanctions imposed on major oil producer Iran over that country’s missile program.

“The move by the U.S. to impose new restrictions on Iran … does raise the risk of further tensions disrupting (oil) supply,” ANZ bank said.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 9 cents a barrel to $56.92.

Gold XAU= rose 0.2 percent to $1,222 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Wayne Cole in Sydney, Dhara Ranasinghe in London Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
Published at Mon, 06 Feb 2017 10:01:25 +0000

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Trump’s deregulation nation; Silicon Valley tackles immigration ban; Macy’s buzz

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Trump: Travel ban working out very nicely
Trump: Travel ban working out very nicely

  @juliakhorowitz

1. Deregulation nation: Investors cheered an executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Friday that began to dismantle expansive Dodd-Frank reform of Wall Street. Bulls hope it will boost stocks through the week.

Shares of big banks like JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup (C) rallied more than 2% each on Friday. Goldman Sachs (GS) popped over 4%. They’ll aim to keep the streak going — but they’ll need Congress’ help to actually repeal the bill.

Trump’s promises to cut taxes, spend on infrastructure and slash regulation sent stocks surging after the election. But the president spent his early days focused on more controversial policies, such as a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations. He’s also taken an aggressive stance on trade. Those actions sent a chill through Wall Street, which had been crossing its fingers for a pivot to stimulus and regulatory reform.

2. What about tech? The standoff between Trump and tech leaders over the White House’s immigration ban will likely continue into next week. But for now, tech stocks are holding steady.

Strong earnings boosted Facebook (FB, Tech30) and Apple (AAPL, Tech30) last week. Amazon(AMZN, Tech30) and Netflix (NFLX, Tech30) are also performing well this year. But investors will keep a watchful eye on Silicon Valley’s strained relationship with Washington, especially as industry leaders decide what further actions to take.

Last week, Uber’s Travis Kalanick left the president’s business advisory council, and Amazon and Expedia joined a legal challenge to the travel ban. Apple is also weighing its legal options.

3. Macy’s buzz: A sale of the troubled but iconic retailer may be on the horizon.

Macy’s (M) stock soared 10% Friday after the Wall Street Journal reported that Hudson’s Bay(HBAYF), the parent company of Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, is mulling a bid. A source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNNMoney that an offer has been made but discussions are still in early stages.

Last month, Macy’s said it would shut down 68 stores and cut more than 10,000 jobs after disappointing sales during the holiday season.

4. Assortment of earnings: An array of companies are set to report results this week, from GM(GM) to Disney (DIS).

Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) couldn’t nail down a takeover offer in 2016, but there could be renewed interest if the company posts decent earnings on Thursday. And Time Warner (TWX)’s Wednesday numbers will come under close scrutiny due to the media giant’s pending sale to AT&T (T, Tech30).

5. Coming this week:

Monday – 21st Century Fox (FOXA) earnings

Tuesday – CNN Town Hall on health care with Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz; GM (GM) and Disney(DIS) earnings

Wednesday – Whole Foods (WFM), Time Warner (TWX), GlaxoSmithKline (GLAXF) earnings

Thursday – Twitter (TWTR, Tech30), Coca-Cola (KO), Expedia (EXPE), Yum! Brands (YUM), Dunkin’ Donuts (DNKN) earnings

Friday – Renault (RNSDF) earnings

Published at Sun, 05 Feb 2017 13:03:38 +0000

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