Stocks, Commodities & Currencies

U.S. stocks rebound on holiday sales numbers and optimism over the Eurozone; Dow Jones Industrial Avg up 291 points, S&P 500 up 2.9 percent

November 28, 2011

“The market is reflecting that the U.S. retail sales were just colossal and some movement forward in Europe,” [said] Tom Mangan. “There’s a sense of urgency developing among European leaders as well as a recognition that the stakes are extremely high now. The volatility is still with us to a major extent, we’re not out of the woods.”

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JP Morgan Chase Strategist Thomas Lee predicts no year-end stock surge, cutting his S&P target from 1475 to 1350

November 25, 2011

“The bullish December that stock investors often enjoy never met a sovereign-debt crisis like this. Europe’s persistent debt problems, which have whipped U.S. stocks for months, show few signs of abating, leaving Wall Street’s year-end stock-index targets all but out of reach.

Historically, December is the second-best month of the year for stocks after July. In addition, U.S. markets so far have suffered only limited damage from the market’s other bogeyman—Washington’s deficit-cutting impasse.

But many strategists are focused on the rise in European bond yields and worries that an economic slowdown in Europe could pre-empt the U.S. economic recovery.”

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 complete their worst Thanksgiving Week market performances since 1932

November 25, 2011

“Stocks closed in negative territory in thin, shortened trading Friday as investors were reluctant to go long ahead of the weekend and amid ongoing worries over the euro zone.

The Dow and S&P posted their worst Thanksgiving week since the Great Depression on a percentage basis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased their gains to finish lower. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also ended lower, logging a seventh consecutive decline.”

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Japan stock market, the Nikkei, braces for more losses due to uncertainty in the eurozone

November 24, 2011

“The Nikkei share average is set to slip and hover near 8,100 on Friday after statements by German and French ministers convinced investors that euro zone leaders were no closer to a consensus on how to contain the region’s debt crisis.

The Nikkei225 is expected to trade in a range of 8,100 to 8,250 on Friday, strategists said.”

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Following Germany’s Bond Failure, the Euro hits a seven-week low versus the Dollar

November 24, 2011

“The euro touched a seven-week low against the dollar after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said joint euro bonds would send a “wrong signal,” damping optimism about a potential remedy for the region’s debt crisis.

The euro closed little changed at $1.3347 at 5 p.m. in New York, after falling to $1.3316, the lowest level since Oct. 6.”

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Massive sell-off on the New York Stock Exchange as the U.S. and Europe face debt crises

November 21, 2011

“Wall Street suffered through another brutal selloff Monday, with investors heading for the exits ahead of Thanksgiving as both the U.S. and Europe struggled to deal with their burgeoning debt crises.

Major indices plunged nearly 2 percent, with financials and energy leading the way lower in the holiday-shortened trading week. Each of the Standard & Poor’s 500 10 sectors fell by more than 1 percent.

Late-day bargain hunters came in to temper some of the losses, but Wall Street was headed towards the close awash in red numbers.”

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Tehran Times: Oil could hit $200 a barrel if Iran nuclear facilities are attacked

November 16, 2011

“Oil prices could well hit $200 a barrel on rising political tensions in the Middle East if occupying regime of Israel makes a decision to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The main worry among crude oil traders is that Israel launches a unilateral surprise attack to try to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities and that Iran retaliates by closing, even if only briefly, the oil flow through the Strait of Hormuz. The strait is important because 15.5 million barrels per day of oil passes through it each day, equivalent to a third of the all seaborne traded oil.

The strait has added significance because all the world’s spare production capacity is in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. These exports would be constrained if the gateway was closed.

“It is the $200 a barrel scenario.” says Philip Verleger, an independent consultant.”

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Barrel of oil hits $100 on same day Enbridge announces the acquisition and reversal of the Seaway Pipeline to shift some of the oil supply from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast

November 16, 2011

“Despite a U.S. economy that moves forward at snail’s pace and Europe teetering on the brink of collapse, oil prices surged past $100 a barrel in the New York Wednesday. Feeding the price action was Enbridge’s acquisition of the Seaway Pipeline from ConocoPhillips and its announcement that it would reverse the pipeline’s direction, easing oversupply caused by a bottleneck in Cushing, Okla., the national price point for crude oil.

Reversing the Seaway Pipeline would bring an additional 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Gulf Coast, where ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, and others have refineries, Enbridge said. The company bought Conoco’s 50% interest in the Pipeline for $1.15 billion on Wednesday, and along with now partners Enterprise Products, are expecting the reversal to occur by the second quarter of 2012.”

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Asia markets slow Wednesday as eurozone debt crisis continues to inhibit trading

November 16, 2011

“The euro was being slowly eroded in Asia early on Wednesday, having suffered two straight days of declines as the euro zone debt crisis threatened to engulf top-rated members such as France.

The common currency fell as far as $1.3497 overnight as French bond yield spread over benchmark German bunds hit euro-era highs, and Italian yields shot back above the critical 7 percent level.

It last stood at $1.3525, versus $1.3546 late in New York, below the ichimoku cloud base at $1.3568. A break and close below $1.3480 will pave the way for a move back to the October 4 trend low at $1.3145, traders said.

A turnaround on Wall Street, which closed in positive territory on the back of stronger-than-expected U.S. data helped halt the euro’s slide. But overall sentiment remained bearish.”

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France came under heavy fire by global markets Tuesday as eurozone worries grew

November 16, 2011

“France came under heavy fire on global markets Tuesday, reflecting fears that the euro zone’s second biggest economy is being sucked into a spiraling debt crisis.

Global stocks and the euro fell as Italian bond yields climbed back to unsustainable levels on doubts that Italy’s Mario Monti and new Greek leader Lucas Papademos, unelected technocrats without a domestic political base, can impose tough austerity measures and economic reform.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has predicted the 17-nation currency bloc will be in a mild recession by the end of the year, a view underlined by data showing the economy barely grew in the third quarter and faces a sharp downturn.”

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Minority Leader Pelosi’s aide calls the ’60 minutes’ report about corruption in Congress “a right-wing smear”

November 15, 2011

“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office accused the news program “60 Minutes” of omitting key information from its report Sunday on how members of Congress use privileged information to profit from stock trades.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill also called the report “a right-wing smear” based on a new book by conservative author Peter Schweizer of the Hoover Institution, a think tank based at Stanford University. The book is titled: “Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Jail.”

Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, was highlighted in the report along with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., among others.”

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Congress slashes Obama’s $308 million budget request for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission a third

November 14, 2011

“In light of the CFTC’s increased role in overseeing the derivatives market, the administration had sought $308 million for the new fiscal year that began Oct. 1. But under pressure from House Republicans, the agreement now is expected to come in closer to $205 million, a virtual freeze at current appropriations levels.

The larger spending package—which includes the CFTC—covers as many as five cabinet departments together with several major science and space agencies. Attached to the measure is a stop-gap spending resolution to keep the remainder of the government funded through December 16.

In the course of the talks, House Republicans agreed to restore hundreds of millions of dollars previously cut from Democratic domestic priorities. But the relatively small CFTC budget has remained a lightning rod for conservatives who opposed the Dodd-Frank reforms adopted in the last Congress.”

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Convicted Lobbyist Jack Abramoff: As many as a dozen Congresspersons took part in Insider Trading

November 12, 2011

“As many as a dozen members of Congress and their aides took part in insider trading based on foreknowledge of market moving information on Capitol Hill, disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff told CNBC in an interview.
Abramoff, who was once one of the wealthiest and most powerful lobbyists in Washington before a corruption scandal sent him to federal prison for more than three years, said that many of those members of Congress bragged to him about their stock trading prowess while dining at the exclusive restaurant he owned on Pennsylvania Avenue.”

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