Optimism About Interest Rates Contributes To Uptick On Wall Street

We all know a cyclically positive exists, but we are also at resistance.  Pullback and then another push higher.  I am concerned that 2024 will present a different scenario, but it is clear between jawboning on the part of the FED and clear manipulation of the bond and stock market occurring, anything can happen.  

Stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Tuesday before eventually ending the day modestly higher. With the uptick on the day, the Dow reached its best closing level in well over three months.

The major averages finished the day well off their highs of the session but still in positive territory. The Dow crept up 83.51 points or 0.2 percent to 35,416.98, the Nasdaq rose 40.73 points or 0.3 percent to 14,281.76 and the S&P 500 inched up 4.46 points or 0.1 percent to 4,554.89.

Stocks moved to the upside in morning trading on the heels of remarks by Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller adding to recent optimism the Fed is done raising interest rates.

Speaking at an American Enterprise Institute event, Waller said he is "increasingly confident that policy is currently well positioned to slow the economy and get inflation back to 2 percent."

Waller warned that he cannot say for sure whether the Fed has done enough to achieve price stability but expressed hope incoming economic data will help answer that question.

However, the buying interest generated by Waller's remarks was partly offset by conflicting comments from Fed Governor Michelle W. Bowman.

Bowman said during a Utah Bankers Association and Salt Lake Chamber breakfast that she continues to expect the Fed we will need to increase rates further to keep policy sufficiently restrictive to bring inflation down to 2 percent in a timely way.

Overall trading activity remained subdued, however, with traders reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of several key economic reports in the coming days.

On Thursday, the Commerce Department is due to release its report on personal income and spending in the month of October.

The report includes readings on inflation said to be preferred by the Fed and could impact the outlook for interest rates.

The uptick by the Dow was partly due to a strong gain by shares of Boeing (BA), with the aerospace giant jumping by 1.4 percent to its best closing level in well over two months.

Being moved higher after RBC Capital Markets upgraded its rating on the Dow component's stock to Outperform from Sector Perform.

Sector News

Gold stocks extended the rally seen during Monday's session, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 4.5 percent to a nearly four-month closing high.

The rally by gold stocks came amid a sharp increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for December delivery surging $27.60 to $2,040 ounce.

Significant strength also emerged among airline stocks, as reflected by the 1.3 percent gain posted by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. The index reached its best closing level in two months.

On the other hand, brokerage stocks showed a notable move to the downside, dragging the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index down by 1.2 percent.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slumped by 1.0 percent, while South Korea's Kospi jumped by 1.1 percent.

The major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the German DAX Index crept up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slipped by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries extended the strong upward move seen over the course of the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell 5.3 basis points to a two-month closing low of 4.336 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading on Wednesday may be impacted by reaction to a revised reading on third quarter GDP as well as the Fed's Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in each of the twelve Fed districts.

The January Barometer calls for a positive  year-end outcome, but a lot can happen between now and then.  















The world of finance is undergoing a monumental transformation, and at the heart of this revolution lies the rapidly expanding realm of cryptocurrencies. While retail investors and tech enthusiasts have long embraced digital assets, a new wave of institutional investors is gearing up to plunge into the crypto market, signaling a seismic shift in the financial landscape.

Just this week, esteemed investors, Bitwise, said this about the Bitcoin ETF and what it means..."an approval would signal the transformation of crypto from a niche, experimental technology to a major asset class ready for institutional adoption."

To me, this is less about Bitcoin and more about the fact that institutional ownership is about to jump in a big way, or "big wave" as the case may be, and that will also be good for XRP, in my opinion.

Several converging factors are propelling this surge of institutional money into the crypto sphere:

1. Maturing Infrastructure: One of the primary barriers for institutional investors to enter the crypto market has been the lack of mature infrastructure. However, in recent years, the crypto ecosystem has made remarkable strides in establishing reliable custodial services, secure trading platforms, and regulatory frameworks. These developments provide the necessary foundation for institutional investors to confidently enter the space, knowing that their assets are safeguarded.

2. Diversification: Institutional investors are constantly seeking opportunities to diversify their portfolios and enhance returns. Cryptocurrencies, with their relatively low correlation to traditional asset classes like stocks and bonds, offer a unique avenue for diversification.

3. Hedge Against Inflation: As global economies grapple with unprecedented levels of monetary stimulus, concerns about inflation are on the rise. Institutional investors are turning to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, often referred to as "digital gold," as a hedge against currency devaluation and inflation. The fixed supply and decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies make them an appealing store of value in uncertain economic times. (I am not recommending Bitcoin, because I believe there are digital assets with the potential to grow from a much lower price and experience greater percentage gains.)

4. Growing Acceptance and Recognition: Major financial institutions and corporations are beginning to acknowledge the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies. Companies like Tesla, Square, and PayPal have integrated crypto into their operations, while traditional financial giants are offering crypto-related products to their clients. As the acceptance of cryptocurrencies becomes more widespread, institutions feel more confident about entering the market.

5. Millennial Investor Preferences: Institutional investors recognize the shifting preferences of the younger generation of investors, particularly millennials and Gen Z. These groups are more tech-savvy and open to alternative investment options, including cryptocurrencies. To cater to this growing demographic, institutions are compelled to incorporate digital assets into their portfolios.

6. Advancements in Regulation: Regulatory clarity has long been a stumbling block for institutional investment in crypto. However, regulators worldwide are making significant strides in establishing frameworks to govern the crypto market. Clarity on taxation, compliance, and investor protection fosters an environment where institutional investors can operate with confidence.

7. Institutional-Grade Products: The emergence of institutional-grade financial products, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in certain jurisdictions, bridges the gap between traditional finance and the crypto market. These products provide a familiar investment vehicle for institutional investors to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies without directly holding the assets.

8. FOMO and Competitive Pressure: The fear of missing out (FOMO) on potentially lucrative opportunities often drives institutional decision-making. As more early adopters within the institutional realm achieve impressive returns through crypto investments, other institutions feel compelled to follow suit to remain competitive and not miss out on potential gains.

In conclusion, the influx of institutional money into the crypto market is not a mere trend; it's a paradigm shift that underscores the maturation and acceptance of digital assets in the mainstream financial landscape. The convergence of factors such as improved infrastructure, diversification benefits, inflation hedging, and regulatory progress has paved the way for institutions to confidently explore the vast opportunities presented by cryptocurrencies. As the barriers continue to fall and the advantages become increasingly apparent, it's inevitable that a substantial amount of institutional capital will flow into the crypto market, shaping the financial landscape of the future.

This will provide one of the most exciting investment opportunities in our lifetimes, since only 1% of institutional money is invested in digital assets at this time.

If you missed Bitcoin's wealth building opportunity, you still are able to invest in other, much less expensively priced (many are under $1) digital assets with exponential potential.

Above courtesy of Linda P. Jones

64 US Bank Branches File To Shut Down In A Single Week; Are You Affected? -Zero Hedge

More bank branches are closing their doors, as depositors move to electronic banking. But these closures are also a result of physical cash becoming a thing of the past as more people embrace digital currency. Though there are positives associated with this move, there are also negatives. To learn more, request our report, The Secret War on Cash. Contact us to receive your free copy today.

Big banks such as PNC Bank and JPMorgan Chase have filed to close several branch offices in multiple states amid a troubling pattern of rising branch shutdowns in recent years.

Between Nov. 12 and 18, several banks filed to close branch locations, with PNC Bank with the most filings, according to data from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank filed for 19 branch closures-five in Pennsylvania, four in Illinois, three in Texas, two each in Alabama and New Jersey, and one each in Indiana, Ohio, and Florida.

JPMorgan Chase followed closely with 18 filings-three in Ohio, two each in Connecticut and South Carolina, and one each in 11 states, including New York, Illinois, Florida, and Massachusetts.

Citizens Bank came in third with eight branch closure filings-six in New York, and one each in Massachusetts and Delaware. Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank filed for seven closures-three in Tennessee and one each in Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Illinois.

Bank of America made five filings-two in New York and one each in Texas, Massachusetts, and California.

Citibank filed for two branch closures, and Sterling, Bremer, First National Bank of Hughes Springs, Windsor FS&LA, and Aroostook County FS&LA made one filing each.

Altogether, banks filed to shut down 64 branches.

Recession Is Already Here

Are we in a recession? Your personal answer likely depends on what you're looking at when forming your opinion. According to this piece, it's been here a while. It's only those looking at biased data who would suggest it's not.

dollarDavid Rosenberg argues recession may already be here because Gross Domestic Income is already recessionary; but the only thing anyone is looking at, he says, is Gross Domestic Product. I’ve argued this point earlier this year, too.

Rosenberg notes that significant difference between the two rarely ever exists, but the difference between the two is wider now than it’s ever been. More importantly, he says that, whenever this divide has existed, it has ALWAYS been GDP that fell to come in line with GDI, never the other way around. So, based on GDI, we are already in a recession. It’s refreshing to hear someone confirming all the same points I’ve been arguing for a good part of the year.

Rosenberg makes another point I’ve been pounding — in solitude so far as I’ve been able to see — that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which declares recessions, did not declare one.

11 Signs That US Consumers Are In Very Serious Trouble As We Head Into The Final Stretch Of 2023

The year 2023 seems to have been laden with more financial questions than answers. The year is not over, but the finish line is certainly near. What is the true state of the economy? Mr. Snyder believes the bad stuff isn't over yet, and lists 11 reasons why.

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog

U.S. consumers are getting weaker and weaker and weaker. Today, debt levels have risen to unprecedented heights, but thanks to roaring inflation our standard of living has been steadily going down. Most Americans are working extremely hard, but they have very little to show for it. And now the latest economic downturn is really starting to bite. Layoffs are starting to surge again, once thriving businesses are shutting down all over the nation, and hunger and homelessness are exploding. If economic conditions continue to deteriorate at this pace, what will things look like a year from now?

For decades, we have been able to count on U.S. consumers to just keep spending money no matter what the economic outlook was, but now things have changed.

The following are 11 signs that U.S. consumers are in very serious trouble as we head into the final stretch of 2023…

#1 U.S. renters are spending 30 percent of their incomes just on rent…

Renters remained burdened in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2023 despite a slight improvement as insurance costs to landlords mounted, according to a new report by Moody’s Analytics.

Moody’s Analytics found that in Q3, the U.S. rent-to-income ratio (RTI) declined slightly by 0.5% and ended at 30%, a level that is the threshold for being rent-burdened. Renters are considered “burdened” if their rent payments consume 30% or more of their gross, or pre-tax, income. This comes after last year marked the first time that the median renter household in the U.S. paid over 30% of their income on an average-priced apartment when the national RTI reached a high of 30.8%.

#2 One food bank executive just told USA Today that she is seeing “the worst rate of hunger in my career” right now…

“This is the worst rate of hunger in my career,” said Morgan, who has worked at food banks in Boston, San Francisco and Anchorage, Alaska. “It’s so large, it’s hard to wrap your head around.”

#3 Wells Fargo just shut down 13 bank branches in a single week…

Six banks filed to close almost 40 branches last week leaving millions of Americans without access to vital financial services, with Wells Fargo alone axing 13 locations.

Wells Fargo has been a leader in the closure of branches around the country, having closed 160 in the first half of the year, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

#4 Average hourly earnings for all employees have fallen by 3.32 percent since Joe Biden entered the White House…

Millions of Americans have received a pay cut over the past two years thanks to high inflation, a blow to President Biden as he attempts to center his re-election campaign around “Bidenomics.”

The Labor Department reported Tuesday that average hourly earnings for all employees was $11.05 in October — a 3.32% decline from the $11.43 figure in January 2021, when Biden took office.

#5 Due to a lack of consumer demand, three different major Burger King franchisees have recently declared bankruptcy…

Premier Kings, a 172-unit Burger King franchisee whose owner died in 2022, declared bankruptcy protection, saying that operating losses even after the company closed restaurants forced the issue.

It’s the third time this year that a major Burger King operator has taken such a step, while several others closed restaurants around the country in the aftermath of the chain’s sales and profit challenges.

#6 Vice Media has announced that it will be laying off dozens of staffers…

Vice Media, the one-time digital media darling that has seen its value and influence greatly diminish in recent years, moved on Thursday to further hollow out its once prestigious news division, shutting down several shows and laying off dozens of staffers.

#7 According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, almost 20,000 media jobs have already been eliminated this year…

Nearly 20,000 jobs have been eliminated across the media industry this year as of October, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

#8 Amazon is laying off hundreds of workers in its Alexa division…

Amazon on Friday said that it is cutting “several hundred” jobs within its Alexa division.

The layoffs come as the e-commerce giant is “shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities, and what we know matters most to customers —which includes maximizing our resources and efforts focused on generative AI,” an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business.

#9 Just in time for the holidays, Citigroup has decided to conduct large scale layoffs…

Citigroup will soon begin layoffs in CEO Jane Fraser’s corporate overhaul, CNBC has learned.

Employees affected by the cuts will be informed starting Wednesday, with new dismissals announced daily through early next week, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Those impacted will include chiefs of staff, managing directors and some lower-level employees, said the people. The cuts will spread to more rank-and-file staff by February, they added.

#10 As consumer wealth has dried up, federal tax receipts have been falling on a quarterly basis since the third quarter of 2022…

Rather, federal spending is rising even as federal revenues have fallen, year over year, for ten of the last twelve months. Moreover, on a quarterly basis, federal receipts have been falling—quarter-to-quarter—since the third quarter of 2022.

#11 80 percent of U.S. households are actually poorer than they were when the COVID pandemic originally hit this country…

As of June, the bottom 80% of households by income, when adjusted for inflation, had lower bank deposits and other liquid assets compared to their status in March 2020. The decline marks a significant shift from the initial phases of the pandemic, where various factors, including government financial support and restricted spending opportunities during lock downs, led to an accumulation of excess savings.

This article concludes that the current downturn in bond yields is part of a continuing market manipulation by central banks in order to restore confidence in the global economic outlook.

There is a long history of government intervention in markets. In the nineteenth century, it was by legal regulation, the most notable of which was the 1844 Bank Charter Act, which had to be suspended in 1847, 1857, and 1866.

From the early 1920s, the emphasis on intervention changed under Benjamin Strong, the first Fed Chairman, who started to deliberately expand central bank credit to stimulate the economy. Coupled with the expansion phase of the commercial bank credit cycle, this led to the Roaring Twenties, the stock market boom, and its collapse.

Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt compounded the errors with economic interventions which only succeeded in prolonging the 1930’s depression. It was the start of modern government economic and monetary manipulation, which took on a new urgency under the fiat dollar in the 1970s.

While they create problems through their interventions, governments have perfected the art of managing markets to restore failing confidence in credit values. This was dramatically proved in the wake of the Lehman failure.

But if government intervention is behind the current decline in bond yields and interest rate expectations, it is only a temporary solution to G7 government debt traps, the squeeze on bank credit, and a deteriorating economic outlook. These are problems deferred, not resolved.


This article concludes that the current downturn in bond yields is part of a continuing market manipulation by central banks in order to restore confidence in the global
economic outlook.


There are now more central banks cutting rates than those hiking rates, per a Deutsche Bank analysis.The trend continued this month with five central banks — including
include those in Brazil and Peru — cutting rates so far.

"The interesting thing at the moment is that cuts are priced in on a soft-landing scenario," Reid wrote. "So, I think they might be right for the wrong reasons, and
eventually you'll see more cuts than are priced in due to a harder landing than is priced. Interesting times ahead."








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