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"For when they shall say, Peace and safety..."

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August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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« Reply #120 on: January 04, 2016, 09:33:43 pm »

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/rockwall-rowlett/headlines/20160103-rowlett-churches-are-stronger-together-after-tornadoes.ece
1/3/16
Rowlett churches are stronger together after tornadoes

ROWLETT — Brian Hiatt jumped in his Ford pickup. The storm was roiling toward his church, toward his friends.

The pastor, his wife and their 20-year-old son raced from their Mesquite home. That night, they found Cornerstone Assembly of God intact.

But nearby on Schrade Road, the twister showed no mercy. It left neighbors amid rubble and in the dark.

Cornerstone had generators. Hiatt grabbed a string of white Christmas lights and slung them under the awning of the front building.

“I plugged them in so we could at least give a beacon of light to let people know we were here,” he said.

Only a father and son sought refuge in the church gym. But in the days that followed, Cornerstone and other Rowlett sanctuaries transformed into busy relief centers. All week, volunteers delivered meals to tornado victims and dispensed tubs filled with groceries and cleaning supplies. First responders came, too, looking for a place to rest.

As they filled immediate physical needs, churches also worked on giving people spiritual direction. The rash of tornadoes Dec. 26 killed 11 people in Dallas and Collin counties and left many homeless. What to make of this tragedy?

On Sunday, eight days after the storm, Pastor Alonzo Johnson slashed the air with his hands as he preached.

“Always look for the good in a bad situation,” he shouted.

The roof of his sanctuary — Faith Missionary Family Church on Garner Road — was covered in blue tarp, so Hiatt invited Johnson’s congregation to Cornerstone.

Many faithful in Rowlett have found comfort in knowing no one was killed in this city of 58,000, where the tornado destroyed nearly 150 homes. They talk about the overwhelming number of donations, the stronger bonds with neighbors, the opportunities to reorder priorities.

Yet often in the days after the storm, people at the churches offered solace quietly, with a cup of coffee or a long embrace.

The tornado knocked the steeple off Faith Missionary. But in the dark, Johnson didn’t realize the winds had also torn the roof and pushed in the back wall.

Even after taking stock of the damage, Johnson believes God saved his church.

“You might shake it, God might let you hit it, but you can’t knock it down,” he said with a laugh.

To the north, First Christian Church Rowlett narrowly missed the beating near Miller Road. Leaders soon opened the church to first responders and others who needed coffee or a restroom.

As the storm’s destruction became clear in daylight, worshippers hauled in donations to churches across the city. Within two days, volunteers began preparing barbecue meals at First Christian Church and taking them to the neighborhoods.

At First Rowlett United Methodist Church, some people gasped when they heard the names of members who had lost their homes the previous night.

Next door, at First Baptist Church Rowlett, the pastor recruited helpers. He hadn’t finished talking when Kay Nicholson raised her hand.

A group from Richardson dropped off 241 plastic tubs and $5,000 in gift cards at First Baptist. Nicholson oversaw the delivery after the pastor appointed her relief effort coordinator. She shuffled back and forth, deploying helpers, filling out spreadsheets and talking to tornado victims seeking aid.

One of the people that Nicholson sent to the church’s fellowship hall was Ioana Grigorescu, a soft-spoken 68-year-old from Romania. The tornado shredded homes on her Rowlett street like cardboard.

Volunteer Carol Smith pushed a utility cart as she gently guided Grigorescu through the church’s makeshift grocery store. Grigorescu took the aloe vera soap that promised to be soft on her hands and picked a deodorant for her husband. Smith loaded a magenta tub with tea, oatmeal, ramen noodle bowls and crackers.

“Anything else you can think of?” Smith asked.

Grigorescu, who looked on the verge of tears, gave her a weak smile.

“It’s too much,” she said.

“It’s not too much,” Smith told her. Then she pulled Grigorescu into a hug.

Several churches turned their spaces into pantries and closets.

Members of First Christian Church piled jeans, shirts and baby onesies on rows of upholstered chairs in the sanctuary. Folded blankets sat next to poinsettias.

At First United Methodist, the family room was so full of tables with donations that volunteers sometimes bumped their carts into them.

On Friday, Arthur Bailey crouched down to fish a pack of three toothbrushes out of a box. While Bailey and his wife weren’t looking, volunteer Cheryl Goczoll stuffed a paper sack with bath towels.

Bailey picked up a tub of toothpaste. Goczoll grabbed three and tossed them in his container.

“Not a word out of you,” she warned Bailey politely, staving off his objections.

Bailey, who has a 13-year-old daughter, said it was hard to ask for help. The tornado ripped his home and damaged his three cars. His insurance policy doesn’t reimburse car rentals because he never thought he’d need one.

The family is living out of a hotel room in Rockwall. Bailey, a retired schoolteacher, said he can bear it because of his faith.

“I think I’m a strong person, too,” he said. “Maybe it’s better it’s me than somebody else who is weaker than me.”

More than 300 people streamed into First Baptist on Sunday after a hectic week. The sanctuary rang with applause for the volunteers.

Two church members were baptized during the service. Both came to the pastor after the tornadoes.

Churchgoers danced and sang from the pews at Cornerstone. Hiatt and Johnson stood next to each other — one in jeans, the other in a pinstripe suit — and lifted their hands in praise. Johnson received a $1,000 check from his hosts to help restore Faith Missionary.

He thanked God for the rain.

“Entire churches are going out there sharing and caring,” he said from the pulpit. “Why did it have to take a storm?”
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« Reply #121 on: January 08, 2016, 12:26:34 pm »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-adds-strong-292k-jobs-133122852.html
US added strong 292K jobs last month; jobless rate at 5 pct.
1/8/16

WASHINGTON (AP) — American employers added a robust 292,000 jobs in December, suggesting that the U.S. economy is so far defying global weakness and growing solidly.

The strong figures underscore the resilience of the United States at a time of financial turmoil stemming from China's slowing economy and plummeting stock market. Most economists expect U.S. consumer spending to continue to offset overseas weakness, though many foresee only modest U.S. growth.

In its monthly jobs report Friday, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate remained 5 percent in December for a third straight month. More Americans started looking for jobs and succeeded in finding them.

The government also said employers added a combined 50,000 more jobs in October and November than it had previously estimated. For the July-September quarter, hiring averaged 284,000 a month — the best three-month pace in a year.

Even as many more jobs have been added, the unemployment rate has held at 5 percent over the past three months because nearly a million more Americans have begun looking for jobs since September.

U.S. stocks rose modestly after the jobs report was issued, with the Dow Jones industrial average up about 48 points after falling sharply all week.

"The economy is reflected most strongly in the jobs numbers — and it's doing OK, maybe better than OK," said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance.

For all of 2015, employers added 2.65 million jobs, a monthly average of 221,000. That made 2015 the second-best year for hiring since 1999, after 2014's gain of 3.2 million jobs.

"2015 went out with a megabang," says Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at the accounting and consulting firm CohnReznick. "It speaks to the underlying strength of the domestic economy. The United State is intertwined with the international economy but to a far lesser degree than many other countries."

O'Keefe noted that global trade accounts for only about 30 percent of U.S. economic activity, one of the lowest such percentages in the world.

Beth Ann Bovino, U.S. chief economist at Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, said the actions the U.S. government took amid the financial meltdown in 2008 are still paying off and should continue to shield the slow and steady recovery this year from the global weakness.

The groundwork for that stability stems in part from the record-low interest rates engineered by the Federal Reserve, as well as policies such as the "cash for clunkers" program, the payroll-tax holiday and the business investment tax credit that helped energize the economy years ago.

"Because the U.S. government and the Fed early on gave support for this recovery, we've been able to withstand any bumps along the road," Bovino said.

View galleryUS added strong 292K jobs last month; jobless rate …
In this April 22, 2015 photo, Ralph Logan, general manager of Microtrain, left, speaks with James S …
Even as demand for workers grew, average hourly pay slipped a penny in December to $25.24 an hour. Still, average pay has risen 2.5 percent in the past year, only the second time since the Great Recession ended in mid-2009 that it has reached that level. At the same time, pay growth remains below the roughly 3.5 percent pace typical of a healthy economy.

Last month, the percentage of adults with jobs rose for a second straight month, though it remains below pre-recession levels. And many of the new jobs were in higher-paying industries: Construction added 45,000, health care nearly 53,000. Professional and business services, which includes accountants, engineers, and architects as well as lower-paid temporary workers, added 73,000 positions.

The solid jobs report could raise the likelihood that the Fed will further raise rates after announcing its first increase in nearly a decade last month. Steady hiring would reduce the supply of people seeking jobs, which could lead to higher wages and possibly lift inflation closer to the Fed's 2 percent target.Many economists expect the Fed to raise its benchmark rate three times this year.

Still, Friday's report contained no signs of inflation. Average hourly earnings fell by a penny between November and December to $25.24.

For months, U.S. employers have hired steadily even as global growth has flagged and financial markets have sunk. Stronger customer demand has given most businesses confidence to hire even though some sectors — notably manufacturing and oil and gas drilling — are struggling.

Still, stumbling growth in countries like China, the world's second-largest economy, and financial market turmoil might pose long-term challenges for the U.S. economy.

The dollar has climbed about 10 percent in value in the past year compared with overseas currencies. That has made U.S. goods more expensive globally while lowering the price of imported products.

U.S. manufacturers added 30,000 jobs last year, a marked decline from 2014. Yet it makes up just 10 percent of the U.S. economy and oil and gas drilling even less.

For now, Americans are confident enough to buy homes. Sales of newly built homes jumped nearly 15 percent in 2015 and helped spur building and construction hiring: Construction companies added 215,000 jobs last year, a 3.4 percent gain.

In another sign of consumer health, auto sales rose to a record high last year as cheap gas and low interest rates led to booming sales of SUVs and pickup trucks.
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« Reply #122 on: January 14, 2016, 04:00:08 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/declares-worst-ever-ebola-outbreak-over-092344314.html
1/14/16
WHO declares Ebola outbreak over

Monrovia (AFP) - The world breathed a sigh of relief Thursday as a two-year Ebola epidemic that killed 11,000 and triggered a global health alert was declared over, with Liberia the last country given the all-clear.

The deadliest outbreak in the history of the feared tropical virus wrecked the economies and health systems of the three worst-hit west African nations after it emerged in southern Guinea in December 2013.

At its peak, it devastated Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with bodies piling up in the streets and overwhelmed hospitals recording hundreds of new cases a week.

Rick Brennan, the World Health Organization's chief of emergency risk management, hailed an important milestone but told reporters in Geneva that "the job is still not done", pointing out that there had already been 10 small flare-ups because of the persistance of the virus in survivors.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned the region can expect sporadic cases in the coming year but added "we also expect the potential and frequency of those flare-ups to decrease over time".

Reaction to the announcement was muted in Monrovia, where locals have become accustomed to good news on Ebola being followed by setbacks, and there was no official programme of celebration.

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« Reply #123 on: August 31, 2016, 06:04:52 pm »

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/generation-z-earn-outwork-rest-090017938.html
8/31/16
Generation Z will out-earn and outwork the rest of us

Move over millennials, there’s a new workaholic generation in town.

Generation Z, currently in school and the early years of college, is more willing to work longer hours and weekends than their elders are, according to a recently released report by Monster Worldwide Inc., the job-search firm. The data was gathered in January by research agency TNS, which surveyed members of Generation Z from age 15-20.

Of more than 2,000 people surveyed, 58 percent of Generation Zers said they would come into work on evenings and weekends in exchange for a bigger paycheck, compared with 45 percent of millennials, 40 percent of Generation X, and 33 percent of boomers. That’s not entirely surprising: They’ve got youth on their side and are generally not burdened with child-care responsibilities that make working irregular hours difficult for their generational predecessors.

Among the generations, Zers surveyed were the most motivated by money, although 74 percent of them said work should have a greater purpose than earning a salary, compared to 45 percent of millennials, 40 percent of Generation X, and 33 percent of boomers.

Brands seeking to recruit young blood should consider forgoing the beer fridge and ping pong table in exchange for a good old-fashioned health plan. While Gen Z might be more energetic and money-hungry than the rest, its first job requirements are reminiscent of generations before them. Seventy percent of those surveyed said their top priority is health insurance, followed by a competitive wage, a boss they respect, room for growth, and parental leave.
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« Reply #124 on: October 06, 2016, 10:31:35 am »

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/06/politics/obama-approval-rating-new-high/index.html
10/6/16
Obama approval hits new high

(CNN)President Barack Obama's approval rating stands at 55% in a new CNN/ORC poll, the highest mark of his second term, and matching his best at any time since his first year in office.

The new rating outpaces his previous second-term high -- reached just after a Democratic convention that extolled the successes of his presidency -- by one point, and hits a level he's reached just twice since the end of his first year in office: In January 2013 just before his second inauguration and in January 2011.

The new poll continues a streak in which Obama's approval rating has been at 50% or higher in CNN/ORC polls since February, a seven month run that is his longest since 2009. And taken together, Obama's approval ratings in 2016 average 51% so far in CNN/ORC polls, his best mark since that first year in office.

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« Reply #125 on: October 07, 2016, 02:06:34 pm »

http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/07/news/economy/obama-15-million-jobs/index.html
10/7/16
The Obama economy has now created 15 million jobs

President Obama is now taking credit for creating 15 million jobs.

That's how many new jobs have been created since the dark days of the Great Recession. Another solid month of hiring in September has brought the tally to over 15 million non-farm jobs.

"Anyone claiming that America's economy is in decline is peddling fiction," President Obama said in his State of the Union address earlier this year. His critics counter that this is the slowest recovery since WW II.

This week Obama fought back at his detractors. He said his team has created a "more durable, growing economy" with "15 million new private-sector jobs since early 2010" in an essay in The Economist. Democrat Tim Kaine also used the 15 million jobs talking point in the vice presidential debate.

But Obama is using the most generous accounting possible to get that figure.

He doesn't start the count from his first day in office in 2009. Instead, he begins calculating job gains from February 2010, which was the lowest point for employment in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Under 130 million people were working then, according to U.S. Department of Labor. Now there are almost 145 million employed Americans.

CNNMoney used the Obama methodology (lowest employment point to highest) to see how he stacks up against recent presidents.

The result: Obama is still behind Presidents Clinton (22.9 million) and Reagan (18.1 million), but he's left President George W. Bush (8.2 million) in the dust.

So what happens when you start the clock on Obama's first day of office?

If you do that, Obama can only take credit for 10.8 million new jobs. He also looks a bit worse compared to Reagan and Clinton.

Some make the case that the Obama jobs clock should start in February 2009 since the president only takes office on January 20 and that was a terrible month for job losses. Starting in February yields 11.5 million new jobs created under Obama.

"It's obviously a political question, because it's a judgment about whether he was responsible for any or all of those 4.3 million jobs lost during his first 13 months in office, or just for the 15 million jobs added thereafter," says Lakshman Achuthan, co-founder of the Economic Cycle Research Institute.

Achuthan doesn't take a stance on which method is better.

The Obama administration says the job gains clock shouldn't start until 2010 because it took time for the president's policies to take effect to get the country out of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Obama has played up job growth in interviews and speeches about his legacy because it's been particularly strong in recent years. In many ways, hiring has been the highlight of the recovery. Economic growth overall has been mediocre, and wages haven't picked up much (at least for the middle class).

"President Obama has tried to walk something of a narrow line along the lines of: We've made progress, but we still have work to do," says Mark Hamrick, senior economist analyst at Bankrate.com.
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« Reply #126 on: October 28, 2016, 10:50:51 am »

http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/28/news/economy/us-economic-growth-gdp-third-quarter/index.html
10/28/16
U.S. economy posts best growth in 2 years

America finally got some good economic growth.

The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual rate from July through September compared with the same time a year ago -- the fastest economic growth in two years.

It was the last reading on economic growth before the election, and it came as welcome news: Growth was sluggish in the first half of the year, averaging just above 1%.

 "This shows that the U.S. is roughly on track. It's a natural bounce back following a pretty underwhelming year so far," says Luke Bartholomew, fixed income investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management.

While the economy gained momentum in the third quarter, growth this year comes in at 1.7% -- still slow compared with historical standards.

Related: Why Trump resonates: 'middle skill' workers' wages plummet

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, released a statement calling the quarterly growth "modest." Economists took a brighter view: Barclays and the research firm High Frequency Economics called it solid.

Trump also said that economic growth over the past year has been "dismal." He has promised economic growth of 4% if he is elected president, but economists surveyed by CNNMoney say that is unrealistic.

For the third quarter, American shoppers continued to drive growth, while business spending was less of a drag. Consumer confidence hit a nine-year high in September, according to the Conference Board.

Another big boost to growth in the quarter was trade, a central issue for Trump, who has threatened to impose tariffs against Mexico and China and tear up free trade deals like NAFTA.

Exports grew by 10% in the quarter, the best pace in nearly three years. A huge jump in shipments of soybeans explained much of the increase in exports, economists say. China has been one of the biggest buyers of U.S. soybeans. American agricultural exports to China have increased by 200% over the past decade, according to the USDA.

Again, the pickup in exports is good news, but it's not likely to last.

"It looks like a temporary boost," says Bricklin Dwyer, chief U.S. economist at BNP Paribas. "You can't keep shipping whole heaps of soybeans, but it's certainly not bad news."

Related: Millions in gig economy can't find better pay or jobs

For much of the year, businesses had lots of unsold items sitting in the back room, which worked against growth. This factor, also known as inventories, didn't hold growth back in the third quarter.

Businesses really cut back spending on new equipment, sales of which were down 2.7%. Although some experts debate whether the uncertainty of the election could be weighing down business spending, it's declined for four straight quarters. Many economists believe other factors, like a strong dollar and sluggish global economy, play bigger roles in the equipment cutback.

Solid growth numbers help clear the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at the end of this year. Sluggish growth, and a bad jobs report in May, held the Fed back from raising rates earlier this year, among other reasons. The Fed is expected to raise rates in December.
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« Reply #127 on: October 31, 2016, 10:43:17 pm »

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN12V1BM
U.S. consumer spending ends third-quarter with strong momentum
10/31/16

U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in September as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and inflation increased steadily, which could bolster expectations of an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve in December.

The Commerce Department said on Monday that consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, increased 0.5 percent after dipping 0.1 percent in August. Last month's rise in consumer spending offered a fairly strong handoff from the third quarter to the current quarter.

The report was published ahead of the start of the Fed's two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. The U.S. central bank is not expected to raise rates at this meeting, which comes about a week before the Nov. 8 presidential election, but is expected to do so in December.

"The latest data should be of comfort to the Fed. Spending continues to underpin growth and, combined with positive developments on the labor market and inflation, should enable the Fed to tighten policy in December," said Greg Daco, head of U.S. macroeconomics at Oxford Economics in New York.

Economists had forecast consumer spending rising 0.4 percent last month. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending rose 0.3 percent after falling 0.2 percent in August.

The spending figures were incorporated into last Friday's report on third-quarter gross domestic product. Consumer spending increased at a 2.1 percent annual pace after advancing at a robust 4.3 percent rate in the prior period.

A separate report on Monday showed factory activity in the U.S. Midwest hit a five-month low in October amid declining production and weak growth in new orders. The report from the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago suggests prolonged weakness in manufacturing as the sector continues to deal with the aftermath of a dollar rally and lower oil prices.

U.S. stocks were trading marginally higher as investors showed caution ahead of next Tuesday's elections. The dollar .DXY rose against a basket of currencies, while U.S. Treasury yields fell.

INFLATION TICKING HIGHER

Consumer spending combined with a spurt in soybean exports and a turnaround in inventory investment to boost economic growth to a 2.9 percent pace in the third quarter. The economy grew at a 1.4 percent rate in the April-June quarter.

Rising wages due to a tightening labor market should help support consumer spending. With consumer spending firming, inflation continued to gain steadily last month. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 0.2 percent after a similar gain in August.

In the 12 months through September the PCE price index rose 1.2 percent, the biggest gain since November 2014, after advancing 1.0 percent in August.

Excluding food and energy, the so-called core PCE price index rose 0.1 percent after advancing 0.2 percent in August. In the 12 months through September the core PCE rose 1.7 percent after a similar increase in August.

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« Reply #128 on: November 09, 2016, 07:21:47 pm »

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« Reply #129 on: November 21, 2016, 10:40:49 am »

As I said in another thread, I believe during the early part of Trump's presidency, there could be a period of "prosperity". Everything back to usual, economy great again, everyone "getting along", etc. All that went on the last 15 years, especially the last 8 under Obama (ie, FEMA Camps, Martial Law, 501c3 churches forced to twist Romans 13, big cities getting nuked, etc) was nothing but one big psyop. Now I'm slowly hearing KJB/watchmen ministries getting on the scoffing bandwagon. (ie, saying how God gave this country a "reprieve")

As for Hillary - will say this much - she was nothing but a SMOKESCREEN for the last 25 years. She was basically your typical "gossip chatter" at daily soccer mom's gatherings, to put distraction blocks against more important issues going on (ie, she got tons of mainstream celebrity attention during this long time span). I don't think the Vatican had any intentions to put her in office.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/as-trump-prepares-for-white-house-never-trumpers-say-maybe/ar-AAkybHb?li=AA5a8k&ocid=spartandhp
As Trump prepares for White House, Never Trumpers say maybe

WASHINGTON — During the course of the 2016 campaign, Republican Christine Todd Whitman compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. She warned that a Trump administration would bring the country into "chaos." And a month before Election Day, the former Bush Cabinet official proclaimed her support for Hillary Clinton.

Now, when young Republicans ask her whether they should join the Trump administration, Whitman struggles to find a simple answer.

"I'd sound a note of caution," says the former Environmental Protection Agency head. "They're going to have to carry out what the president wants done."

Dozens of Republican foreign policy experts, business leaders and elected officials broke party ranks to come out against Trump during the contentious presidential race. Now, they're facing a difficult choice: Get on the Trump train or watch it leave from the station.

"Look, he's the president," said Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a Trump backer. "People are going to want to do everything they can to work closely with him."

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who once called Trump "a phony" and "a fraud," is a leading contender for secretary of state. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, long Trump's loudest critic in the Senate, has urged his Republican followers to root for Trump And South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, also under consideration for secretary of state, met with Trump on Thursday. While she eventually voted for him, Haley had criticized his Muslim travel ban and complained that she was "not a fan." Trump, in turn, tweeted that she "embarrassed" her state.

Sasse and other Trump antagonists in Congress are looking to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a former Indiana congressman and the state's governor, as a possible conduit to the administration.

The bridge-building is far more challenging for generations of Republicans who have spent eight years biding their time at think tanks, universities and corporations. But unlike in a typical campaign, when the party rallies behind their nominee, a number of these experts had spent months publicly blasting Trump.

Whether Trump will welcome these former opponents into his administration remains unclear. Trump and his team must fill more than 4,000 jobs, a daunting task for a president-elect with no experience in federal government. And the real-estate mogul is known for his ability to hold a grudge — a trait that worries some job-seekers.

Those concerns are particularly acute for national security experts, dozens of whom signed letters warning that Trump would "put at risk our country's national security and well-being."

Peter Feaver, a Bush era White House aide who signed both letters, did not expect that Trump would hire anyone involved with the effort, saying they were "effectively on a blacklist." But he said that the new administration could still pick from a sizable group of former Republican foreign policy officials who were not signatories.

He's urging them to consider taking a post, both to shape the policies of the new administration and advance their own careers.

"He is our president and if he asks you to serve the country, you shouldn't reflectively say 'no,' " said Feaver, a professor at Duke University. "I have actively encouraged people I know who are good to throw their name in the hat because I want to help this team assemble the best team they can."

Since the election, there's been some informal contact between those who spoke out against Trump and the people trying to staff his administration. The conversations haven't always gone well.

"I'm a little leery from what I have heard of the reaction of the people around him who seem to be a little more of the, 'We won. You lost. Don't try to horn in on our act,'" Whitman said. "That's just counterproductive."

Those reports have sparked a debate within some Republican circles about whether patriotic duty should outweigh concerns about Trump's management style.

Eliot Cohen, the former State Department official who coordinated the first letter, said he was asked by a friend close to Trump's team to suggest potential appointees who might be willing to work in the administration.

He was so turned off by the response to his advice that it prompted him to pen an op-ed declaring that he'd changed his mind: Conservatives, he wrote in The Washington Post, should opt out of serving.

"For a garden-variety Republican policy specialist, service in the early phase of the administration would carry a high risk of compromising one's integrity and reputation," he wrote.

Not everyone agrees. Eric Edelman, a national security adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney, said he didn't expect to get a call from the new administration given that he was a vocal critic of Trump during the campaign.

He's advising others to at least hear out the offer, saying that "patriotism requires you to do it." But he isn't offering any recommendations.

"I don't want to pick out any names," he said. "I don't want to run the risk of damaging them with my association."
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« Reply #130 on: November 21, 2016, 11:56:24 am »

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/donald-trump-popular-poll-231694
11/21/16
Poll: Trump's popularity soars after election

Donald Trump’s popularity is rising in the days since his election, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll of registered voters.

Forty-six percent of voters now have a very favorable or somewhat favorable opinion of the president-elect. Twelve percent have a somewhat unfavorable opinion and 34 percent have a very unfavorable opinion of him.

It’s a dramatic uptick since the election. Trump’s favorability has grown 9 points, 37 percent to 46 percent, compared to a Morning Consult poll right before the election -- while his unfavorability has dropped 15 points, from 61 percent to 46 percent.

President Barack Obama’s approval rating is also up. Fifty-four percent of voters approve of the job Obama is doing, while 43 percent disapprove. That’s up from 50 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving of Obama before the election.

"Trump’s favorability among voters has reached new highs since he became president-elect,” said Morning Consult cofounder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. "This honeymoon phase in common for new presidents. For example, Obama saw about a 20 point swing in his favor following the 2008 election."

Trump is also getting high marks for his transition effort. Nineteen percent of those polled believe it is more organized than past efforts and another 34 percent believe the transition is about the same, according to the poll that Morning Consult conducted Nov. 16-18.

"About half say Donald Trump's presidential transition is as organized or more organized than previous administrations, whereas about one in three describe it as less organized than past transitions,' said Dropp, though he noted that “many of the initial transition picks including Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions are still largely unknown to Americans."

More than half of the respondents had never heard of, or had no opinion, about Trump’s chief of staff Priebus, chief strategist Bannon or Sessions, the Alabama senator who is Trump’s pick for attorney general.

Still, three in 10 believe that Priebus was a strong choice as chief of staff (27 percent say it was weak). Only two in 10 believe Bannon was a strong choice (34 percent say it was weak).

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,885 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. Thirty-three percent of likely voters self-identified as Democrats, 32 percent as independents and 33 percent as Republicans.
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« Reply #131 on: November 22, 2016, 10:34:48 am »

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/markets/dow-breaks-above-19-000-s-p-jumps-over-2-n687161

Dow Breaks Above 19,000, S&P Jumps Over 2,200 as Stocks Hit Record Highs
11/22/16

by Fred Imbert, CNBC

U.S. equities opened higher on Tuesday, hitting new all-time highs, as investors awaited housing data and kept an eye on President-elect Donald Trump's policy agenda.

The Dow Jones industrial average broke above 19,000 for the first time ever shortly after the open, with Boeing contributing the most gains. The S&P 500 traded over 2,200 for the first time, as real estate and energy led advancers. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3 percent, also trading at fresh record highs.

"Global equity markets are reacting positively to new all-time highs in the SPX," said Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG, in a note. "Momentum is proving strong enough to overrule overbought conditions, so we think it is appropriate to be buying breakouts."

The three major indexes closed at record levels on Wednesday, along with the small-caps Russell 2000, which continues to outperform the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq since Nov. 8.

But "don't forget, we spend about three months consolidating before this breakout after the election," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. "From a time standpoint, this may be just the beginning."

"We are in a transition period on a number of fronts. First, we're moving from an interest-rate driven market into an earnings-driven market," he said. "Also, something most people are missing, is we're getting a more business-friendly administration."

Related: How Trump's Business Interests Present Huge Conflicts of Interest

The Federal Reserve has indicated numerous times its desire to normalize monetary policy, and it's all but certain the central bank will take a step in that direction next month. According to the CME Group's FedWatch tool, market expectations for an interest rate hike in December were more than 100 percent.

Meanwhile, S&P 500 earnings grew for the first time in more than a year. According to data compiled by The Earnings Scout, earnings per share had grown 6.21 percent as of Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Stocks have also been bolstered by Trump's surprising win over Democrat Hillary Clinton, as expectations for deregulation in a number of sectors and tax cuts have increased optimism in the U.S. stock market.

On Monday, Trump expanded on his policy agenda, which includes withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The trade pact was a centerpiece of the Obama administration's "pivot" towards Asia and was meant to solidify the U.S.'s presence in what is considered by many American companies as the most economically dynamic part in the world.

In economic news, existing home sales data for October are due at 10 a.m. There are no other major data due Tuesday, but Wednesday will see several reports released, as the U.S. will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

"The commuter trains should start thinning out by this afternoon as traders take advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday. The price action for the next several days should therefore put investors to sleep which will preclude the reprise of any deleterious amount of volatility," Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities, said in a note.

In corporate news, medical equipment maker Medtronic reported mixed quarterly results. Medtronic also cut its full-year forecast, as customers delay purchases ahead of new products entering the marketplace.

Meanwhile, KKR is buying Japanese auto parts maker Calsonic from Nissan Motors and its partners for $4.5 billion.
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« Reply #132 on: November 22, 2016, 11:21:08 am »

How US, China military relations could change
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/how-us-china-military-relations-could-change/vi-AAkAPMt?ocid=spartandhp

The United States' military relationship with China could change after Donald Trump becomes president. CNN's Matt Rivers reports.
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« Reply #133 on: November 22, 2016, 11:43:53 am »

http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/22/investing/trump-stock-market-rally-ignores-promises/index.html?iid=hp-toplead-dom
11/22/16
Trump market euphoria forgets scary campaign promises

Wall Street is in heaven these days. Donald Trump's surprise election has led to a rally, carrying the Dow above 19,000 for the first time ever.

The Trump rally has been sparked by hopes that the president-elect will follow through on promises to slash taxes, roll back regulation and ramp up infrastructure spending. Many are betting a focus on these strategies will finally unleash the American economy after years of sluggish growth.

But lost in the post-election euphoria is the fact that this rally has been almost exclusively built on Trump's pro-business campaign promises -- not the ones that frighten many investors.

Trump has also promised to tear up NAFTA, slap big tariffs on China, break up big banks and audit the Federal Reserve -- all events that make the markets very nervous. That's not even counting Trump's unpredictable nature, which suggests years of precisely the uncertainty that investors hate.

"The market seems to be grabbing on to all the prospective good things and ignoring the negative issues lurking out there," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Capital.

Luschini said he's most concerned about Trump's promises to "terminate" NAFTA and the risk that imposing big tariffs on goods from China and Mexico will ricochet back to the American economy.

"Trade is the big one. I'm worried about retaliatory practices by trade partners that could harm multinational revenues," he said.

Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, shares those worries. "We just have to hope Trump doesn't follow through with his trade stuff."

Here's a sampling of the Trump campaign rhetoric that investors seem to be forgetting, or at least hoping won't turn into actual action:

Killing NAFTA: Trump's promise this week to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a fresh reminder of the anti-trade stance he ran on. Once TPP is officially dead, Trump has pledged to renegotiate or "terminate" NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement that he has called the "worst trade deal in history."

Trump has the power to unilaterally withdraw from this trade deal with Mexico and Canada without the approval of Congress. Economists have warned that doing so would likely cost many U.S. jobs, millions of which depend on free trade with Mexico.

Tariffs could spark trade war: Trump didn't just pledge to end NAFTA, he wants to slap big tariffs on China and Mexico. Again, Trump does have the authority to do this without Congress.

But what would happen if Trump installed 35% tariffs on Mexico and 45% on China, as he's said? Many fear it would spark a tit-for-tat response from trading partners that devolves into a trade war. That is a scary outcome for the market, especially given that about half of S&P 500 revenues are from overseas.

Break up the big banks? Don't let the rally for stocks -- including big banks -- fool you, Trump is no friend to Wall Street. In fact, Trump has advocated for breaking up America's big banks. The GOP platform at this summer's convention called for bringing back the Glass-Steagall Act, the Great Depression-era law that bans banks from serving both Wall Street and Main Street. A return of Glass-Steagall would force mega banks like JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Citigroup (C) to shrink themselves.

Trump's chief strategist, ex-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon, would love this. Bannon told Buzzfeed in 2014 that the Wall Street meltdown was driven by bankers' "greed" and took issue with the fact that bank execs didn't face criminal charges.

Attacking the Federal Reserve: During the campaign, Trump broke from tradition by taking repeated shots at Fed chair Janet Yellen. He claimed Yellen was keeping rates low to help President Obama and "being more political than Secretary Clinton." Trump also backs a GOP push called "Audit the Fed" that would allow the General Accountability Office to review the central bank's monetary policy decisions.

Any legislation that threatens the Fed's independence makes investors uneasy. The worry is the Fed would take orders from politicians, instead of basing interest rate decisions on the goal of a strong job market along with steady inflation. Yellen recently warned that this independence is "critically important" and noted that countries where central banks are "subject to political pressure" have suffered "terrible outcomes."

Deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants: Trump has promised to take a much tougher stance on immigration and even pledged to deport up to 11 million illegal immigrants. But many warn that mass deportations would be extremely divisive and costly for both the government and businesses that rely on these workers. Research at the Wharton School estimates that the plan to deport undocumented workers would result in four million lost jobs by 2030. Luschini, the Janney strategist, worries that Trump's immigration policies could hurt consumer spending, spark mass protests and fuel "undercurrents about inequality."

Even Trump's more moderate immigration ideas could hurt some companies. Specifically, Trump has threatened to crack down on the practice of hiring foreign workers through H-1B visas and Jeff Sessions, his proposed Attorney General, is a vocal critic of this program. Silicon Valley has long relied on the H-1B program to find talented workers that help fuel innovation.

-- CNNMoney's Patrick Gillespie and Heather Long contributed to this report.
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« Reply #134 on: November 23, 2016, 10:40:05 pm »

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/cdc-us-abortion-rate-falls-to-lowest-level-in-decades/ar-AAkFNeM?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartandhp
CDC: US abortion rate falls to lowest level in decades

NEW YORK — The number and rate of abortions tallied by federal authorities have fallen to their lowest level in decades, according to new data released Wednesday.

The latest annual report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incorporating data from 47 states, said the abortion rate for 2013 was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years. That is down 5 percent from 2012, and is half the rate of 25 recorded in 1980.

The last time the CDC recorded a lower abortion rate was in 1971, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that established a nationwide right for women to have abortions. Abortion was legal in some states at that time.

The CDC tallied 664,435 abortions in 2013 from the 47 states, down 5 percent from 2012 and down 20 percent from 2004. The CDC does not receive abortion data from California, Maryland and New Hampshire — and thus its total is less than the widely accepted current estimate of more than 900,000 abortions per year in all 50 states.

Back in 1990, when California was supplying data, the CDC recorded a peak of more than 1.4 million abortions.



FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2011 file photo, a statue representing women's empowerment stands in front of a Planned Parenthood facility in Tucson, Ariz. The number and rate of abortions tallied by federal authorities have fallen to their lowest level in decades, according to new data released Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)© The Associated Press FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2011 file photo, a statue representing women's empowerment stands in front of a Planned Parenthood facility in Tucson, Ariz. The number and rate of abortions tallied by federal authorities have fallen to… The CDC's latest findings meshed with an Associated Press state-by-state survey conducted last year — with extensive data from 2014 — showing that abortions had been declining in virtually every state since 2010. There were big declines in conservative states passing laws to restrict abortions and also in more liberal states that protected abortion rights.

The CDC report suggests there are several factors behind the abortion decline, including a sharp drop in adolescent pregnancies, expanded coverage of contraception costs by health care plans, and increased use of effective, long-lasting contraceptive methods such as intrauterine devices and hormonal implants.

Among the CDC's detailed findings:

—Women in their 20s accounted for more than 58 percent of abortions and had the highest abortion rates. Young women and girls aged 19 and under accounted for 11.7 percent of abortions.

—Two-thirds of abortions were performed within the first eight weeks of gestation, and nearly 92 percent by 13 weeks. Only 1.3 percent were performed after 20 weeks — a point at which many anti-abortion activists want a federal abortion ban to be imposed. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to support such a ban if legislation reaches his desk.

—State abortion rates varied widely, from 3.6 per 1,000 women age 15-44 in Mississippi to 24.3 in New York. Mississippi is among a handful of states with only one functioning abortion clinic.

—Medical abortions — generally using the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol — accounted for about 22 percent of abortions; surgical procedures accounted for nearly all the others.

—About 15 percent of women who obtained an abortion were married. About 60 percent had previously given birth to at least one child.
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« Reply #135 on: December 02, 2016, 08:06:53 am »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-payrolls-report-november-2016-130614643.html
Unemployment rate tumbles to 4.6%, lowest since August 2007

In a stunning development, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just revealed that the US unmployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 4.6% in November. This is the lowest level since August 2007.

Economists were expecting the rate to be unchanged from October at 4.9%.

During the month, US companies added 178,000 nonfarm payrolls, which was a tad lighter than the 180,000 forecast by economists. Growth was driven by private payrolls, which increased by 156,000.

Average hourly earnings increased 2.5% year-over-year, which was weaker than the 2.8% pace expected.

“A watchful eye will remain on wages as more pro-growth policies are expected to be initiated in 2017,” Wells Fargo’s Sam Bullard said ahead of the report.
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« Reply #136 on: December 02, 2016, 11:04:59 am »

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/12/01/study-fastest-growing-churches-have-modern-worship-teach-literal-interpretation-bible.html
12/1/16
Study: Fastest-growing churches have modern worship, teach literal interpretation of Bible

A Canadian study has found that Mainline Protestant churches that have both modern worship services and teach a literal interpretation of the Bible grow faster.

The Canadian researchers who authored the study, "Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Mainline Protestant Church Attendees and Clergy," surveyed 2,225 churchgoers in Ontario, Canada, and interviewed 29 clergy and 195 congregants. The study will be published in next month's issue of the Review of Religious Research.

HUNDREDS SUPPORT CHRISTIAN FLORIST FINED FOR REFUSING TO WORK GAY WEDDING

"This study was important because it quantified empirically something that evangelical renewalists have been saying for decades — theology matters," said the Rev. Tom Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of Good News Magazine, a United Methodist publication, in an interview with The Christian Post.

Lambrecht, who served for 29 years as a United Methodist minister in Wisconsin, told CP that people who are interested in the things of God "want spiritual substance, not just a feel-good message or the opportunity to engage in community service." The Church, he said, has to to be distinct from and offer more than local civic associations and charities.

SCHOOL DISTRICT BANS SANTA CLAUS, RELIGIOUS IMAGERY BEFORE CHRISTMAS

A solidly Orthodox Gospel that motivates churches to adapt their worship life and ministries to engage the next generation more effectively will be one where the message remains the same, but the means of delivery look different.

The study also showed that services at growing "churches featured contemporary worship with drums and guitars, while declining churches favoured traditional styles of worship with organ and choir."

"The use of contemporary Christian worship music is an example of that adaptation," Lambrecht said. "It has been around for over 40 years, yet some churches still resist making that adaptation." He added, however, that he's seen examples of churches that have more traditional styles of worship that are also yielding growth.

Pastor John Daffern who leads a Southern Baptist congregation in Columbus, Mississippi, calls himself "an apologist for the modern church."

"I pastor a church that fits that mold," said Daffern, who leads MTV Church, in a recent interview with CP after he read some of the study's findings.

"We are theologically conservative, according to that study, and yet we are unashamedly modern and we are in a sustained period of growth in our church, and that is in direct contrast to many of the Mainline churches and even some evangelical churches.

"And I think the wisdom of that study is the two parts. There does need to be a modern sense of an expression of the faith while at the same time a conservative, Orthodox view of Christianity," he added.
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« Reply #137 on: December 02, 2016, 07:45:22 pm »

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/what-are-95-million-americans-doing-out-of-the-labor-force/ar-AAl4gN7?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp
What are 95 million Americans doing out of the labor force?
 

12/2/16

The November jobs report looked pretty good on the surface except for one number that popped off the page: 95 million.

That's the number of Americans now counted as not in the labor force, a historic high that has confounded economists and policymakers. The total — 95.06 million to be more exact — has been rising consistently but surged by a gaudy 446,000 last month.

The jump occurred as the U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs and the headline unemployment rate dropped sharply.

Explaining the consistent increase in those leaving the labor force is complicated, with factors divided between an aging and rapidly retiring workforce, a skills gap that leaves job openings unfilled, and the nettlesome problem of too many people who find it's just easier to collect welfare and other transfer payments rather than go back to work.

"(What) are so many of them doing?" Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, said in a note after the nonfarm payrolls report. Boockvar used a crude online expression that nicely sums up the continued frustration with America's shrinking labor force.

In a subsequent interview, he acknowledged the issue is many pronged and poses a long-term obstacle for economic growth.

"It's a combination. There's no question a lot of them are retirees," Boockvar said. "No one wants to say, 'I want to get fired and sit on my butt.' But when people do lose their jobs, they're not being incentivized enough to go back to work compared to the benefits they get by not being at work."

Indeed, the U.S. saw an explosion in benefits during the Great Recession that has receded only mildly during the recovery.

For example, the level of those enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps — has remained elevated even with an economic expansion that is nearly 7½ years old. SNAP recipients totaled 33.5 million in 2009, the year the recession ended. In 2016, the number is at 45.3 million. The government shelled out $74 billion in benefits last year, about double the level of 2008.

Taken together, the numbers show that there's more to meets the eye than a headline unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, the lowest since August 2007. Because that number ignores those not in the labor force, as well as workers at part-time jobs for economic reasons, it doesn't tell the whole story. A broader jobless measure is at 9.3 percent.

"I have a problem with people saying we're at full employment," said Dan North, chief economist at Euler Hermes North America, a trade credit insurance company. "We have a record 95 million people sitting on the sidelines. To me, that's hardly full employment."

The structural issue is what North calls the "silver tsunami of retirees" or those 10,000 baby boomers a month leaving the workforce and heading for retirement.

But that's only one more part of the problem. Another big issue is the skills gap for employers struggling to find workers to fill positions.

Job openings in September were at 5.5 million, though hires were at just 5.1 million, according to the Labor Department.

"Employers have lots of jobs open but can't find the right people to fill them. That's certainly a part of it as well," North said.

Companies are trying to be creative in that respect. Some strategies they are employing include reducing prerequisites for jobs — allowing, say, associate degree holders for jobs that formerly required bachelor's or master's degrees — while also focusing on job training and flexible hours.

That carries its own risk by allowing workers with a steeper learning curve on the job. But the current labor force condition is mandating innovative solutions, and compromises.

"It's a great thing for the candidate that's getting an opportunity, especially for the millennial who's interested in career growth and job changes every couple of years. For the employers, it's good in a sense to seek a new perspective from the labor pool," said Amy Glaser, senior vice president at Adecco Staffing, a recruitment and workforce solutions firm. "From a change management perspective, it's really difficult for the employer. It requires a lot of patience, creativity and open minds to look at things."

Glaser believes the various factors at play aren't going to go away anytime soon.

"There's not a quick fix," she said.
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« Reply #138 on: December 05, 2016, 09:37:09 am »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/just-three-stocks-responsible-almost-124703950.html
Just three stocks are responsible for almost half of the Dow's huge one-month rally
[CNBC]
Alex Rosenberg
December 5, 2016

The Dow Jones Industrial average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) has gained about 1,200 points over the past month. And interestingly, nearly half of that advance has been produced by just three stocks.

Leading the field by a wide margin is Goldman Sachs (GS): That stock's 26.5 percent rally over the past month has added about 320 points to the Dow. In second place is UnitedHealth (UNH), which is up about 15.7 percent, and has consequently tacked about 150 points onto the 30-stock index. Finally, Caterpillar (CAT)'s 17.3 percent run had added about 95 points, just ahead of JPMorgan (JPM)'s 90-odd point contribution.

As it happens, these four stocks, including JPMorgan, are the best performers over the past month. But their contributions could be seen as oversized due to their high share prices.

Unlike the S&P 500 (^GSPC) or the Russell 2000 (^RUT), the Dow is a price-weighted index, meaning that its performance is congruent to that of a portfolio that owns a single share of each company contained in the index.

If one owned such a portfolio, the move by a $223 share of Goldman Sachs would impact overall performance almost 10 times more than the same percentage-sized move in $29 Cisco (CSCO).

The Dow has been fortunate, then, that some of its largest dollar-priced stocks have also been its best performers, while some of its smallest stocks (such as Cisco, as well as Coca-Cola (KO) and Intel (INTC)) have been laggards. As a result, the Dow is up 6.7 percent in the past month, while the market cap-weighted S&P 500 has risen just 4.5 percent.

The Dow's rally is "not at all" sustainable, said Eddy Elfenbein, editor of the Crossing Wall Street blog.

The effect of price-weighting is to give stocks like Goldman Sachs "outsized influence. So I'm not a buyer here — I don't think these stocks are going to lift the Dow any higher," Elfenbein said Friday on CNBC's " Power Lunch ."

On the other hand, Oppenheimer technical analyst Ari Wald says that while the source of the price gains may be concentrated in a few stocks, "the rally has nonetheless been broad based," with 22 of the Dow components rising over the past month, and 77 percent of the index trading at about their individual average closing price over the past 200 days.

Wald found that in the six months following points at which 75 percent or more of the Dow components have been trading above their 200-day moving averages, the index has risen by an average of 4.1 percent.

"Historically speaking, the numbers argue for more gains for the Dow Jones industrial average," Wald said Friday on "Power Lunch."
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« Reply #139 on: December 05, 2016, 10:43:33 am »

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/05/europe/italy-austria-europe-votes-nic-robertson/index.html
Voters in Italy, Austria send message to EU leaders: Hold on tight

By Nic Robertson, CNN

Updated 10:11 AM ET, Mon December 5, 2016
Italians vote 'no,' a win for Eurosceptics

 (CNN)Europeans rode an emotional roller coaster Sunday. Up, then down.

The resignation of Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the early hours of Monday signaled what so many had feared, that his referendum on political reforms inside Italy would reverberate across all of Europe.

Hours earlier, European leaders had hailed pro-EU candidate Alexander Van der Bellen's trouncing of nationalist Norbert Hofer in Austria's Presidential election as a victory over nationalism.

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said "all of Europe is relieved."

Both men are paying particularly close attention as they, along with the Dutch, face their own elections next year.

In a Europe awash with an apparently infectious populism, how votes go beyond their borders is suddenly very relevant.

Their relief over the Austrian vote was short lived. Renzi's referendum defeat hands Italy's EU skeptics a stronger mandate and possibly enough clout in Parliament or the polls to push their agenda.
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« Reply #140 on: December 05, 2016, 06:41:26 pm »

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« Reply #141 on: December 06, 2016, 06:59:58 pm »

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« Reply #142 on: December 07, 2016, 11:01:10 am »

http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/07/media/time-trump-person-of-the-year/index.html
Trump named Time Person of the Year

Time magazine has named Donald Trump its Person of the Year -- calling him "President of the Divided States of America."

"I don't think that we have ever seen one person, operating in such an unconventional way, have an impact on the events of the year," said Time editor Nancy Gibbs.

She called this year's choice "one of the more straightforward years." Trump beat runner-up Hillary Clinton for the distinction, which Gibbs said is given to the newsmaker who has the biggest influence on world events, for better or worse.

Placing third was "the hackers," to cover people who breached the records of major government organizations, politicians, celebrities and everyday citizens.

The short list also included President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, scientists who developed new DNA-related technology and Beyonce.

    Donald Trump is TIME's Person of the Year 2016 #TIMEPOY https://t.co/5pTGOksevE pic.twitter.com/N8BtqTu9Nl
    — TIME (@TIME) December 7, 2016

The announcement was revealed on NBC's "Today" show. Speaking on the show via phone, Trump called the title a "very, very great honor."

The magazine has been selecting the year's most influential person, group or idea since 1927. Its choices have included nearly every U.S. president, Adolf Hitler, Ayatollah Khomeini, Mahatma Gandhi and Pope Francis, along with groups like the "Ebola fighters." The title was changed in 1982 to "Machine of the Year" for the computer.

In its 90-year history, Time has named only four individual women: American socialite Wallis Simpson, whose marriage to King Edward VIII caused a constitutional crisis, Queen Elizabeth II, President Corazon Aquino of the Philippines, and last year's choice, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Other women have been named as part of a group or class of people.

"It's hard to measure the scale of his disruption," Gibbs wrote in the magazine's article about choosing Trump this year. "So which is it this year: Better or worse? The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer."

Trump has already appeared on Time's cover on numerous occasions this year, including two covers published before the election that featured a cartoon illustration of his melting face titled "Meltdown" and "Total meltdown."

Trump criticized the magazine last year when it picked Merkel, who he called the "person who is ruining Germany."

Trump, who had been a finalist, tweeted the magazine "would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite."

Trump on Wednesday, however, called the magazine "important."

"It means a lot, especially me growing up reading Time magazine, and you know, it's a very important magazine, and I've been lucky enough to be on the cover many times this year," he said on NBC.
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« Reply #143 on: December 07, 2016, 06:07:14 pm »

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/dow-soars-nearly-300-points-to-close-at-record-high/ar-AAlcd6A?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp
Dow soars nearly 300 points to close at record high

Stocks closed sharply higher Wednesday as the Dow and S&P hit record highs, while investors awaited a monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank.

The S&P 500 erased earlier losses to rise around 1.3 percent, with telecoms rallying around 2 percent to lead advancers.

The Dow gained 297 points, with Home Depot, IBM and Goldman Sachs contributing the most gains. The Dow Transports, meanwhile, traded at their first intraday high since 2014. Since Nov. 8, transports have risen more than 12 percent.

"I think this is more momentum from the Trump rally," said Adam Sarhan, CEO at 50 Park Investments. "You've got the financials, transports, steel stocks, small and mid-cap stocks all trading higher. The areas that have worked [since the election] continue to work."

"While all this is happening, you've seen virtually no selling. That's very good for stocks moving forward," he said.

The Nasdaq composite rose 1.1 percent despite the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) shedding around 3 percent.

Entering Wednesday, the Dow had posted gains in 17 of the past 21 sessions and 11 record closes since the election. The S&P and the Nasdaq, meanwhile, have risen 3.4 percent and 2.7 percent since Nov. 8, respectively.

"We've obviously had a pretty significant run over the past few weeks, but with hardly any down days," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "The market is trying to price in a paradigm of fiscal stimulus and deregulation."

President-elect Donald Trump stunned the world by defeating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election with optimism for greater infrastructure spending and deregulation of certain sectors propelling the sharp increase in stocks since Nov. 8.

"Yesterday's 'checkmark' pattern traced by the S&P 500 offered another reminder of large institutions plowing cash into shares in a determined effort to boost their positioning. Despite this consistent risk extension since Donald Trump's shocking victory over Hillary Clinton, my most reliable sentiment indicators suggest that many portfolio managers still have the ability to increase their stock holdings substantially," said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities, in a note.

Investors also looked ahead to a key ECB meeting, in which the central bank is largely expected to extend its quantitative easing program beyond March 2017, particularly after a Sunday referendum in Italy left the country's banks in a vulnerable spot.

"Now, remember, this is the same [ECB President] Mario Draghi that says more than he does," said Wunderlich's Hogan. "I think the market is heading into this meeting with the expectation of more action" being taken.

There are no major U.S. economic data due Wednesday, one week before a Federal Reserve meeting in which the U.S. central bank is expected to raise interest rates. According to the CME Group's FedWatch tool, market expectations for a 25-basis-point increase in rates were around 95 percent.

The U.S. dollar has risen sharply over the past month on expectations of higher rates and fiscal stimulus. On Wednesday, however, the greenback fell 0.21 percent against a basket of currencies, with the euro around $1.075 and the yen near 113.9.

"November's Trump effect still fuels the Dollar with optimism over Donald Trump implementing fiscal stimulus measures reinforcing expectations of an improvement in overall US GDP. A strong rise in inflation from healthy growth could force the Federal Reserve to raise US interest rates aggressively in an effort to prevent the economy from overheating," Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, said in a note.

U.S. Treasury yields fell across the board, with the two-year note yield trading around 1.09 percent and the benchmark 10-year yield near 2.34 percent.

In oil markets, West Texas Intermediate futures for January delivery settled 2.3 percent lower at $49.77 per barrel as doubts over an agreed upon OPEC production cut persisted, despite a reported drawdown of 2.4 million barrels by the Energy Information Administration.

Overseas, European stocks traded higher, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 index gaining 0.9 percent. In Asia, stocks closed mostly higher, with the Shanghai composite advancing 0.71 percent and the Nikkei 225 gaining 0.74 percent.

About four stocks advanced for every decliner at the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 622 million and a composite volume of 3.321 billion.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 11.8.
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« Reply #144 on: December 13, 2016, 12:08:41 pm »

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/markets/dow-breaks-above-19-000-s-p-jumps-over-2-n687161

Dow Breaks Above 19,000, S&P Jumps Over 2,200 as Stocks Hit Record Highs
11/22/16

by Fred Imbert, CNBC

U.S. equities opened higher on Tuesday, hitting new all-time highs, as investors awaited housing data and kept an eye on President-elect Donald Trump's policy agenda.

The Dow Jones industrial average broke above 19,000 for the first time ever shortly after the open, with Boeing contributing the most gains. The S&P 500 traded over 2,200 for the first time, as real estate and energy led advancers. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3 percent, also trading at fresh record highs.

"Global equity markets are reacting positively to new all-time highs in the SPX," said Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG, in a note. "Momentum is proving strong enough to overrule overbought conditions, so we think it is appropriate to be buying breakouts."

The three major indexes closed at record levels on Wednesday, along with the small-caps Russell 2000, which continues to outperform the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq since Nov. 8.

But "don't forget, we spend about three months consolidating before this breakout after the election," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. "From a time standpoint, this may be just the beginning."

"We are in a transition period on a number of fronts. First, we're moving from an interest-rate driven market into an earnings-driven market," he said. "Also, something most people are missing, is we're getting a more business-friendly administration."

Related: How Trump's Business Interests Present Huge Conflicts of Interest

The Federal Reserve has indicated numerous times its desire to normalize monetary policy, and it's all but certain the central bank will take a step in that direction next month. According to the CME Group's FedWatch tool, market expectations for an interest rate hike in December were more than 100 percent.

Meanwhile, S&P 500 earnings grew for the first time in more than a year. According to data compiled by The Earnings Scout, earnings per share had grown 6.21 percent as of Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Stocks have also been bolstered by Trump's surprising win over Democrat Hillary Clinton, as expectations for deregulation in a number of sectors and tax cuts have increased optimism in the U.S. stock market.

On Monday, Trump expanded on his policy agenda, which includes withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The trade pact was a centerpiece of the Obama administration's "pivot" towards Asia and was meant to solidify the U.S.'s presence in what is considered by many American companies as the most economically dynamic part in the world.

In economic news, existing home sales data for October are due at 10 a.m. There are no other major data due Tuesday, but Wednesday will see several reports released, as the U.S. will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

"The commuter trains should start thinning out by this afternoon as traders take advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday. The price action for the next several days should therefore put investors to sleep which will preclude the reprise of any deleterious amount of volatility," Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities, said in a note.

In corporate news, medical equipment maker Medtronic reported mixed quarterly results. Medtronic also cut its full-year forecast, as customers delay purchases ahead of new products entering the marketplace.

Meanwhile, KKR is buying Japanese auto parts maker Calsonic from Nissan Motors and its partners for $4.5 billion.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/traders-accused-of-manipulating-more-than-2000-stocks/ar-AAltZwy?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp
12/13/16
Traders accused of manipulating more than 2,000 stocks

Two New Jersey traders were arrested on Monday for allegedly manipulating prices of more than 2,000 New York Stock Exchange- and Nasdaq-listed shares resulting in more than $26 million in illegal profits over a two-year period.

Regulators, law enforcement, and the exchanges use technology to see, and track, manipulative trading that, in this case happened more than 23,000 times and often lasted just a few minutes. Joseph Taub, 37, of Clifton, New Jersey, and Elazar Shmalo, 21, of Passaic, New Jersey sometimes controlled at least 80% of the volume of a targeted stock and traded in several accounts simultaneously, the regulators said.

The scheme, says the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey, was sophisticated. Taub, a registered broker, and Shmalo, who is unemployed, allegedly coordinated trading in more than $10 billion worth of securities in dozens of brokerage accounts.

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« Reply #145 on: December 13, 2016, 12:10:46 pm »

Americans are more willing to cut Social Security than once thought
12/13/16
http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/americans-are-more-willing-to-cut-social-security-than-once-thought/ar-AAltPVG?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

It has long been an axiom in politics that Social Security is politically radioactive and that politicians court political disaster by pressing for major changes in the nation’s premier retirement program.

Former President George W. Bush suffered a sharp decline in popularity after his 2004 reelection by promoting an ill-fated plan to partially privatize the system by allowing Americans to invest their benefits in private accounts. The more Bush talked about his Social Security proposal, the more unpopular it became. The Gallup organization recorded that disapproval as it grew from 48 percent to 64 percent during the first six months of his second term.

Veteran Republican Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas, the chair of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, may have touched the so-called “Third Rail of Politics” last week. He introduced legislation to assure the long-term solvency of the retirement trust fund by – among other things – raising the retirement age to 69, raising payroll tax revenues, means testing the system for wealthier retirees and adopting a less generous cost-of-living formula.

Although the trust fund isn’t in imminent danger, the Social Security trustees warned that absent congressional action, it will be exhausted in 2033. Thereafter, the benefits for 61 million retirees and their families would have to be cut by 23 percent. Johnson’s proposal immediately drew sharp attacks from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other liberal Democrats, who portrayed it as an assault on the 75-year-old retirement system that could lead to cuts in benefits for average beneficiaries of a third or more.

However, a comprehensive survey by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation released shortly before the election found that two-thirds or more of Republican and Democratic registered voters agreed on steps along the lines of Johnson’s proposal that would cover at least two-thirds of the projected shortfalls in the trust fund. A slightly smaller majority of voters (59 percent) said they would back even more stringent measures to wipe out the shortfall entirely.

Perhaps the most popular measure, according to the survey, would be raising the cap on income subject to the federal payroll tax from $117,000 to $215,000 per year. Some 88 percent of the GOP and Democratic respondents said they would favor that approach. Another idea with widespread appeal is raising the retirement age for full benefits to 68, which garnered 79 percent approval. The retirement age is currently 66 and is scheduled to rise to 67 by 2027 under current law.

Another revenue measure with high voter appeal, according to the survey, is raising the federal payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 6.6 percent. That idea drew an overall approval rating of 76 percent. Meanwhile, proposed cuts in benefits for those in the top 25 percent income levels drew support from more than seven in ten voters.

Another popular idea – but one that would add to the long-term Social Security shortfall – is raising the minimum monthly benefit for those who have worked 30 years or more, from $800 to $1,216. The current minimum benefit is below the federal poverty line. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and numerous liberal Democrats have clamored for an increased benefit, especially for widows struggling to make ends meet. Some 58 percent of those interviewed for the project favored increasing the minimum benefit, although Democrats were far more in favor of that than Republicans.

Other ideas fell flat with voters interviewed for the project, including changing the way the Labor Department calculates the cost of living adjustment. Less than a third of voters supported the so-called “Chained CPI” method that would likely slow the rate of increase, an idea that has been advanced by a number of Republicans and President Obama as well to slow the rate of growth in Social Security spending.

Meanwhile, just three in ten say they would go along with basing the COLA primarily on what elderly people tend to buy, an approach that would accelerate the rate of increase in spending and add to the trust fund’s financial woes.

It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of the Social Security system, created in 1935 during the Great Depression, to tens of millions of seniors and retirees. Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries today, 53 percent of married couples and 74 percent of unmarried persons receive half or more of their income from Social Security, according to the study. What’s more, 22 percent of married couples and 47 percent of unmarried people depend on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income, the study says.

Much of the previous polling by Gallup and other organizations suggest that many Americans are highly concerned about the future of Social Security – including many who doubt there will be anything left in the trust fund by the time they retire. However, they are dubious about specific proposals for assuring the program’s long-term solvency. Many of the polls asked voters specifically whether they would approve or disapprove of a major change in Social Security without providing much background, and the result was frequently for voters to say no.

Yet the responses were quite different in the survey results released in mid-October by the non-partisan, non-profit Program for Public Consultation which over the years has embraced a more sophisticated approach. Rather than simply responding to a series of yes or no questions about their attitudes on Social Security and other entitlement reform, the PPC technique requires voters to play the role of policy makers and consider the pros and cons of a set of proposals for assuring the long-term solvency of Social Security.

“The significance of these findings are that if leaders wanted to engage the public in a way that says, okay, we have this problem, let’s think about the solutions, here are the possibilities, what do you think . . . they could get engaged,” said Steven Kull, a political psychologist and director of PPC who wrote the report. “In the end, the voters can come to terms with some hard choices.”

Kull noted that in 1983, the last time the retirement trust fund faced a financial crisis, a bipartisan commission headed by Alan Greenspan and key members of Congress worked out a compromise that largely satisfied the public. “We didn’t have rioting in the streets and I’m not aware of anybody who lost their seat because of a vote on that. So if there is the political will in Congress, what I think the survey shows is that the public can get on board with it.”

In all, 8,697 registered voters across the country randomly selected by Nielsen-Scarborough, a public opinion and consulting operation, took part in the study. The research project specifically targeted or oversampled large, politically and demographically diverse states including California, Ohio, Florida, Texas, New York, Oklahoma and Virginia.  GOP and Democratic congressional staff members and experts at the National Academy of Social Insurance and the American Enterprise Institute reviewed the explanatory material used in the simulation for accuracy and balance.

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« Reply #146 on: December 13, 2016, 03:51:55 pm »

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/dow-closes-within-100-points-of-20000-ahead-of-fed-rate-decision/ar-AAluGB8?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp
Dow closes within 100 points of 20,000 ahead of Fed rate decision
12/13/16

Stocks closed higher Tuesday as investors kept an eye on a key Federal Reserve meeting, while the Dow Jones industrial average closed in on another milestone.

The Dow closed up 114 points at a record 19,911, with IBM and Apple contributing the most gains. The S&P 500 also ended at an all-time high, rising 0.65 percent, with energy and information technology leading advancers. The Nasdaq outperformed, advancing 0.95 percent to a new all-time high.

The Fed began a two-day monetary policy meeting, with most market participants expecting the central bank to raise interest rates by 25 basis points. According to the CME Group's FedWatch tool, market expectations for a rate hike were above 90 percent.

"To me, it's all about what they say about their guidance for 2017," said Eric Stein, co-director of global income at Eaton Vance. "I don't expect them to be particularly hawkish tomorrow," but we could see a more hawkish Fed in the near future.

"A new political regime took hold on November 8th and tomorrow we'll see if there is any acknowledgement of that from the FOMC and whether we're about to embark on a new monetary regime. I would define 'new monetary regime' as anything more aggressive than the pace of one rate hike per year," said Peter Boockvar, a chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, in a note.

The meeting is expected to conclude Wednesday, with Fed Chair Janet Yellen scheduled to hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. Treasury yields were mixed on Tuesday, with the benchmark 10-year yield trading around 2.48 percent, a day after breaking above 2.5 percent for the first time since 2014. The two-year note yield rose, last trading around 1.17 percent. Yields have risen sharply since the election, as investors have dumped Treasurys as optimism surrounding possible tax cuts and deregulation of certain sectors has made other assets more attractive.

"Everyone is looking at the 20K level which is very important because there could be some profit taking at that level. This is a major resistance and psychological mark and traders will not hesitate to take some profit off the table to celebrate another bull year," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets, said in a note.

The Dow has gained 14 percent for the year, with a large part of those gains coming after Donald Trump stunned the world by winning the U.S. presidency. Since Nov. 8, the Dow has spiked more than 8 percent and has posted 16 record closes.

"What we've seen in the past months is what some might call a new phase of the bull market," said Rick Anderson, chief investment officer at Hull Investments, noting that stocks have risen along with the dollar and interest rates over the past month. The U.S. dollar held around the flatline against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, but has surged 3.2 percent since the election.

Still, Bill Northey, chief investment officer at the Private Client Group at U.S. Bank, said the Dow hitting 20,000 might just be a psychological event for the market, as the number "is not an important technical event and it is not indicative of where we go from there." 

In economic news, the November read on the NFIB Small Business index came in at 98.4, above October's 94.9. Meanwhile, import prices fell 0.3 percent in November.

Overseas, European equities traded higher, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 index rising 1.06 percent. In Asia, stocks closed mixed as the Shanghai composite advanced just 0.08 percent and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 13.

U.S. crude futures for January delivery rose 0.3 percent to settle at $52.98 per barrel.

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« Reply #147 on: December 14, 2016, 11:10:00 am »

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4031186/IBM-unveils-plan-hire-25-000-US-eve-Trump-meeting.html
IBM to hire 25,000 more workers in the US in the next four years and invest $1billion in employee development, tech boss vows ahead of Trump meeting

    About 6,000 of the new appointments are due to be made in 2017
    IBM will invest $1billion on employee training and development in four years
    IBM chief Ginni Rometty is a member of Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum


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« Reply #148 on: December 14, 2016, 11:54:47 am »

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/silicon-valley-prepares-to-make-peace-with-donald-trump/ar-AAlwgzp?OCID=ansmsnnews11
Silicon Valley Prepares to Make Peace with Donald Trump
12/13/16

After months spent clashing with Donald Trump on the campaign trail, Silicon Valley’s top dignitaries will fly to New York on Wednesday for a summit of sorts with the tech-adverse president-elect. While the exact agenda of the meeting hasn’t been made public, Alphabet C.E.O. Larry Page, Facebook C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft C.E.O. Satya Nadella, IBM C.E.O. Ginni Rometty, and Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook will be among the teach leaders to sit down with the incoming president, his chief of staff Reince Priebus, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, to discuss an agenda that is expected to touch on several issues of importance to the industry.

Like the meeting Trump convened last month with media executives, only to berate them for their “biased” coverage, Wednesday’s tech summit could get heated. While the vast majority of Silicon Valley leaders opposed Trump or even fund-raised for Hillary Clinton, some have already clashed personally with the billionaire real-estate developer. Amazon C.E.O. Jeff Bezos, who is reported to be attending, joked that he’d like to send Trump into space on one of his Blue Origin rockets. Trump accused Bezos, without joking, of using The Washington Post as a partisan cudgel and a means of advancing his own business interests. For others, getting along with Trump is even more complicated. Elon Musk, who may or may not attend the summit, currently benefits from both a NASA contract with his company SpaceX, and from alternative-energy subsidies that help consumers purchase cars from his other major company, Tesla Motors. Trump himself has maintained a mostly antagonistic relationship with the tech sector. While he is a huge fan of Twitter, the president-elect has called for the United States to “take back the Internet” from ISIS; called for Bill Gates to “close up” the Web; and said he’ll get Apple to “start building their damn computers and things” in the U.S. He is expected to dismantle Net Neutrality when he takes office next year.

More: The 15 Most Cringeworthy Moments of the Election

And yet, despite all their differences, it is in Silicon Valley’s interest to make nice with the incoming administration. The first order of business for many tech leaders will likely be to try to soften the president-elect on the topic of immigration reform, which directly affects tech companies. The vast majority of the Valley is actively opposed to a freeze or reform of the H-1B visa laws, which allow foreign students to stay and work in the U.S. after graduating from college. Earlier this year, Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg and others in the tech community signed onto a brief submitted to the Supreme Court in favor of President Barack Obama’s executive actions, arguing that allowing the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country to contribute to the U.S. economy would benefit the tech industry and the country. “As I travel around the world, I see many nations turning inwards. I hear growing voices for building walls and distancing people labeled as ‘other,’” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post earlier this year. “Whether it’s refugees, undocumented immigrants, or under-represented minorities, I hope we have the wisdom to understand that the best path forward is always to bring people together, not divide them.” The visa program appears to be a point of contention for Trump: in March, Trump said he would “end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions.” The possibility of stricter immigration laws has already triggered fears of a brain drain, with China and Canada making overtures to foreign engineers to abandon the U.S. for greener pastures in Beijing and Toronto. “I read that an adviser to President-elect Donald Trump complained that three-quarters of engineers in Silicon Valley aren’t Americans,” Baidu C.E.O. Robin Lisaid in a recent address. “So I myself hope that many of these engineers will come to China to work for us.”

Issues of international trade are also sure to be discussed. Trump has been a vocal opponent of what he has termed “bad” trade deals that he says hurt American workers. He’s repeatedly threatened to impose high tariffs on foreign-made products from places like Mexico and China—a policy that could substantially raise prices for tech products like computers and smartphones. He will likely try to renegotiate some of the North American Free Trade Agreement and has already said he will not implement the President Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, all of which stands to affect tech companies with global supply chains.

The tech industry may have even less luck when it comes to encryption, which Trump opposed throughout his campaign as a potential threat to law enforcement. Earlier this year, Trump denounced Apple for refusing a court order to cooperate with an F.B.I. request to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terrorist attack last year. “To think that Apple won’t allow us to get into her cell phone? Who do they think they are?” he fumed on Fox and Friends. Trump’s C.I.A. pick, Mike Pompeo, is also no fan of encryption; the Kansas Republican opposed Apple’s refusal to cooperate with the F.B.I. during its investigation of the San Bernardino shooting, calling it “disappointing” and adding that C.E.O. Cook “should not stand in the way of the F.B.I.’s investigation into a dead ISIS terrorist, who has the blood of 14 innocent Americans on his hands.” That may not bode well for other tech companies, like Facebook, that are moving to provide end-to-end encryption on their messaging services.

The California and New York delegations could find much to agree on, however, when it comes to business regulations, which many tech companies would be happy to see lifted. For companies like Uber and Airbnb—neither of which will be represented at the summit, as their respective C.E.O.s can’t make it—Trump’s nomination of Elaine Chao to lead the transportation department could be good news. Aside from helping to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, Chao will be tasked with helping to navigate the future of autonomous vehicles on U.S. roads and the use of drones, both emerging businesses that have major regulatory obstacles to overcome before they become viable. The pro-business, anti-regulation president-elect has also been hostile toward some mega-mergers, like the one proposed between AT&T and Time Warner, and has at times attacked companies like Amazon as monopolies. But he has also appeared amenable to business leaders who make a point of flattering him. Time Warner C.E.O. Jeff Bewkes, who previously donated to Democrats, recently made a point of disparaging them as a “threat to the First Amendment.” Experts believe Trump’s F.C.C. is likely to approve the deal.
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« Reply #149 on: December 14, 2016, 03:40:53 pm »

https://www.yahoo.com/news/fed-set-hike-rates-policy-060210829.html
12/14/16
Fed raises rates, sees faster pace of increases in 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter point on Wednesday and signalled a faster pace of increases in 2017 as the Trump administration takes over with promises to boost growth through tax cuts, spending and deregulation.

The rate increase, regarded as a virtual certainty by financial markets in the wake of a string of generally strong economic reports, raised the target federal funds rate 25 basis points to between 0.50 percent and 0.75 percent. Bond yields and the dollar rose after the rate decision while stocks were mixed with financials and tech the only two sectors to show gains.

"In view of realized and expected labour market conditions and inflation, the committee decided to raise the target range," the central bank's policy-setting committee said in its unanimous statement after a two-day meeting.

"Job gains have been solid in recent months and the unemployment rate has declined," the Fed said, noting that market-based measures of inflation compensation had moved up "considerably."

More significant was a fresh batch of Fed policymaker forecasts that indicated the current once-a-year pace of rate increases will accelerate next year. Markets and the Fed appeared to be close on pricing with Fed futures markets pricing in at least two and possibly three hikes, up from one to two prior to the meeting.

With President-elect Donald Trump planning a simultaneous round of tax cuts and increased spending on infrastructure, central bank policymakers shifted their outlook to one of slightly faster growth, lower unemployment and inflation just under the Fed's 2 percent target.

The Fed's median outlook for rates rose to three quarter-point increases in 2017 from two as of September. That would be followed by another three increases in both 2018 and 2019 before the rate levels off at a long-run "normal" 3.0 percent.

That normal level is slightly higher from three months ago, a sign that the Fed feels the economy is still gaining traction.

“They didn’t mention the fiscal stimulus but typically their aggressiveness does indicate that there’s a little more confidence that they can get away with three hikes next year," said Aaron Kohli, interest rate strategist at BMO Capital Markets.

The Fed continued to describe that pace as "gradual," keeping policy still slightly loose and supporting some further improvement in the job market. It sees unemployment falling to 4.5 percent next year and remaining at that level, which is considered to be close to full employment.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET (1930 GMT) to elaborate on the decision.


TRUMP IMPACT

U.S. bond yields had already begun moving higher following the election and as expectations of the Fed rate increase solidified. By the start of this week, trading in fed funds futures assigned a greater than 95 percent likelihood to a rate hike, according to data compiled by the CME Group.

All 120 economists in a recent Reuters poll had expected a rate hike on Wednesday.

In the weeks following Trump's Nov. 8 victory, Fed policymakers have said his proposals could push the economy into a higher gear in the short run. Even though the details of the Republican businessman's plans remain uncertain, Wednesday's statement marked a rare case in the post-crisis era in which the Fed moved its interest rate outlook higher.

Risks to the outlook remain "roughly balanced" between factors that could slow or accelerate the economy beyond what the central bank anticipates, the Fed said, no change from the November assessment.

The rate increase was the first since last December and only the second since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when the Fed cut rates to near zero and deployed other tools such as massive bond purchases to stabilise the economy.
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