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Member since: Tue May 13, 2014, 06:50 PM
Number of posts: 6,481

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DOW 23328

Previous close 23062 52 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 21712. Low of the day 23118. High 23328.

NASDAQ : 6635 ▲

S&P : 2509 ▲

Soybeans : 8.82 ▼

How to make trump supporters happy...Pay Freeze Stands for 2019

The pay freeze that the White House originally proposed earlier this year will stand for 2019, at least for now. President Trump issued an Executive Order to this effect late on Friday, December 28, 2018. While the Executive Order does not spell out the pay freeze, that is the result.

In the pay tables issued by OPM, the heading at the top reads: “RATES FROZEN AT 2018 LEVELS”.

Congress can override the president’s proposal for a pay adjustment for federal employees in any given year. Congress took some action to do that for 2019 with the Senate approving a 1.9% pay raise in a budget bill that it passed. The House never included the pay raise in a spending bill, however, there was reportedly an agreement at one time between the House and Senate on a pay raise in 2019.

The partial government shutdown that ensued just before Christmas took away the attention of Congress on any kind of pay raise. While there is no definitive answer, for now, the Congressional dispute may have reduced the chances of Congress adding one to a future spending bill. While it could happen in 2019, the pay freeze that was proposed early this year will apparently be in place heading into 2019.

DOW 23062 for Friday 12-28-18

Previous close 23136. 52 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 21712. Low of the day 22983. High 23381.

NASDAQ : 6584 ▲

S&P : 2495 ▼

Soybeans : 8.83 ▲

Syrian army deploys to Manbij in new alliance with Kurds

Beirut (AFP) - Syrian troops deployed in support of Kurdish forces around a strategic northern city on Friday, in a shift of alliances hastened by last week's announcement of a US military withdrawal.

Nearly eight years into Syria's deadly conflict, the move marked another key step in President Bashar al-Assad's Russian-backed drive to reassert control over the country.

The Syrian army announced that it had raised the flag in Manbij, a strategic city close to the Turkish border where Kurdish forces have been deployed since 2016 and where US-led coalition forces are also stationed.

DOW 23136

Previous close 22838. 2 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 21712. Low of the day 22267

NASDAQ : 6579 ▲

S&P : 2488 ▲

Soybeans : 8.70 ▼

Swing. Swing. Swing.

DOW has a great rally 22838 up 1000 points

Previous close 21792. 52 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 21712.

NASDAQ : 6554 ▲

S&P : 2467 ▲

Soybeans : 8.71 ▼

US trade war raises the specter of new Cold War

“No one is in a position to dictate to the Chinese people what should or should not be done,” Xi said earlier this month when he set the tone by defying Trump without naming him.

“The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” he said in a clear message to pro-market supporters, calling for a new round of reforms, or liberals hoping for breathing space.

Taking advantage of US requests for further market access, some economists and senior officials are pushing for a new round of domestic reforms, with the aim of reducing the key role of state-owned enterprises. This would breath new life into the private sector.

Pinning their hopes on Xi’s close economic confidant, Vice-Premier Liu He, they are pushing for a grand bargain with Washington that would both de-escalate trade tensions and foster a new round of economic modernization at home.

A silver lining for Chinese stocks

The Trump Administration’s frequent references to the decline in China’s equity market as evidence that America was winning the trade war have come back to haunt it. Uncertainty about the status of global supply chains forces corporations to postpone investment decisions.

If the Trump Administration wants to get the stock market out of its present free fall, it will have to resolve the trade war issue.

The trade moderates in the administration (Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and top economic advisor Kudlow) have a much stronger argument to make on behalf of a deal. If Trump wants to get a vote of confidence from the stock market his most efficient course of action is to pursue a trade deal on the terms discussed in Buenos Aires.

Chinese stocks should be the biggest beneficiary of the turn we expect in US policy.

Negative list helps boost opening-up... China's private sector

China rolled out a shortened Market Access Negative List on Tuesday as a further move to standardize regulations in a transparent way and help level the playing field for foreign enterprises and private firms.

The list, released by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce, consists of 151 items and 581 specific rules, down by 177 and 288, respectively, compared with the previous draft version.

Industries not on the list are open to investment from all market players, domestic and foreign.

Foreign investors must abide by the Foreign Investment Negative List, which took effect in July, in addition to the newly updated Market Access Negative List.

and the oil markets...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices plunged more than 6 percent to the lowest in more than a year on Monday, pulling back sharply late in the session as fears of an economic slowdown rattled the market.

U.S. crude futures and global benchmark Brent fell to the lowest since the second quarter of 2017 during the session, putting both benchmarks on track to lose about 40 percent in the quarter.

"What's happening in the stockmarket is raising fears that the economy is grinding to a halt and thereby will basically kill any future oil demand," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. "They're pricing in a slowdown in the economy if not a recession, with this drop."
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