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DOW SETS RECORD HIGH AS BANK RALLY CONTINUES

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US FINANCIAL MARKET
| US ECONOMY & POLITICS
 EUROPE & WORLD | TODAY IN HISTORY

DOW SETS RECORD HIGH AS BANK RALLY CONTINUES

  • Investors appeared to largely shrug off the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi following a defeat in a referendum for constitutional reforms on Sunday.
  • Political risk from Italy hasn’t spread beyond its borders as markets were correctly positioned for the anti-establishment mood sweeping around the world.
  • This was a departure from the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s surprise election, when traders were caught out by populist votes.
  • Shares of banks and other financial companies led the S&P 500, rising 1.1%.
  • The financial sector has gained more than 14% since the U.S. election.

US FINANCIAL MARKET

Oil tops $55 for first time in 16 months as OPEC deal fuels buying

  • Brent crude oil rose above $55 a barrel on Monday, trading at a 16-month high, on rising prospects of a tightening market after OPEC agreed a landmark deal to cut production last week.
  • Monday’s gains take the rally since the agreement was struck on Wednesday to 19% for Brent, the biggest jump in almost eight years, and 16% for U.S. crude.

LPL Announces Leadership Transition

  • LPL announced that Mark Casady will retire from his role as CEO effective Jan. 3, 2017.
  • As part of its succession plan, the LPL Board of Directors has appointed Dan Arnold, current LPL president, to be president and CEO effective upon Casady’s retirement.
  • Arnold will also join the Board of Directors at that time, and Casady will continue as non-executive chair of the Board of Directors until March 3, 2017.

Apple Signals Interest in Self-Driving Software

  • In a Nov. 22 letter to U.S. transportation regulators, Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, suggested Apple’s focus is on the software that would control a self-driving car.
  • He said the company is “investing heavily in machine learning and automation” for many purposes “including transportation.”

Audi extends job guarantees for German workers until 2020

  • Audi has extended employment guarantees for its 61,000 workers in Germany until 2020.

U.S. health spending in 2015 rose at fastest rate since 2007

  • U.S. health spending in 2015 rose at its fastest rate since 2007, driven by expanded access to insurance under the Affordable Care Act and high-priced specialty drugs, according to government figures released on Friday.
  • Growth rose 5.8 percent to $3.2 trillion, or $9,990 per person.
  • After five years of historically low growth between 2009 and 2013, spending picked up in 2014 and 2015 as the Affordable Care Act – sometimes referred to as Obamacare – expanded health insurance coverage through marketplace insurance plans and Medicaid.
  • Over the two-year period between 2013 and 2015 the number of people with private health insurance rose 2.5 percent on average to 9.7 million.
  • The number of people who enrolled in Medicaid rose on average 8.4 percent to 10.3 million.

Collapse of Long-Term Care Insurer Reflects Deep Industry Woes

  • Actuarial miscalculations on long-term-care policies by two units of Penn Treaty American have proved fatal.
  • Two insurance units of Penn Treaty American Corp., which have combined assets of about $600 million and projected long-term-care claims liabilities topping $4 billion, are on track to be liquidated early next year.society-of-actuaries

 

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US ECONOMY & POLITICS

U.S. Service-Sector Activity Surged in November

  • The Institute for Supply Management said Monday its index of nonmanufacturing activity rose to 57.2 in November from an unrevised 54.8 in October.
  • A reading above 50 indicates sector expansion.

Exxon CEO Now a Contender for Donald Trump’s Secretary of State

  • President-elect Donald Trump is widening the circle of candidates for secretary of state and will interview more prospects this week.
  • Though Mr. Trump’s transition team said last week that the search had narrowed to four finalists, new candidates have emerged, including Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil.
  • Secretary of state is the most prominent missing piece in a national security team.

Trump win creates ‘considerable’ uncertainty, Fed’s Dudley says

  • New York Fed President William Dudley painted a fairly benign picture of the current U.S. economy.
  • He cited firming wage growth and said he expects further improvement in both the labor market and in pushing inflation a bit higher toward a Fed target of 2 percent.

Trump Warns another U.S. Company

  • Donald Trump criticized a second U.S. manufacturer for its plans to move a factory from Indianapolis to Mexico.
  • “Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers,” Mr. Trump wrote late Friday. “This is happening all over our country. No more!”
  • Early Sunday morning, Mr. Trump sent out a series of tweets reaffirming his position that companies that move production abroad and fire workers in the U.S. will face consequences, such as a 35% import tariff.
  • “Please be forewarned prior to making a very expensive mistake!”.

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EUROPE & WORLD

Italy Rejects Reforms, Matteo Renzi Announces Resignation

  • With virtually all the votes counted early Monday, 59.6% were “no,” according to Italy’s Interior Ministry, marking a stinging rebuke to Mr. Renzi’s plan to overhaul Italy’s legislature to make it easier to pass laws, including measures meant to make the country more competitive.
  • Mr. Renzi said he would go to Italian President Sergio Mattarella Monday afternoon to tender his resignation.
  • The result means uncertainty in Italy, the European Union’s fourth-largest economy, as the bloc struggles to revive growth and define its future.

Italy Vote Increases Pressure on Banks

  • Italian bank stocks tumbled in Monday trading after voters rejected constitutional reforms.
  • Monte dei Paschi was down 4% in the early afternoon, and Banco Popolare di Milano was off more than 7%.
  • UniCredit SpA, Italy’s largest bank by assets, fell more than 5%.

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TODAY in HISTORY

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Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at age 35 (1791)

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President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of 1848 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California (1848)

Two "Repeal Prohibition" buttons with symbols of liberty (Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty). The National Prohibition Act or Volstead Act was passed by Congress in 1919 over President Wilson's veto. In January of 1920 the Prohibition Amendment (18th) went into effect. Repeal came in the form of the 21st Amendment, effective December 1933. --- Image by © David J. & Janice L. Frent Collection/Corbis

The 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing prohibition, was ratified (1933) 

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