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U.S. Economy

Washington

The Most Twisted Truths About the Economy in SOTU 2016

We fact checked U.S. President Barack Obama’s statements about the U.S. economy in his SOTU 2016 address Tuesday night.

The numbers simply don’t add up.

The president stretched the truth – and made a few convenient omissions – to bolster his claim that the economy has become more robust than ever under his tenure.

Find out how the actual numbers compare in our quick breakdown...

Stocks

The Two "Bandits" Ripping Off Investors This Week

Just because central bankers want to lead investors over the cliff like they did in 2008 doesn't mean that people should follow them.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what investors did last week. In a year that has seen many foolish rallies, Friday's massive rally in stocks – coming just a day after a massive sell-off – was the most foolish of all.

Let's take these one at a time...

The Fed

Is a December Rate Hike Coming After Today's Fed Minutes Release?

The U.S. Federal Reserve released minutes from its October meeting today at 2 p.m., and markets scoured the report for any clues about a December rate hike.

After today's Fed minutes release, a December rate hike is clearly on the table.

The Best Inverse Play, as the Market Goes "Back to the Future"

Markets produced their strongest returns in four years in October – ignoring a steady stream of bad economic news and lousy corporate earnings. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 8.5% while the S&P 500 jumped 8% for the month.  The Nasdaq Composite Index was driven higher by strong big tech earnings. It skyrocketed by 9.38% and is now back above 5000.

Last week's gains were muted with the Dow rising 0.1% or 16 points and the S&P 500 rising 0.2% or 4 points, so perhaps the jubilation is ebbing. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4% on the week. 

Of course, some strategists are calling for the rally to continue and for the market to gain another 10-15% by year-end. All I can say is that if they want to send over what they are drinking, I will take a sip. But I will not reach my hand into my pocket and follow them into the market...

Oil

How the New Budget Deal Will Affect the Oil Market

The House of Representatives just voted to approve a budget deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.

And buried in this last-minute accord designed to save us from another government shutdown is a provision to sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

Why is the United States going to put this oil up for sale now, when domestic producers are under pressure - and how will this impact the oil market?

China

A Yuan Reserve Currency Is Coming – Brace for a $2 Trillion Global Disruption

It's almost certain a yuan reserve currency will become reality 11 months from now, triggering a foreign currency shift of as much as $2 trillion – an existential threat to the U.S. dollar's status as the world's primary reserve currency.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials have told Chinese officials that the yuan will join the organization's basket of reserve currencies "soon."

Here's why this will make the yuan a disruptive force...

Trading Strategy

My Favorite Trading Strategy for the "Super Crash"

A lot of folks – especially individual investors – don't like to bet on stocks that are going down. That's understandable. It doesn't feel as good to bet against something.

But it would be prudent for investors to hedge their gains of the last five years; trees don't grow to the sky, especially when their roots are rotting.

This could help you do very well as stocks dive lower. Especially if you know how to use this trading strategy...

Apple

Apple Q4 Earnings: Why iPhone Worries Are Overblown (AAPL)

Wall Street is anxiously awaiting the Apple Q4 earnings, but not because it wants to know how many iPhones, Macs, and iPads the company sold in the last quarter. They know those number will be strong.

Analysts instead are worried about the guidance Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) will give for the current quarter's iPhone sales.

Here are five reasons those concerns are unwarranted...

Stocks

Is Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: VRX) the New Enron?

The Valeant Pharmaceutical stock price has dropped more than 50% since August.

Some investors believe that the plummeting VRX stock is a signal to buy.

Find out why the history of another troubled company could predict the future cratering of the VRX stock price...