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DOW + 102 = 17,879
SPX + 13 = 2066
NAS + 28 = 4755
10 YR YLD + .07 = 2.29%
OIL – 1.48 = 67.52
GOLD – 14.30 = 1199.50
SILV un = 16.57

Record highs on Wall Street. The day’s gains were broad, with nine of the 10 S&P 500 industry sectors higher. The only group to fall was telecoms. I think this is the 32nd record high for the Dow this year; pretty soon we’ll be counting them in dozens.

Records for the bond market as well. US corporate bond sales for 2014 have topped $1.5 trillion, setting a new annual record, as borrowers lock in low rates. According to Lipper, investors have poured money into corporate investment-grade funds for 24 straight weeks, with inflows of $880 million for the week ending Nov. 26. Borrowers have offered $1.168 trillion of investment-grade notes in 2014 and $344 billion of junk bonds. Yields on corporate bonds in the U.S. fell to 3.57 percent in June and have since risen to 3.86 percent yesterday.

So, record highs for equities, record issuance for corporate bonds; the story line is that this is a good place to be, and when you look abroad, it makes sense. Yesterday, Moody’s Investors Service cut Japan’s credit rating to A1. Japan is in a recession after a sales tax increase in April destroyed consumer demand, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is facing a vote of confidence, and he is likely to retain a majority. As for Europe, well, don’t hold your breath waiting for the ECB to ride to the rescue.

Meanwhile, Russia is headed for a recession. The economic development ministry revised its GDP forecast for 2015 from growth of 1.2 percent to a drop of 0.8 percent. Russian households are expected to take a hit, with disposable income seen declining by 2.8 percent against the previously expected 0.4 percent growth. Sanctions over Moscow’s role in eastern Ukraine are making things worse, hurting Russian banks and investment sentiment in particular. Russia’s economic outlook is at the mercy of the global market for oil, their national budget depends on it.

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