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Media Navel Gaze: January 11, 2016

Mark Kollar  Follow

Big, heavy news week with markets center stage, as stocks posted their worst first week of trading ever, losing more than 1,000 points by some measures as concerns about growth in China started the rout that continued daily.  The Dow lost 6.2 percent last week and the S&P 500 some 6 percent. No doubt not a great start but not all predicted a disaster. The jobs numbers showed strength in the labor market with unemployment in the US for December steady at 5.0 percent and approximately 292,000 new jobs added for a total of 2.7 million for all of 2015.

Elsewhere:

  • Billionaire hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen was cleared by the SEC to manage outside money in two years, a pretty quick turnaround story after his firm pleaded guilty to insider trading in 2013;
  • Billionaire drug kingpin El Chapo was captured after escaping from prison in July and after to the amazement and mostly scorn of media watchers (and politicians) everywhere was secretly interviewed by Sean Penn for Rolling Stone magazine (“El Jerko,” as penned by The New York Post);
  • Saudi Arabia considers potential IPO of its state-owned oil company that could be a valued at around $10 trillion;
  • Apple got bit amid signs of sluggish growth, closing point below $100 per share;
  • Netflix went global sans China;
  • President Obama readies for his final State of the Union address on Tuesday (after tearfully announcing expansion on background checks for gun buyers earlier this week);
  • The founder of Institutional Investor, Gilbert Kaplan, dies at 74; and
  • The singular use of the word “they” became the Word of the Year.

LatAm Gaze

  • EL CHAPO HAS BEEN CAPTURED! Mexican marines raided a home before dawn Friday in the city of Los Mochis, in Guzman’s home state of Sinaloa. The assault team was fired upon from inside the structure. Five suspects were killed and six others arrested. One marine was wounded, but did not sustain life-threatening injuries. In a curious turn of events, a secretive meeting that Hollywood star Sean Penn orchestrated with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in a jungle hideout late last year helped Mexico's government catch the world's most wanted drug lord.
  • Meanwhile in Argentina, however, President Mauricio Macri was humiliated on Saturday after Argentina's federal police chief admitted a manhunt was still on for two of the South American country's most notorious criminals, hours after the government celebrated their capture.
  • Brazil's inflation rate closed 2015 at the highest level in more than 12 years, above 10 percent, overshooting the government's target and prompting the central bank to vow action to curb prices despite a deepening recession. 

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