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Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence 

Disappointing data sends the major averages into the final hour mixed in thin pre-holiday trade. Durable Goods Orders missed expectations in October with a 1.2% decline, the first in three months. The proxy for business spending non-defense capital goods ex-aircraft fell .5%. More of the on again, off again but no real change over time trend.

Mortgage activity increased .1% last week as per the Mortgage Bankers Association Index. Refi’s fell 4.8% while purchase apps gained 5.3%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan increased fractionally to 4.16%.

Bitcoin’s allure like Gold to a degree is driven in part by a mistrust of the status quo and the banksters. No surprise there given the events of the last 20-years or so. That said the track record for crypto currency over the last 6-years shows that it is little better than traditional alternatives when it comes to scandal and malfeasance. A recent piece on Wolf Street showed that the top 30 crypto currency hacks saw over 712 million get stolen at then values. More than a few exchanges shut down including Canada-based Cointrader with unknown losses. At the end of the day like standard paper currencies there really isn’t any backing to the crypto currencies either. Given their checkered history to date they don’t appear materially different than your friendly neighborhood bankster, outside of the insane volatility they demonstrate./p

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