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Messi’s World Cup dream alive as Alvarez helps Argentina past Croatia to final By Reuters

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© Reuters. Football – World Cup Qatar 2022 – Semi-finals – Argentina – Croatia – Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar – December 13, 2022 Julian Alvarez of Argentina celebrated by scoring his third goal as Croatia players appeared to be frustrated.

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Written by Carolus Grohmann

LUCILLE, Qatar (Reuters) – Lionel Messi secured his last chance to shine at the World Cup as a penalty and a brace from Julian Alvarez helped Argentina edge past Croatia 3-0 on Tuesday and into the final, where they will face holders France or Morocco.

While all eyes were on Argentina’s captain Messi and his fifth attempt at a major title that eluded him, it was the 22-year-old Alvarez who stole the show, winning a penalty before opening his own at the end of a 50-meter run.

Messi calmly put the penalty kick into play in the 34th minute, after goalkeeper Dominic Levakovic knocked out Alvarez, to become his country’s top scorer at the World Cup finals with 11 goals.

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Alvarez then took matters into his own hands with his solo effort to double their lead after five minutes.

The pair combined perfectly in the 69th minute for Alvarez to score his second after Messi’s stunning sideline and short effort to make sure Argentina made their sixth World Cup appearance.

“Throughout the World Cup it was unbelievable what we lived through and we will play the last game which is what we wanted,” said Messi, 35.

“I’ve enjoyed this for a long time, ever since we got to this World Cup. We asked people to trust us because we know who we are. It’s crazy, we did it… We’re going to play another final. Once again, Argentina are in a World Cup final.”

More recently, in 2014, the Argentines would try to win a third world title after 1978 and 1986, a feat that seemed unlikely a few weeks ago after their defeat in the opening group stage against Saudi Arabia left them facing possible elimination.

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Claiming the world title would elevate seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi to the legendary status enjoyed by the late Diego Maradona in Argentina.

On Sunday, the two teams will face either France, the defending champion, or the surprising group Morocco, the first Arab country in the World Cup semi-finals, who will face each other on Wednesday.

Fire support

2018 runners-up Croatia wanted possession initially, as they did against Brazil in the quarter-finals, distributing the ball well, but struggled to find a way into the Argentina box.

“We had good control, but we were not specific in our behaviour,” said Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic. “We tried to come back, they counter-attacked and we conceded the second (goal) and we finished at that point.”

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The South Americans, now victorious in their World Cup semi-final, enjoyed strong support from their fans who vastly outnumbered those of Croatia in the stands of Lusail Stadium, also the site of Sunday’s match.

They exploded loudly as Alvarez stumbled to earn a penalty after being knocked down by the onrushing Levakovic.

Messi, who tied Germany’s Lothar Matthaus as the joint record holder for most World Cup appearances with his 25th, fired a shot past Levakovic after Croatia assistant coach Mario Mandzukic was sent off for dissenting.

But the best was yet to come, and it was Alvarez, nicknamed “The Spider”, who swept Messi’s pass into his own half and made his way into the Croatian penalty area, thanks to two lucky rebounds and poor defense, before poking the ball home. in the second goal.

Unlike their overtime tournament against tournament favorites Brazil, this time there was no way for Croatia to come back.

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Argentina were in no mood to squander a two-goal advantage as they did against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals, and Alvarez dashed any hopes for Croatia in the 69th minute, taking advantage of Messi’s reduction to seal defeat for the Balkans.

While the Argentines celebrated wildly with their fans, Croatia’s golden generation, led by their 37-year-old captain Luka Modric, quietly walked away.

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Stock, bond and cryptocurrency investors remain on edge after a rough year for the markets

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This version is for personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material is subject to our Subscriber Agreement and copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/stock-bond-and-crypto-investors-remain-on-edge-after-brutal-year-for-markets-11672403124

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Dow Jones losses are heading towards the closing bell as US stocks approach their worst year since 2008

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US stocks were trimming losses heading towards the closing bell on Friday, but were still on track to post their worst annual loss since 2008, as the harvest of tax losses combined with concern over the outlook for US corporate and consumer earnings took its toll.

How are stock indices traded?
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average
    DJIA,
    -0.22%

    It fell about 182 points, or 0.6%, to 33,039 points.

  • S&P 500 index
    SPX,
    -0.25%

    It fell nearly 26 points, or 0.7%, to about 3,824.

  • The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 72 points, or 0.7%, to about 10,406 points.

Stocks posted their biggest gains of the month on Thursday, with the Dow Jones rising 345 points, or 1.05%, to 33,221 as major stock indexes rebounded after losses incurred earlier in the week that pushed the Nasdaq Composite to a new closing low for the year. . The S&P 500 was on track on Friday to wrap up its fourth consecutive losing week, the longest streak of weekly losses since May, according to FactSet data.

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What drives the markets

US stocks traded lower on Friday afternoon, on pace to close the last trading session of 2022 with weekly and monthly losses.

Stocks and bonds have been crushed this year as the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate more aggressively than many expected, as it sought to crush the worst inflation in four decades. The S&P 500 is on track to end the year with a loss of nearly 20%, its worst annual performance since 2008.

“Investors were on edge,” Mark Heppenstahl, chief investment officer at Penn Mutual Asset Management, said in a phone interview Friday. “It seems as if being able to bring prices down might be a little easier given how bad the year has been.”

Stock indices have fallen in recent weeks as the recent rally inspired by hopes in the Fed’s policy focus faded in December after the central bank indicated it would likely wait until 2024 to cut interest rates.

On the last day of the trading year, the markets were also hit by selling to capture losses that could be written off from tax bills, a practice known as tax harvesting, according to Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bouquet Capital Partners. .

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Forrest added that an uncertain outlook for 2023 has also weighed in, as investors worry about the strength of corporate earnings, the US economy and consumer as the fourth-quarter earnings season approaches early next year.

“I think the Fed, and then earnings in mid-January — they’ll set the tone for the next six months. Until then, it’s anyone’s guess.”

The US central bank has raised its benchmark interest rate by more than four percentage points since the start of the year, pushing borrowing costs to their highest levels since 2007.

The timing of the first Fed rate cut will likely have a significant impact on markets, according to Forrest, but the outlook remains uncertain, even as the Fed tries to signal that it plans to keep interest rates higher for longer.

On the economic data front, the Chicago PMI for December, the latest major data release for the year, Came stronger than expected. Climbing to 44.9 from 37.2 in the previous month. Readings below 50 indicate contraction.

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In the coming year, Heppenstahl said, “we are likely to shift toward concerns about economic growth rather than inflation.” “I think the decline in growth will eventually lead to an even greater drop in inflation.”

Read: Stock market investors face 3 recession scenarios in 2023

Eric Sterner, chief information officer at Apollon Wealth Management, said in a phone interview on Friday that he expects the US to fall into a recession next year and that the stock market could see a new bottom as companies likely review their earnings. “I think the earnings outlook for 2023 is still very high,” he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were all on pace Friday afternoon posting weekly losses of around 1%, according to FactSet data, at last check. For the month, the Dow was down about 5%, the S&P 500 was down about 7% and the Nasdaq was about to crash down about 10%.

Read: Value stocks are outperforming growth stocks in 2022 by a large margin historically

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As for bonds, Treasury yields rose on Friday as the US sovereign debt market was set to post its worst year since at least the 1970s.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD10Y,
3.879%

It rose about four basis points on Friday at 3.88%, according to FactSet data, in the latest check. Ten-year yields jumped about 2.34 percentage points this year through Thursday, on track for the biggest annual gain ever based on data going back to 1977, according to market data from Dow Jones.

Meanwhile, the yield on the two-year note
TMUBMUSD02Y,
4.423%

Up about 3.64 percentage points in 2022 through Thursday to 4.368%, 30-year return
TMUBMUSD30Y,
3.971%

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It jumped 2.03 percentage points over the same period to 3.922%. That marks the largest increase in a calendar year for each based on data going back to 1973, according to market data from Dow Jones.

Outside the US, European stocks capped their biggest percentage drop in a calendar year since 2018, with the Stoxx Europe 600
xxxp,
-1.27%
And the
It is an index of euro-denominated stocks, down 12.9%, according to market data from Dow Jones.

Read: A downturn in the US stock market is trailing these international ETFs as 2022 draws to a close

Companies in focus

Steve Goldstein contributed to this article.

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Fed’s reverse repo facility reaches $2.554 trillion by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve Building in Washington, US, January 26, 2022. (Reuters)/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

Written by Michael S Derby

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A key facility used by the Federal Reserve to help control short-term interest rates saw record inflows on Friday, the last trading day of the year.

The New York Fed said its reverse repo facility took in $2.554 trillion in cash from money market funds and other eligible financial firms, beating the previous high seen on Sept. 30, when inflows totaled $2.426 trillion.

The cash rally was almost certainly tipping into record territory in the usual end-of-quarter pattern that could worsen further towards the end of the year. On those dates, for a variety of reasons, many financial firms prefer to deposit money in the central bank rather than in the private markets.

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The Fed’s reverse repo facility has been very active for some time. After seeing almost no absorption for a long time, money began to gravitate toward the central bank in the spring of 2021 and then grew steadily. Daily reverse repo usage has been steadily above the $2 trillion mark since June.

The reverse repo facility takes cash from qualified financial firms in what is an actual loan from the Federal Reserve. The current rate is 4.3%, a yield that is often better than rates for short-term private sector lending.

The reverse repo facility is designed to provide a soft floor for short-term rates and the federal funds target rate, and is the Fed’s primary tool for achieving its function and inflationary mandates. To mark the higher end of the range, the Fed is also pushing deposit-taking banks to deposit cash at the central bank, where the interest rate on reserve balances is now 4.4%.

The federal funds rate is currently set between 4.25% and 4.5% and is trading at 4.33% as of Friday, sandwiched between the reverse repo rate and interest on reserve balances.

There are no signs of shrinkage

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Even with the heavy use of reverse repo, Fed officials have always remained unconcerned about large outflows, even as some in financial markets worried about the potential for the Fed to drain the borrowing and lending lives of private money markets.

Fed officials also expected that as the central bank continues to raise interest rates with the goal of bringing down very high levels of inflation, the use of the reverse repo facility should decrease. But that hasn’t happened yet, and some in the markets now believe that the consistently high utilization of the Fed facility will be around for some time to come.

Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicated that banking regulation issues make demand for the Fed’s reverse repo instrument high. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Fed added its view that large inflows are related to limited private market investment opportunities and policy uncertainty.

Strong cash flows to the central bank may not have alarmed central banks, but they have driven their operations to an actual loss. The Federal Reserve finances itself through interest on the bonds it owns as well as the services it provides to the financial community. It usually makes a noticeable profit and by law returns it to the treasury.

Currently, the cost of paying interest on reverse repo agreements and reserve balances outweighs income. The Fed reported Thursday that as of Dec. 28, the accounting metric it uses to track losses was $18 billion. Many observers expect that the Fed’s plans to raise interest rates further and keep them at high levels will mean fairly large losses for the central bank over time, even if these losses will not affect the action of the Fed’s monetary policy.

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