Despite a rally at the end of the week, stocks ended the with small losses. Small company stocks had more significant losses. The differences between the House and Senate tax bills are being hammered out by a conference committee. Congress passed a two week budget resolution, averting a shutdown pending work on a longer term budget. November posted strong jobs gains and productivity rose in the third quarter. There was little change in interest rates and commodities were lower. The dollar rose against a basket of currencies.
In the numbers, this week:
- The Labor Department reported:
- Productivity rose at a 3% annual rate in the third quarter and 1.5% from a year ago.
- Hourly compensation rose at a 2.7% rate in the third quarter but only 0.8% over the past year.
- Unit Labor costs fell at a 0.2% rate in the third quarter and 0.7% over the past year.
- First time claims for unemployment fell 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 236,000. The four week moving average of claims fell 750 to 242,250. Claims are still being disrupted in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- The U.S. created 228,000 jobs in November, for a record of 86 consecutive months of job growth while the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% as more people entered the workforce.
- Average hourly earnings have risen 2.5% in November from a year ago.
- The Commerce Department reported:
- The US trade deficit grew 8.6% in October as imports rose and exports were nearly unchanged. Exports were affected by a sharp drop in food exports. Otherwise, exports would have risen.
- The Energy Information Administration’s Weekly Petroleum Data report is here wpsrsummary (13). In addition, the EIA reported:
- Weekly field production of crude oil rose 25 thousand barrels per day in the prior week.
- Natural gas in storage rose 2BNcf last week from the prior week.
- Baker Hughes reported that oil drilling rigs rose 2 to 751. Gas drilling rigs were unchanged at 180.
Please call us if you have any questions.
Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF®, MA Erik Smith
President Managing Partner
Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management 269-441-4143
77 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 140
Battle Creek, MI 49017
Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091
Toll Free: 800-513-8180
Visit our Website: www.genfinplan.com
Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management are separate companies and are not affiliated.
These are the opinions of Loren Rex and Erik Smith and are not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.