US Employment Continued to Show Solid Improvement

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through December 5th

US stocks surged to end the week little changed after a strong jobs report. The S&P 500 was flat while the Dow gained 0.3% for the week. Internationally, Japan fell 1.9% and Europe sank 3.4% on disappointment from the ECB’s stimulus moves. The yield on the 10 year Treasury ended the week up slightly at 2.28%. Oil fell below $40 a barrel to $39.97 on news that OPEC would not cut production.

US employment continued to show solid improvement with 211,000 jobs added in November above estimates. In addition September and October were revised up with an additional 35,000 hires being made. Average earnings have also increased 2.3% from a year earlier. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5.0%.

The ECB unveiled a new round of monetary stimulus to help improve growth and counter weak inflation. They increased their monthly bond purchases an additional six months, through March 2017 and cut the deposit rate from -0.2% to -0.3% to help encourage lending. However, the moves fell short of investors’ expectations.

US manufacturing moved into contraction territory in November for the first time since 2012 and had the weakest reading since June 2009 hit by weak global growth and the rising dollar.  The reading well missed expectations.

US auto sales continued their unrelenting pace in November and  are on track to top the all time high in annual sales set in 2000.

Business spending advanced only 2.2% in the third quarter compared to a year ago.

China’s manufacturing activity fell to its lowest level in over 3 years in November.

China’s currency was added by the IMF to its list of reserve currencies; a major step in the country’s economic development.

2015 officially set the record for the most merger and acquisition activity ever, surpassing 2007 with $4.3 trillion worth of deals.

Reposted from the Raffa Wealth Management Blog.

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC

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