Despite lower-than-expected jobs data, the U.S. stock market ended the week mostly higher amid further trade optimism. Interest rates also moved higher over the course of the week as the 10-year Treasury yield rose from 1.78% to 1.83%. The price of gold rose a slight 0.38% to $1,561 an ounce while crude oil dropped 6.35% to $59.03 a barrel as President Trump said he believes Iran is “standing down” from its retaliation on the U.S.
This Week's Economic Highlights
The U.S. trade deficit fell by a sharp 8% in November to a three-year low of $43.1 billion, as Chinese imports declined and U.S. oil exports increased. More specifically, total U.S. exports rose by 0.7% to $208.6 billion while imports fell by 1.0% to $251.7 billion.
The ISM non-manufacturing index, a measure of service-orientated companies, rose from 53.9% in November to 55.0% in December. Readings above 50% indicates positive growth for service-orientated companies while 55% and higher is seen as exceptional.
Initial unemployment claims dropped by 9,000 for the week ending January 4th to a seasonally-adjusted total of 214,000. Meanwhile the typically more stable four-week average of initial claims dropped by 9,500 to 224,000.
The U.S. added a lower-than-expected 145,000 jobs in December after jumping by 256,000 the month prior. However, the unemployment rate held steady at a historically low 3.5%. Wage growth also came in lower than expected as its annual rate dropped to 2.9%.
“Time is more important than price. When time is up price will reverse.
– W.D. Gann
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