The Markets (as of market close January 1, 2016)
As the year came to a close, the final week of 2015 saw each of the indexes listed here finish in negative territory compared to the prior week. Since the week closed on a holiday, the closing values for 2015 are in fact the closing values for the week ending January 1, 2016, so there is no year-to-date change.
The price of gold (COMEX) fell, selling at $1,060.50 by late Thursday afternoon, down from $1,075.80 a week earlier. Crude oil (WTI) prices also dropped, selling at $37.07 per barrel by week’s end. The national average retail regular gasoline price increased for the first time in several weeks to $2.034 per gallon on December 28, 2015, $0.008 above the previous week’s price but $0.265 under a year ago.
|Market/Index||2015 Close||Prior Week||As of 1/1||Weekly Change||YTD Change|
|Fed. Funds||0.50%||0.50%||0.50%||0 bps||0 bps|
|10-year Treasuries||2.26%||2.24%||2.26%||2 bps||0 bps|
Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.
Last Week’s Headlines
- The Census Bureau’s advance report on U.S. international trade in goods for November revealed that the seasonally adjusted deficit decreased from $61.3 billion in October to $60.5 billion in November. Compared to October, the advance numbers showed exports of goods were down about 2.0%, while imports of goods fell roughly 1.8%.
- Consumer confidence bounced back in December following November’s moderate decline. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® stands at 96.5, up from 92.6 in November. The Present Situation Index increased from 110.9 last month to 115.3 in December, while the Expectations Index improved to 83.9 from 80.4 in November. Survey respondents expressed optimism about the labor market, although consumers’ expectations about their financial outlook were mixed.
- Rising prices and limited inventory continued to slow pending home sales (those under contract for sale) in November, according to the latest Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors®. The index for November fell 0.9% from October–the third time in four months the index has declined. However, the index is 2.7% ahead of November 2014.
- For the week ended December 26, there were 287,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, an increase of 20,000 from the prior week’s revised total. For the week ended December 19, the advance number for continuing unemployment insurance claims was 2,198,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6% for the week ended December 19.
Eye on the Week Ahead
The first full week of the new year will reveal how last year ended in the manufacturing sector. Also of note will be the latest Bureau of Economic Analysis report on international trade for November.
Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.
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