There was a flurry of data today before markets settle into the upcoming holiday week which will have stock and bond markets closed on Monday for Boxing Day and Christmas and early closings next Friday and New Year’s Monday. The FX market will be open Monday through Friday as usual, but with the light economic calendar and most traders taking a week off, activity should be limited.
For end-of-year flows (related to taxation), the activity must be completed before Wednesday to pass under the end-of-year transfer.
Today, the US had Durable Goods, Core PCE, including Personal Consumption, Michigan Consumer Confidence and New Home Sales.
Durable goods orders were mixed. The title number was lower than expected, but if you subtracted the shipping, it wasn’t too bad. The reviews weren’t that good though.
Headline and core PCE inflation are roughly in line with expectations, with core PCE still up 4.7% but down from 5.0% last month. This report includes personal income which rose more than expected by 0.4% versus 0.3%. But consumption was worse than expected at 0.1% against 0.2%. Later in the morning, the Univ. Michigan’s final reading came in at 59.7 from 59.4 in the preliminaries. Both were above last month’s reading of 56.8. Current conditions have moved to 59.4 from 58.8 last month. The expectations index was also higher at 59.9 versus 55.6. One-year inflation stood at 4.4% against 4.9% last month. Although lower, it is still above the Federal Reserve’s estimate of 3.1% at the end of 2023.
In the forex market, the strongest majors were the NZD and the AUD. The weakest were the JPY and the CHF. The USD was also weaker today against most major currencies.
In other markets:
- spot gold is up $5.88 or 0.32% at $1798.04
- spot silver rose to $0.16 or 0.69% at $23.72
- WTI Crude Oil closed up $1.90 at $79.41
- bitcoin was stable and $16,814. It was near the middle of the day’s trading range
In the US stock market, the major indices moved from negative territory to positive territory at the close:
- The Dow Jones rose 0.53%
- The S&P index rose 0.59%
- The Nasdaq rose 0.21%
- Russell 2000 rose 0.39%
Allow me to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season.
Joy to the world….