With limited economic data being reported due to the government shutdown, the stock market rallied off its lowest point of the year with the DJIA posting a record single-day increase the day after Christmas. Interest rates moved slightly downward as the 10-year treasury yield fell 3 basis points to 2.73%. However, the spread between the 2-year treasury yield and the 10-year treasury yield increased by 6 basis points to 0.20% as the 2-year dropped by a larger margin than the 10-year. The price of gold continues to rise, increasing 1.88% to $1,282.10 an ounce amid heightened volatility in the stock market. The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) which moves inversely to the price of gold dropped from 97.02 to 96.37. The price of crude oil was little changed as it dropped 0.64% to $45.09 a barrel.
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THIS WEEK’S ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS
- Initial unemployment claims dropped by a minuscule 1,000 to 216,000 for the week ending December 22nd. Continuing unemployment claims, which lag initial claims by a week, fell by 4,000 bringing its 4-week average down to 1.68 million. Both initial and continuing unemployment claims remain near all-time lows.
- New home sales were not reported this week and are being delayed due to the government shutdown. However, new home sales are expected to increase from 544,000 in October to about 560,000 in November.
- November international trade in goods data is also being delayed due to the government shutdown. However, analysts expect the trade deficit in goods to narrow by approximately $1.5 billion (or -1.94%) to $75.7 billion.
“I believe that through knowledge and discipline, financial peace is possible for all of us.”
– Dave Ramsey
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