US FINANCIAL MARKET
- U.S. stocks opened strong on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track to halt a five-session losing spree, after a stronger-than-expected payrolls report.
- A $6.4 billion gas project being built by Chevron in China is facing further delays due to disagreements with partner PetroChina over how to develop the technically tricky fields, three industry sources said.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Nonfarm payrolls increased by 203,000 new jobs last month and the jobless rate fell to a five-year low of 7.0%. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising 180,000 last month and the unemployment rate falling to 7.2% from 7.3.
- Job gains for September and October were revised to show 8,000 more jobs created than previously reported.
- Private-sector payrolls rose 196,000. But government employment also increased as hiring by state and local governments offset a decline in federal employment.
- The participation rate – the share of working-age Americans who either have a job or are looking for one – bounced back to 63.0 from 62.8, 35-1/2-year low touched in October.
- The report also showed average hourly earnings rose by four cents to $24.15 last month, while the length of the workweek edged up to an average of 34.5 hours from 34.4 hours – both bullish signs for the economy.
- Consumer spending increased 0.3% in October after rising 0.2% in September. Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity, to gain 0.2% in October.
- The Commerce Department showed consumer prices were steady in October, after having risen by 0.1% for three straight months. Over the past 12 months, prices rose 0.7%, the smallest gain since October 2009.
- Excluding food and energy, prices were up just 0.1% for a fourth straight month. These so-called core prices were up only 1.1% from a year ago.
- The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index jumped to 82.5 for December, up from a final reading of 75.1 in November.
- The survey’s barometer of current economic conditions jumped to 97.9 from 88.0 in November, beating expectations for a reading of 90, while its gauge of consumer expectations rose to 72.7 from 66.8, above an expected 68.
EUROPE & WORLD
- The first global trade reform since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is ready for agreement by ministers from the body’s 159 member countries later on Friday.
- The deal aims to slash red tape at customs around the world, give improved terms of trade to the poorest countries, and allow developing countries to skirt the normal rules on farm subsidies if they are trying to feed the poor.
- Booming housing markets in emerging Asia have pushed global residential property prices to a new peak. Global house price index rose 4.6% over the 12 months to the end of September.
- Dubai topped the index, as house prices there rose more than a quarter over the last 12 months, followed by China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
- Struggling southern European economies filled the lower reaches of the index, with house prices falling steeply in Croatia, Spain and Greece.
- German factory orders slid 2.2% from September.
TODAY in HISTORY
- Nelson Mandela, who led the fight against apartheid and then pushed for reconciliation as his country’s first black president, died after a prolonged illness Thursday. He was 95.
Sources: Reuters, Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, Bloomberg, CNN Money.
This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is being made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should be used only as general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth in the material may not develop as predicted. All indices, such as the S & P 500, are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.