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WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE January 9, 2012

January 10, 2012

John Jastremski Presents:

WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE January 9, 2012

UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN TO 8.5%

In December, the jobless rate declined for the fourth straight month to its lowest level since February 2009. The Labor Department announced that the economy added 200,000 net new jobs last month, topping the consensus forecast of analysts polled by Reuters who expected a gain of 155,000. Separately, payroll processing firm ADP reported private sector firms hiring 325,000 workers in December. Whether December’s boost reflects a seasonal hiring boom or not, Labor Department data indicates that private sector payrolls expanded by an average of 132,000 jobs per month during the second half of 2011.1,2

MANUFACTURING, SERVICE SECTOR GAUGES RISE

According to the twin barometers of the Institute for Supply Management, the U.S. manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors continued to expand last month. ISM’s service sector PMI came in at 52.6, up 0.6% from the November reading; its manufacturing PMI rose to 53.9 from November’s 52.7 mark.3

BIG GAINS OUT OF THE GATE FOR GOLD & CRUDE

The first trading week of 2012 saw crude oil futures rise 2.73% to top $100 a barrel again; futures settled at $101.56 Friday on the NYMEX. Gold went back above the $1,600 level with a $50.30 weekly advance. Gold futures were up 3.21% for the week; Friday’s closing price on the COMEX was $1,616.10.4,5

STOCKS START 2012 WITH GAINS

Across January 3-6, the Dow rose 1.17% to 12,359.92, the NASDAQ climbed 2.65% to 2,674.22 and the S&P 500 advanced 1.61% to 1,277.81. Optimism prevailed despite more woes from the Eurozone: Fitch Ratings lowered Hungary’s credit rating to “junk” status on Friday and the euro fell to a 16-month low versus the dollar.2

THIS WEEK:

Monday, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy meet to discuss the EU’s new fiscal pact; Alcoa kicks off the Q4 earnings season. Tuesday, we get a report on November’s wholesale trade. Wednesday brings a new Beige Book from the Federal Reserve and Q4 results from Lennar. Thursday, the Census Bureau releases December retail sales figures, the latest initial jobless claims data arrives and the European Central Bank and Bank of England issue monetary policy statements. On Friday, the University of Michigan’s preliminary January consumer sentiment survey will be out, plus Q4 earnings from JPMorgan.

 

%   CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR   CHG

5-YR   AVG

10-YR   AVG

DJIA

+1.17

+5.66

-0.0006

+2.12

NASDAQ

+2.65

-1.32

+1.97

+3.13

S&P 500

+1.61

+0.31

-1.87

+0.97

REAL YIELD

1/6   RATE

1 YR   AGO

5 YRS   AGO

10   YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

-0.11%

0.96%

2.39%

3.48%

 

Sources: online.wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov, treasurydirect.gov – 1/6/122,7,8,9

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly.

These returns do not include dividends. Please feel free to forward this article to family, friends or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to our distribution list, please reply with their address.

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This material was prepared by Peter Montoya Inc, and does not necessarily represent the views of John Jastremski, Jeremy Keating, Erik J Larsen, Frank Esposito, Patrick Ray, Robert Welsch, Michael Reese, Brent Wolf, Andy Starostecki and The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.

The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by fidelity.com, netbenefits.fidelity.com, hewitt.com, resources.hewitt.com, access.att.com, ING Retirement, AT&T, Qwest, Chevron, Hughes, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, Glaxosmithkline, Merck, Pfizer, Verizon, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

John Jastremski is a Representative with FSC Securities and may be reached at http://www.theretirementgroup.com.

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