ND&S Weekly Commentary 12.09.19 – The Week Ends on a Positive Note

December 9, 2019

A strong U.S. jobs report released Friday mostly wiped out stock losses from earlier in the week. The U.S. Labor Department reported that employers added 266,000 jobs in November, well above estimates for 184,000. The report also showed unemployment dropped to 3.5%, a 50 year low. Separately, a report on consumer sentiment showed an increase from the prior month. This week look for economic reports on CPI, PPI and retail sales. Based on reports for black Friday and on-line sales, retail sales should continue to be a positive for the U.S. economy as the consumer remains healthy and supportive of the economy.

Stocks ended the week little changed with the S&P 500 up 0.21% and the DJIA and the NASDAQ down 0.06% and 0.08%, respectively. Historically December has been one of the best months of the year. The DJIA, S&P 500 and Russell 2000 indexes have ended higher in December more than another month. International equities ended the week on a positive note with developed markets up 0.38% and emerging markets up 0.88%. For the week, the best performing sectors were energy, consumer staples and healthcare. The worst sector was industrials. In fixed income, interest rates rose last week as the rate on the 10 year U.S. Treasury went from 1.78% to 1.84%.

The Federal Reserve will hold its final meeting of the year this week and is expected to leave interest rates unchanged. Investor attention will also have an eye on trade relations with China as Sunday’s December 15th deadline for increased tariffs on Chinese goods takes effect.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela