Top Stories Last Week
• US Stocks Reached Records Again
US Stocks reached records again in the holiday season with no major economic news. Last week, S&P index rallied 1.3%, and MSCI EAFE index climbed 2.3%. The MSCI Emerging Market rose 1.8%. Gold climbed 1.0%, while the SPGC commodity index rose by 0.4%. The bond markets were sold off. Barclays US Treasury index was down by 0.8%, while US high yield bonds were up by 0.1%.
• US Durable Goods Orders Jumped 3.5% in November
US companies stepped up their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in November. The surge in orders for durable goods, which are products expected to last at least three years, was the latest evidence of a rebound in manufacturing. The gains will likely provide support for the economy into 2014. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that orders for durable goods jumped 3.5% in November compared with October, when they had fallen 0.7 percent. The increase was led by a 21.8 percent surge in demand for commercial aircraft, which can be volatile. However, the core capital goods, a category that tracks business investment, rose 4.5%, the biggest gain since January. This category is seen as a gauge of business plans to expand and modernize and as a measure of business confidence.
• Japanese Inflation Rate
Japan’s battle against deflation received a boost in November with consumer price index rising at its fastest pace in 15 years. Stripping out volatile food and energy prices, which have largely driven recent increases, prices inched up 0.6% in November The broader consumer price index, which measures a basket of everyday goods but excludes the cost of fresh food, rose 1.2% last month from a year earlier. The upbeat headline for the inflation data was tempered by the fact that prices were still largely driven up by higher fuel bills, not surging demand for everyday goods such as vacuum cleaners and clothes which power the economy as a whole. The data showed prices moving towards the BoJ’s ambitious two per cent inflation target – to be reached in just two years.
Top Stories to Watch This Week
• New Year’s Day Holiday
Global financial markets will close on New Year’s Day Wednesday.
• US ISM Manufacturing Index
US manufacturing activities are likely to continue expansion in November.
• Chinese PMI Manufacturing Index
Chinese PMI is expected to be 51 in November, continuing showing signs of growth.
• European Inflation Rate
Euro Zone inflation rate is expected to 0.9% on a YOY basis.