Financial and Economic Brief - November 7, 2017

by © Liberty Publishing, Inc.

October Jobs Report

The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate was 4.1%. The jobs-creation number was considerably below expectations of 310,000. A broader measure of joblessness that includes discouraged workers and those at work part -time for economic reasons fell from 8.3% to 7.9%. “Today's report… is still a relatively decent number. It still points towards the positive trend that we've seen in payroll growth over the last several months and the last couple of years actually,” said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank. “In general, the economy is moving along, though a little softer than many market participants anticipated.”
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Gas Prices on the Rise

Gasoline prices have risen for most of the U.S. at a time in the year when there is usually “relief” at the pump. Amid rising oil prices and ongoing refinery maintenance due to the effects of the fall hurricanes, fuel prices have jumped over the last week, according to consumer-information service GasBuddy. The average national price of $2.52 per gallon was up 30 cents from a year ago, according to AAA. Another factor driving up prices: high demand for gasoline. With the economy strong, Americans are hitting the road. Also, oil prices have risen in recent weeks, topping $55 per barrel Thursday. Still, analysts are predicting that gas prices will ease in the coming weeks.
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Dudley Leaving Fed

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York confirmed that William Dudley, “among the most influential monetary policymakers throughout the financial crisis and its aftermath”, expects to retire by mid-2018, before his term officially ends in January 2019. The New York Fed’s board said its search committee aims to name a successor by the middle of next year. The announcement accelerates a revolution in Fed leadership that could upend its cautious approach to raising interest rates and to getting rid of some of the $3.5-trillion in bonds that were purchased to stimulate the economy during the 2007-2009 crisis and recession.
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News

Financial and Economic Brief - December 12, 2017

• Powell’s Early Policy Views - Jerome Powell appears set to let the tax cut “run its course” through the economy as weak growth in wages and inflation promote his view that the economy remains “underpowered”.

• November Jobs Report Strong - According to the November jobs report released on Friday, employers added 228,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%.

• Launch of Bitcoin Futures - Derivatives exchange Cboe Global Markets launched its bitcoin futures late yesterday, marking the first time investors could get access to the market via a mainstream regulated exchange.

Financial and Economic Brief - December 5, 2017

• Mixed Numbers for Automakers - Major automakers posted mixed U.S. November new vehicle sales on Friday and predicted a competitive December as they rushed to sell vehicles and lift their 2017 numbers.

• CVS to Buy Aetna - CVS Health is buying Aetna for $69 billion in cash and stock in a deal that “reflects a rapidly shifting health care landscape”.

• Upcoming Fed Rate Hikes - The U.S. Federal Reserve is “almost certain” to raise interest rates later in December, a majority of whom also now expect three more rate rises in 2018.

Financial and Economic Brief - November 28, 2017

• Consumer Sentiment Rose More Than Expected - U.S. consumer sentiment saw “slight” gains in November compared to the mid-month reading, though the index remained below the decade high reached in October.

• Publisher of Time Agrees to Be Sold - The publisher of Time, People and Sports Illustrated agreed yesterday to be sold to another big magazine publisher, Meredith.

• New Home Sales at 10-Year High - Sales of new U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly rose 6.2% in October, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units, amid strong demand across the country.

Financial and Economic Brief - November 21, 2017

• October Home Building, One-Year High - U.S. home building jumped 13.7% in October, the highest level since October 2016, likely because communities affected by the hurricanes started replacing houses damaged by flooding.

• Marvell Bids on Cavium - Marvell Technology has bid around $6 billion for Cavium in a cash-and-stock deal that would create a chip maker to compete with industry giants.

• Wall Street Slightly…Higher - Wall Street indexes were higher on Monday morning, as gains in technology stocks offset a drop in health shares.

Financial and Economic Brief - November 14, 2017

• Oil Prices May Stay Steady - Oil prices have been rising since June, increasing about 33%. British Petroleum boss Bob Dudley says that may be all for now.

• Coal’s Bleak Future - The coal industry has seen only modest gains in jobs and production this year, mostly from a temporary uptick in foreign demand.

• Qualcomm Rejects Takeover Proposal - Qualcomm recently rejected Broadcom's $103 billion takeover proposal, noting the bid “significantly undervalues” the wireless telecommunications company.

Financial and Economic Brief - November 7, 2017

• October Jobs Report - The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate was 4.1%.

• Gas Prices on the Rise - Gasoline prices have risen for most of the U.S. at a time in the year when there is usually “relief” at the pump.

• Dudley Leaving Fed - William Dudley, “among the most influential monetary policymakers throughout the financial crisis and its aftermath”, expects to retire by mid-2018, before his term officially ends in January 2019.