S&P, DOW HIT RECORD HIGHS AS OIL, BANK STOCKS GAIN
- Oil prices soared 7.4% as some of the world’s largest producers (OPEC) agreed to curb oil output for the first time since 2008.
- Investors expect the market to benefit from Trump’s policies, including higher spending on infrastructure and simpler regulations in the healthcare and banking industries.
- U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in November and consumer spending increased last month, the latest signs of economic strength that could further cement the case for an interest rate hike.
US FINANCIAL MARKET
- Market participants say the cuts could be significant enough to push oil supplies below demand levels sooner than expected.
- OPEC reached a deal in Vienna to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day from the current 33.6 million barrels.
- OPEC’s cut would represent a reduction of about 1% of global output.
- Saudi Arabia would contribute around 0.5 million bpd by reducing output to 10.06 million bpd, the source said.
- Iran would freeze output at close to current levels of 3.797 million bpd and other members would also cut production.
- In a corner of the prolific Bakken shale play in North Dakota, oil companies can now pump crude at a price almost as low as that enjoyed by OPEC giants Iran and Iraq.
- Until a few years ago it was unprofitable to produce oil from shale in the United States. The steep slide in costs could encourage more U.S. shale output if OPEC members cut supplies, undermining the producer group’s ability to boost prices.
- The greenback has risen more than 7% in November amid speculation President-elect Donald Trump will pursue reflationary policies.
- E-commerce, helped by mobile phones, accounted for 25% of consumer spending, up from 18% last year, over three days through Black Friday.
- Malware takes control of devices, installs other apps and ad-spewing software without permission.
- Valeant’s talks to sell a stomach-drug business to Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical for roughly $10 billion have broken down amid last-minute disagreements over price and other matters, according to people familiar with the matter.
- Though the talks could still be revived, Valeant is now focused on building the business, Salix Pharmaceuticals, rather than selling it.
- Netflix is making some TV shows and movies available for download to watch offline, providing its users a feature that has become a must-have for binge-watchers.
- Many fans have requested to watch Netflix content without an internet connection, especially those in emerging markets with limited internet access.
- The world’s largest online TV network will roll out the feature on phones and tablets for all subscribers, but only for select shows such as “The Crown” and “Orange is the New Black” at first.
- Netflix has 86.7 million customers worldwide, 47.5 million of whom live in the U.S.
- A key measure of after-tax earnings across U.S. corporations rose 5.2% in the third quarter from a year earlier.
- Business profits represented 9.1% of U.S. GDP in the third quarter, up from a recent low of 7.8% in late 2015 though down from the 10.2% average seen in 2012 through 2014.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Private payrolls across the nation rose by 216,000 from October to November.
- Large– and medium-size business made up a large chunk of the payroll additions, notching gains of 90,000 and 89,000, respectively.
- Small businesses, defined as those with 49 or fewer employees, added 37,000 to payrolls.
- Personal consumption, which measures how much Americans spent on everything from hospital stays to heating oil, rose 0.3% in October from a month earlier.
- September spending was revised up to a 0.7% gain, up from a prior estimate of up 0.5% and the second-biggest monthly gain in two years.
- Incomes advanced 0.6% in October, the best monthly gain since April, after a 0.4% gain in September.
- President-elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he would be leaving his business “in total in order to fully focus on running the country,” responding to criticism that his global real-estate empire might pose unprecedented conflicts of interest for a U.S. leader.
- Mr. Trump said he would reveal details of how the business change would occur at a New York news conference with his children on Dec. 15.
- President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said on Wednesday the administration would target tax reform and trade pact overhauls as top priorities as they seek to achieve 3% to 4% economic growth.
- He would focus on rolling back parts of the landmark 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law enacted in the wake of the financial crisis.
- Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, singled out the Volcker Rule provision in the law—named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker—which is aimed at trying to stop banks from betting with deposit-insured funds.
- Goldman and other Wall Street firms have complained that the rule is too opaque and complex.
- GAO report offers first full cost estimate of debt-relief programs, berates Education Department over accounting methods.
- The overall government loan program—currently totaling $1.26 trillion of debt outstanding.
EUROPE & WORLD
- IHS Markit said its composite Purchasing Managers Index for the eurozone’s manufacturers and service providers, which is based on a survey of 5,000 companies, rose to 54.1 from 53.3 in October, its highest level since December of last year and above the 53.4 consensus forecast.
- A reading above 50.0 signals an increase in activity, while a reading below signals a decline.
- BoE Governor Mark Carney highlighted a big rise in U.S. market interest rates since Trump’s victory, which the Bank said could be a precursor to a destabilizing sharp move higher in global government borrowing costs from previous record lows.
- For rich economies, a rapid rise in bond yields from near-zero levels could hurt bank lending and lead to market instability, the BoE said.
- Carney said any new protectionist U.S. trade policies could throw “sand in the gears” of the global economy, with knock-on effects for Britain.
- After the shock of Britain’s Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential election victory, trading desks are readying for another sleepless night on Dec. 4 as they await the outcome of a ballot that again has the potential to disturb the political order.
- This time it’s in Italy, where a vote on curtailing the power of the Senate has turned into a judgment on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s leadership and the latest potential banana skin for investors.
TODAY in HISTORY
Barbados became independent of Great Britain (1966)
President Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to visit Northern Ireland (1995)
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