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Pence Financial Markets News is published every morning at 8:00 am. We cover US Markets, Economy, Politics , World news and more daily Monday – Friday.

US FINANCIAL MARKET

12.30.15 f

GLOBAL STOCKS DIP ALONG WITH OIL PRICES

  • Trading volumes are expected to remain thin on the last trading days of the year.
  • Signs of weakness in oil prices and China have kept investors cautious in recent sessions.
  • U.S. crude-oil prices fell 2.8% to $36.82 a barrel.
  • The American Petroleum Institute said U.S. crude stocks likely grew last week.

Oil Prices Fall on Saudi Comments, Oversupply Anxiety

  • Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said Wednesday that the country’s policy of unrestrained output “is a reliable policy and we won’t change it.”
  • Saudi Arabia pumped 10.13 million barrels a day in November, down from record levels over the summer, but up from 9.584 million barrels in November last year.
  • Prices also fell on concerns that U.S. stockpile data due for release at 10:30 a.m. ET would show an increase in U.S. crude supplies.

What Economic Forecasters Got Right, and Wrong, in 2015

Crude Oil:

Average forecast for December 2015: $63/barrel

Actual as of December 29: about $38/barrel

Inflation (consumer price index, annual change):

Average forecast for December 2015: 1.6%

Actual as of November 2015: 0.4%

Federal funds rate (midpoint of target range):

Average forecast for December 2015: 0.89%

Actual: 0.375%

Real GDP (fourth quarter-over-fourth quarter, percent change):

Average forecast for fourth quarter of 2015: 3%

Actual: due in January. 2.1% as of the third quarter.

Home prices (Federal Housing Finance Agency home price index, percent change from year ago):

Average forecast for fourth quarter of 2015: 4.1%

Actual as of October 2015: 6.1%

Unemployment rate:

Average forecast for December 2015: 5.2%

Actual as of November 2015: 5%

Payrolls (average monthly change in total nonfarm employment):

Average forecast for 2015: 231,000

Actual for 12 months through November: 219,000

Wages (average hourly wages, annual percent change):

Forecast for December 2015: 2.6%

Actual as of November: 2.3%

Airlines Challenge Low-Cost Foes on Fares

  • Fliers benefit as carriers vie to offer cheapest fares, but revenue takes a hit.

Harrell

Italian Tax Agency Reaches Agreement with Apple

  • Apple has agreed to pay around €318 million ($346.6 million) over a dispute in which the company allegedly failed to pay almost €900 million in taxes for the period 2008 to 2013.

DuPont cuts jobs in Delaware ahead of Dow merger

  • DuPont aid it would cut 1,700 jobs in Delaware, as part of a previously announced plan to reduce its workforce before combining with Dow Chemical.

Third time’s a charm for UPS at Christmas, but FedEx stumbles

  • After two consecutive years of problems during its holiday peak package season, UPS delivered on time at Christmas this year while its main rival FedEx had a last-minute stumble that left some gifts undelivered until after the holiday.
  • A late surge in e-commerce orders and bad weather in 2013 left an estimated 2 million packages undelivered on Christmas Eve.

US ECONOMY & POLITICS

Pending Home Sales Slip in November

  • Pending home sales, measuring contracts before they become final, slipped 0.9% in November from a month earlier to a reading of 106.9.

EUROPE & WORLD

Global growth will be disappointing in 2016: IMF’s Lagarde

  • MF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the prospect of rising interest rates in the United States and an economic slowdown in China were contributing to uncertainty and a higher risk of economic vulnerability worldwide.
  • In October the IMF forecast that the world economy would grow by 3.6 percent in 2016.

The World Economy’s Winners and Losers in 2015

  • When the final numbers are tallied, 2015 will probably count as another disappointing year for global growth.
  • In advanced economies, smaller European nations were among the best performers.
  • In the emerging market world, clear standouts included Vietnam, Tanzania and, wait for it, China.

GDP in Review

TODAY in HISTORY

  • The United States bought some 45,000 square mi of land from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase (1853)
  • The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was established through the confederation of Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine, and Transcaucasian Federation (1922)
  • California’s first freeway opened (1940)

This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is being made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should be used only as general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth in the material may not develop as predicted. All indices, such as the S & P 500, are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal.

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