STOCKS STEADY AFTER RECENT GAINS
- Investors assess whether stocks can continue to advance with valuations at high levels.
- Investors are also awaiting the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s Dec. 13-14 meeting in which it raised interest rates.
- The minutes are due to be released at 2:00 p.m. ET.
- Government bonds were steady Wednesday after a volatile session on Tuesday when the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose above 2.5% before settling roughly flat on the day at 2.450%.
- The U.S. dollar pulled back after reaching its highest level on Tuesday since 2002.
US FINANCIAL MARKET
- Yesterday, the dollar index rose to 103.820, its highest level since December 2002.
- Tesla sold 22,200 vehicles during the October-through-December period, compared with 17,478 a year earlier.
- The company sold a total of 76,230 cars and sport-utility vehicles last year.
- Tesla began 2016 with ambitions of delivering 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles.
- Musk has said Tesla would make 500,000 cars a year by the end of 2018 and 1 million vehicles in 2020.
- Amazon has said the 2016 holiday was its best-ever shopping season. However, high spending on warehouses and video production are expected to drag on profits.
- The payoff comes in lieu of Mr. Tillerson’s expected appointment as U.S. secretary of state.
- The decision will allow Mr. Tillerson to sell off all of his remaining shares in the company.
- Currently, he holds more than 600,000 vested shares worth about $54 million.
- Delta said it expects passenger unit revenue, which compares sales to flight capacity, to be down 2.5-3.0 percent for the quarter, compared with its December forecast of a decline of 3 percent.
- Smartphone, tablet users spent record $967.6 million on game apps for iOS and Android devices, up 53% from a year ago.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- U.S. mortgage activity for mortgages edged up to 358.5 in the week ended Dec. 30, 0.1 percent higher than the prior week.
- Interest rates on 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages, the most widely held type of U.S. home loans, averaged 4.39 percent, down from the prior week’s 4.45 percent which was the highest since April 2014.
- Trading revenue of U.S. banks shot up 20 percent in the third quarter from the same period in 2015, to $6.4 billion, even though it edged down nearly 9 percent from the previous quarter.
- Meanwhile, credit exposure from derivatives decreased $24 billion, or 4.7 percent, from the previous quarter, and the notional amount of derivatives held by insured banks shrank $12.4 trillion, or nearly 6.5 percent.
- The rate banks charge each other to borrow dollars for three months rose above 1 percent on Wednesday for the first time since May 2009.
- The London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, for three-month dollars was fixed at 1.00511 percent, the highest level since 1.00688 percent on May 1, 2009, which was also the last date the rate topped 1 percent.
- Libor is a global rate benchmark for $350 trillion worth of financial products worldwide.
EUROPE & WORLD
- China’s official nonmanufacturing purchasing managers index, a measure of activity outside factory gates, fell to 54.5 in December from 54.7 in November.
- A reading above 50 indicates an expansion, while a figure below that level indicates a contraction.
- The European Union’s statistics agency Wednesday said consumer prices in the eurozone were 1.1% higher in December than a year earlier, the highest level since September 2013.
- The pickup in the overall measure of inflation was largely due to a rise in energy charges, which were up 2.5% from a year earlier.
- Ford said Tuesday it will cancel a planned $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and invest $700 million at a Michigan factory.
- President-elect Donald Trump had harshly criticized the Mexico investment plan.
- The second largest U.S. automaker said it would build new electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles at the Flat Rock, Michigan plant and add 700 jobs.
TODAY in HISTORY
Dr. William W. Grant of Davenport, Iowa, performed what is thought to be the first appendectomy (1885)
Utah was admitted as 45th state in the United States (1896)
California Democrat Nancy Pelosi becomes the first woman U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives (2007)
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