Daily Market Commentary for December 17, 2012
After the horrific shooting that included 20 innocent kindergarten children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats show signs of supporting gun policy changes. (read more at Millennium-Traders.Com)
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met at the White House on Monday and apparently negotiations are more optimistic. Over the weekend, Boehner offered to allow higher taxes on incomes of $1 million and above plus, agreed to increase the debt ceiling for one year. White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters, “Conversations continue.” The new proposal from Boehner would reportedly bring in $1 trillion in revenue over 10 years, compared to $1.4 trillion for proposal from Obama. While Boehner would agree to raise the debt ceiling for one year, the President wants unlimited power to increase the country’s borrowing limit. Boehner wants $1 trillion in spending cuts which would include cuts to entitlement programs in exchange for the $1 trillion in revenue. The positive effects of possible aversion of the fiscal cliff helped pushed the markets higher, into rally mode at the close of Monday's trading session with the Dow Jones Industrial average up over 100 points, S&P 500 closed higher by over 16 points and NASDAQ tacked on gains of over 39 points at the closing bell.
On a positive note, during the month of December, the price of gas at the pump has fallen by 15.4 cents, striking the lowest price seen since December 2011, according to AAA. Into the upcoming Christmas holiday, this in itself is a gift for those taking to the highway. According to AAA Michael Green, an estimated 84.4 million Americans will be hitting the road over the holiday season. The estimated numbers are up 1.3% from 83.3 million people who traveled over the holiday season in 2011.
The New York Federal Reserve Bank said Monday that the Empire State manufacturing index remained in negative territory for the fifth month consecutive month. During December, the index fell to negative 8.1 from negative 5.2 in November. Readings below zero indicate a decline in activity. Key new orders sub-index fell below zero after returning to positive territory in November and shipments retreated as well. The New York Fed reported that employment conditions remained in negative territory. Manufacturers in the parts of the region hit by Hurricane Sandy estimated that revenues in October were 7% lower than otherwise would have been and were 5% lower during November.
The U.S. Treasury Department reported on Monday that foreign investors were net buyers of Treasurys in October, one month after they were net sellers of the largest amount of bonds on record. During October, foreigners bought a net $7.6 billion of U.S. Treasurys, up from net sales of $18.3 billion in September. Overall, the U.S. Treasury Department said foreign investors bought a net $28.4 billion of long-term U.S. securities in October, up from the $17.8 billion purchased in September. This amount includes Treasurys, mortgage-related bonds, corporate bonds and equities. China-based investors slightly increased their holdings of U.S. Treasurys in the month, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
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