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U.S. Indices: A Relatively Calm Day Before Christmas

In this last (full) session before the extended Christmas weekend, Wall Street regained some ground. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones picked up +0.38 percent to 30,130 points. The S&P 500’s wide index gained +0.07% to 3,690 points, while the Nasdaq Composite index, rich in stocks in technology and biotech, slipped -0.29% to 12,771 points.

Brussels and London are apparently close to an agreement on Brexit after months of talks, although some of the sticking points still seemed to remain on Wednesday. That was enough to overshadow the umpteenth blowout of Donald Trump, who vowed not to ratify the US Congress’ $892 billion stimulus package passed the day before, deeming the assistance it offers to individuals “ridiculously low.”

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A bunch of indicators were released in the United States before the Christmas break (a simple half-session will take place today on Wall Street): half-fig, half-raisin statistics with good jobs data. In the United States, Initial Jobless Claims dropped more than expected last week. For the week ended December 19, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that unemployment registrations had hit 803,000, down 89,000 from the revised reading of 892,000 the previous week. They are much smaller than expected, as the consensus was set at 885,000.

For Jobless Claims, four-week average was 818,250 which were up 4,000 from previous figure. Finally, the number of Continuing Jobless Claims reached 5.337 million in the week ended December 12, down 170,000 claims over seven days while there was a consensus on 5.558 million claims. The previous record was set in 1982 with 695,000 weekly applications, before coronavirus shut down much of the economy in the United States.

The core PCE Price Index (YoY) remained stable on an adjustment basis against an anticipated 0.1 percent rise. It indicates a rise of 1 per cent over one year.

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