- President Obama has signed the two year budget into law that was passed by the House and Senate in previous weeks. Even though it’s a holiday week, legislators on the Appropriations Committees say that they have been making good progress on dividing up the money that has been approved.
- The deadline to register for Obamacare in order for the policy to take effect on January 1st has been extended amid technical problems and a late surge of interest. The original deadline was Monday but some states are even allowing residents to sign up as late as New Year’s Eve for coverage beginning at the start of the year. The continued changing of rules and deadlines has caused a lot of frustration among consumers and insurers alike.
- Stock markets rallied to make new all-time highs during the holiday shortened trading week. The S&P 500 Index was up 1.30%, closing at 1,841 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.59% to close at 16,478. The S&P and the Dow respectively are up 29.11% and 25.75% year to date.
- Treasury yields continued to rise on last week’s Fed tapering new. The 5 year and 10 year treasury are now yielding 1.74% and 3.00% respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose this week by 0.88%, closing at $100.19 per barrel. Year to date, oil is now up 7.71%.
- The spot price of Gold rose a bit this week, gaining 0.84% and closing at $1,213.40 per ounce. Gold is now down 27.56% this year.
- Initial jobless claims fell from last week to 338,000 vs. consensus estimates of 345,000. The four week moving average for claims rose to 348,000. The Labor Department noted that while no states estimated claims, seasonal adjustment around the holidays may be affecting claims numbers.
Fact of the Week
- This week marked the 100th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson signing the Federal Reserve Act, which led to the establishment of the central bank. The original intention of the law was to prevent most bank failures by creating a central banking system. The Fed has taken on a much more hands on role in recent years, becoming one of the major driving forces of the markets.
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