U.S. and World News
- President Trump reached a deal with congress today to open and fund the government until February 15th. The hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers during the 34 day partial government shutdown are expected to receive back pay. The bill that was agreed upon does not include $5.7 billion for a border wall. President Trump stated that if there is no agreement on border wall funding by February 15th, either the government will shut down again, or he will take executive action to provide funds. This announcement today comes after two bills failed to pass the senate yesterday, and the unscheduled absences of Transportations Security Agents caused a brief ground stop a LaGuardia airport in New York this morning.
- Stocks were relatively unchanged from last week, in another volatile week. The S&P 500 declined 0.21% and closed at 2,665. The Dow Jones increased 0.13% and closed at 24,737. Year to date, the S&P is up 6.40% and the Dow Jones is up 6.15%.
- Yields retreated slightly from last week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.60% and 2.76%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil continued trending higher this week. Prices rose 1.02% and closed at $53.55 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 17.93%.
- The spot price of Gold rose 1.80% this week and closed at $1,305.25 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 1.92%.
- Initial jobless claims fell by 14,000 to 199,000 for the week, the lowest level since 1969. The four-week moving average of claims decreased by 6,000 to 215,000. Claims fell by 5,000 in Kentucky and by 4,000 in California and Michigan.
- Existing home sales fell by 6.4% in December to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.99 million units versus expectations for a decline of 1.5%. Sales in the Midwest region led the decline.
Fact of the Week
- The average price of gasoline nationwide on 1/18/19 (last Friday) was $2.24. 50 years ago, the average price of gasoline was 35 cents. When adjusted for 50 years of inflation, the 35 cent price is equal to $2.48 in 2019 dollars. (Source: AAA, Department of Labor)
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