U.S. and World News
- $600 stimulus checks from the new COVID Relief bill are currently being distributed to bank accounts, according to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. Tuesday evening, the Treasury Secretary tweeted that payments to those who have direct deposit would state going out, and some might have received them as early as Tuesday night. Payments will continue to roll out through next week, and payments to those who do not have direct deposit began shipment on Wednesday.
- In the UK, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca was authorized for emergency use in the county, welcome news for a country that has been hit hard recently by the virus, resulting in strict lockdown measures.
- Markets were up heading into the new year. The S&P 500 was up 0.36% and closed at 3,756. The Dow Jones was up 1.35% and closed at 30,606. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is up 18.05% and the Dow Jones is up 9.41%.
- Yields moved lower this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.36% and 0.91%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude rose this week. Prices were up 0.39% and closed at $48.42 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -20.07%.
- The spot price of Gold ticked higher by 0.83% and closed at $1,899.09 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 25.16%.
- Pending home sales declined by 2.6% in November, against consensus expectations for an unchanged reading.
- The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased by 1.6% in October, above consensus expectations.
- Initial jobless claims declined to 787,000 against expectations for an increase for the week ended December 26.
Fact of the Week
- Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Russel Okung has become the first player in NFL history to receive payment in digital currency. It was announced that half of Okung’s $13 million base salary from the 2020 season will be paid in bitcoin (Source: USA Today)
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