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Bob Carey
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  US Economy and Credit Markets Week Ended December 30, 2011
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

Medium and long term treasuries rose during the holiday shortened week as the European Central Bank announced that its balance sheet increased to record levels. Prices were relatively unchanged Tuesday on mixed economic data. December consumer confidence increased to 64.5 well above the expected 58.9, but the Richmond and Dallas Fed Manufacturing Indexes were both lower than anticipated. Investors sought the safety of treasuries on Wednesday on news that the ECB's balance sheet reached all-time highs. The drop in yields was responsible for most of the week's movement. Prices were relatively unchanged on Thursday even as Italy's auction sold less than its maximum allowance and the euro touched its lowest level against the dollar in 15 months. Jobless claims were reported in-line with expectations while pending home sales were better than expected. Treasuries were slightly higher Friday to finish 2011 with the largest yearly gain since 2008. Major economic reports (and related consensus forecasts) for next week include: Tuesday: November Construction Spending (+0.5%), December ISM Manufacturing Index (53.4) and minutes of FOMC meeting released; Wednesday: November Factory Orders (+2.0%) and December Vehicle Sales – Annualized (13.5M Total, 10.4M Domestic); Thursday: Initial Jobless Claims (375,000) and December ISM Non-Manufacturing Composite (53.0); Friday: December Change in Nonfarm Payrolls (150,000), December Change in Private Payrolls (170,000) and December Unemployment Rate (8.7%).
Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 @ 8:04 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
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