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Bob Carey
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  US Economy and Credit Markets Ended Dec. 18, 2020
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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While equities were setting record highs, Treasury yields were seen increasing last week as signs of progress for a new Fiscal Relief package were observed in Congress. Indications were for a $900 Billion dollar package and Treasury yields moved around the news. Last Thursday's unemployment claims increase to 885,000 was higher than anticipated. Markets seemed to be anticipating that Congress would pass aid as more Americans are requesting unemployment benefits. Weekly initial unemployment claims peaked this March at nearly 7 million. While they steadily fell into the summer there has been a recent uptick in claims as 2020 draws to a close. The Federal Reserve's Wednesday meeting left rates unchanged, which was expected, and clarified that the current Fed purchase of monthly Treasury and Mortgage bonds will be maintained "until substantial further progress" toward unemployment and inflation goals are achieved. Last Tuesday saw a rise in Industrial Production with auto production leading the way up 5.3%. November retail sales were recorded falling last Wednesday led by a decline in restaurants and bars. Major economic reports (related consensus forecasts, prior data) for the upcoming holiday-shortened week include Tuesday: Q3 Quarter over Quarter Annualized GDP (33.1%, unch.), December Conference Board Consumer Confidence (97.8, 96.1) and November Existing Home Sales (6.70M, 6.85M); Wednesday: December 18 MBA Mortgage Applications (N/A, 1.1%), December 19 Initial Jobless Claims (N/A, 885K), November preliminary Durable Goods Orders (0.6%, 1.3%), November Personal Income (-0.3%, -0.7%), November Personal Spending (-0.1%, 0.5%), December final University of Michigan Sentiment (80.9, 81.4) and November New Home Sales (990K, 999K).
Posted on Monday, December 21, 2020 @ 8:05 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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