-Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Rose to 269,000 Last Week: Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. rose last week, maintaining a see-saw pattern around four-decade lows that shows persistent strength in the labor market. Jobless claims climbed by 9,000 to 269,000 in the period ended Nov. 28, matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey, a Labor Department report showed Thursday. Filings are hovering just above the 255,000 level reached in July, the lowest since the 1970s. Companies are reluctant to dismiss workers as the labor market tightens, a development Federal Reserve policy makers are monitoring as they consider raising their benchmark interest rate. A greater sense of job security may help Americans feel more comfortable spending during the holidays, which would provide a much-needed boost to growth.
-Draghi Lifts QE to at Least 1.5 Trillion Euros to Boost Prices: The European Central Bank unveiled a range of measures to tackle too-low inflation, from a cut in the floor for interest rates to an expansion of its bond-buying program by at least 360 billion euros ($390 billion). The Frankfurt-based ECB will extend quantitative easing by six months until at least March 2017 at the current rate of 60 billion euros a month and broaden the assets purchased to include local and regional debt, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday. The Governing Council earlier reduced its deposit rate by 10 basis points to minus 0.3 percent. Investors reacted with skepticism at the scale of the package, sending the euro up as much as 2.6 percent and equities and government bonds down. Draghi said the ECB is “willing and able” to act further if needed. QE is now intended to total at least 1.5 trillion euros, up from the original 1.1 trillion euros.
– Consumer Comfort at One-Year Low as U.S. Buying Climate Dims: Consumer confidence fell last week to a one-year low as households’ views on the U.S. buying climate deteriorated by the most since December 2011. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to 39.6 in the week ended Nov. 29 from 40.9 in the prior period. The decline was the sixth in the last seven weeks and reflected a 2.8 point drop in the measure of whether now is a good or bad time to shop. The decline is “a troubling sign for the critical holiday-shopping season just under way,” said Gary Langer, president of New York-based Langer Research Associates LLC, which conducts the survey for Bloomberg. Consumers were polled during Thanksgiving week, the traditional start of holiday spending in the U.S., meaning the pickup in pessimism “couldn’t come at a worse time of year.” The buying climate measure fell to 34.5 last week from 37.3, while a gauge of consumers’ views on personal finances decreased to 53.7, the lowest level since mid-August, from 54.8. The index tracking attitudes about the economy was little changed.
Fuente: Bloomberg Business
-Euro surges after rate cut: Europe’s currency has surged by about 2% versus most other major global currencies after the European Central Bank cut a key interest rate and promised more measures to try to get growth and inflation moving again in Europe. The ECB was widely expected to make this move, but the rate cut was smaller than anticipated. «It seems the ECB favors an incremental approach, on this policy area at least,» noted Ken Wattret, an economist at BNP Paribas. The euro has been under pressure for months while the U.S. dollar has rallied. The dollar index hit a 12.5 year high against other world currencies on Wednesday after the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated that an interest rate hike is likely to take place later this month. This leaves the two most powerful central banks in the world moving in opposite directions.
-Another mass shooting: At least 14 people were killed and 17 others injured in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, the deadliest incident of its kind since Sandy Hook. Gun sales have spiked in the wake of previous shooting because they tend spark talk of tighter gun controls. Background checks for gun sales jumped 40% in December 2012, the month of the Sandy Hook massacre. Shares in Smith & Wesson (SWHC) have rallied by 94% since the start of the year and shares in Sturm Ruger (RGR) are up 52%. Both companies have significantly outperformed the broader market.
-Oil in the spotlight: Oil prices could be volatile Thursday as investors ponder a report that the world’s most powerful oil producer — Saudi Arabia — may try to convince other major producers to cut production by one million barrels per day. Research firm Energy Intelligence predicts Saudi Arabia will make the proposal on Friday at an OPEC meeting. Saudi Arabia is reported to be seeking the participation of producers outside OPEC in an agreement to cut output. «Although a cut is still not expected to be agreed at this meeting, the proposal suggests the kingdom is looking at ways of managing a potentially choppy market next year,» Energy Intelligence said in a report. Crude oil prices dipped below $40 per barrel on Wednesday but have recovered a bit and are trading around $40.70.
-Market movers — Avago, PVH and beer: Shares in Avago Technologies (AVGO) are rising by about 9% premarket after the company reported better than expected earnings. Shares in PVH (PVH) — the parent company behind Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger — are also rising by about 3% following well received quarterly results. And we could see moves in the beer industry after Anheuser-Busch InBev (AHBIF) said it was looking to sell some of SABMiller’s (SBMRY) premium beer brands as the two companies work to combine their business operations.
Fuente: CNN Money