Hector Chacon, a Guatemalan firefighter dressed as Santa Claus, rappels down from the Belize bridge to give toys to children living under the bridge, in Guatemala City, Dec. 22, 2013.
Yes, the markets were open today. And yes, they rallied again to new all-time highs.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,294.6 (+73.4, +0.4%)
- S&P 500: 1,827.9 (+9.6, +0.5%)
- Nasdaq: 4,148.9 (+44.1, +1.0%)
And now the top stories :
- Yes, there were some economic reports released today, and they were important. First we learned that personal income climbed by 0.2% in November while personal spending jumped by 0.5%. October's spending growth figure was revised up to 0.4% from a previous estimate of 0.3%. Meanwhile, core PCE — the Federal Reserve's favorite inflation gauge — was up just 1.1% year-over-year. Overall, economists were pretty psyched about these numbers.
- Here's Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi's Chris Rupkey on the report: "Today’s personal income data shows consumers bought a proverbial ton of services from companies in October and November. This means, hang on to your hats, and please check my math, real consumer spending is running 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013. It has not run this fast since way back in 2010. Consumers are spending more now than they did in 2011 and 2012 when Obama and the Republicans gave them a payroll tax holiday, cutting the tax rate from 6.2 to 4.2% for two years"
- The University of Michigan's consumer confidence index jumped to 82.5 in December. The economic conditions sub-index and outlook sub-index both advanced. However, long-term inflation expectations fell slightly.
- Here's Barclays' Michael Gapen on the report: "Altogether, we read the improvement in consumer sentiment since October as reflecting the end of the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate. The rapid improvement in sentiment is consistent with past episodes of brinkmanship, whereby such episodes pass through the consumer confidence surveys relatively quickly. We expect improvement in housing and labor markets to keep confidence on a broadly upward trend in the medium term despite the risks from further negative policy shocks."
- The yields on the 3-month eurodollar futures contract continued to rise today. Basically, that means traders are betting that the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates sooner than later. One of the reasons why this is happening is because the data continues to show that the economy is in better shape than forecasted.
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