Written by William Addison
Monrovia, Liberia – American service members deployed to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa are not doing so on an empty stomach, thanks to Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Subsistence.
More than 408,000 meals, ready to eat, 4,500 unitized group ration modules, and 1.3 million liters of bottled water have been delivered to Monrovia, Liberia, for service members supporting Operation United Assistance, the Defense Department operation supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development-led effort to contain Ebola in the region, said subsistence customer operations chief Rich Faso.
Clarksville, TN – This week, the economic calendar picks up with fresh November figures. The focus is expected to be on the Employment Report, although the European Central Bank’s policy decision may be more critical.
ECB President Mario Draghi has repeatedly signaled that QE is on its way. Will the ECB pull the trigger this week? Seems likely (but if not, then in January).
Nonfarm payrolls were likely to have risen at a moderately strong pace, but seasonal adjustment could distort the figures (so take with a grain of salt).
Clarksville, TN – There are a few key financial market themes of the last several weeks. While the outlooks for the domestic economy and Federal Reserve policy are important, U.S. investors are sensitive to developments in the rest of the world.
Basically, poor economic news from the euro area, China, or Japan is a negative for U.S. equities, while any efforts by foreign central banks to address weakness are seen as a positive.
Japan posted a second quarterly decline in real GDP. Manufacturing gauges for the euro area and China were weak. The Bank of Japan extended its quantitative easing at the end of October.
Clarksville, TN – The economic calendar was thin. The report on retail sales, the only significant release during the week, was a little better than expected, restrained by the decline in gasoline prices. Note that lower gasoline prices should provide some support for consumer spending in the important holiday shopping season.
However, that support is likely to merely offset the impact of sluggish wage growth (leading to “okay” holiday sales). The impact of lower gasoline prices on consumer spending depends on how low gasoline prices go and how long they stay low, but usually arrives with a lag.
Clarksville, TN – On the same day that Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated, leading to outbreak of the First World War, the British and German navies encountered each other in a port city on the Baltic Sea.
In a few months, the two countries would participate in a bloody war with each other, but that evening, they had other intentions.
Clarksville, TN – As was widely anticipated, Republicans picked up enough seats in the mid-term elections to control the Senate. Voter turnout was low, especially among young people and Hispanics.
Some are hopeful for a new spirit of bipartisanship, which happens after every mid-term election. Others are expecting the Republicans to accomplish things, such as tax reform and immigration reform.
Clarksville, TN – As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee brought the large-scale asset purchase program (QE3) to an end and repeated that it expects conditions to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate “for a considerable time.”
The policy statement was viewed as more hawkish (or less dovish) than anticipated. The FOMC noted that the slack in the job market is “diminishing gradually” (in the previous statement, slack was described as “significant”). The Fed added that the initial increase in short-term interest rates likely would come sooner if the economy is stronger than anticipated or later if the economy disappoints.
Clarksville, TN – The Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is located in historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee. Come explore an entire city block featuring large gallery spaces filled with fine art, science and history.
Some of the events in November at the Museum are: 4th Annual Laying Low, Family Fun Day: A Big Thank You to the Train Crew, Art & Lunch: Gallery Talk with Eric Hansen, November in the Children’s Room: Horses, and Equine themed exhibits.
Clarksville, TN – Mixed, but generally favorable, earnings reports and an ebbing in Ebola fears helped propel the major stock market indices higher.
The economic data were largely irrelevant. The Consumer Price Index continued to show a low trend in inflation (+1.7% y/y for both the headline index and the core). Home sales figures were mixed. The Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.8% suggesting little chance of a recession anytime soon
Next week, the earnings calendar is brisk with about a third of the companies in the S&P 500 reporting. There are two key items on the economic calendar: the Fed policy meeting and the advance estimate of 3Q14 GDP growth.
Clarksville, TN – What a week. Concerns about the downside risks to Europe and the rest of the world pushed global equity markets down and the U.S. followed. The economic data mattered little for the most part, but disappointing retail sales figures added to the drop in U.S. stocks on Wednesday.
Yields on long-term Treasuries sank sharply. Following a few days of elevated volatility, the financial markets appeared to settle down on Friday.
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