Last Week:

  • S. equities finished positive for the week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed 201 points higher, or rose 1.0%, to 19,964. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) index gained 38 points, or rose 1.7%, to 2,277. The Nasdaq closed last week 2.6% higher at 5,521.
  • S. payrolls gain: In December, U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7%. Although this jobs number was below expectations, it was still in the Fed’s comfort range. Wages for the year gained 2.9%, marking the fastest pace since 2009.
  • Auto makers beat expectations: December car sales totaled 18.43 million cars on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, marking the highest pace since July 2005 and also beating expectations. With rising demand for trucks, auto makers are likely to set another record for vehicle sales.
  • Retailers in trouble: Macy’s reported a 2.1% fall in same-store sales this holiday season compared to last year. The company announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs and close about 63 stores. Meanwhile, Sears announced a deal to sell its Craftsman brand for $900 million to Stanley Black & Decker, while also closing about 150 stores.
  • Oil: As output cuts by Kuwait and Oman indicated OPEC member countries and its partners were abiding by the supply cut agreement made towards the end of 2016, crude-oil prices hit an 18-month high of $55.24 a barrel.

Look Ahead:

  • Markets are closed in Japan for Coming of Age Day on Monday
  • The Small Business Optimism index for December is reported on Tuesday
  • The American Bankers Association releases data on third-quarter consumer credit delinquencies on Tuesday
  • The Philly Fed Index is reported on Thursday
  • Federal Reserve Presidents, Charles Evans, Robert Kaplan and James Bullard speak on economic outlook on Thursday
  • Producer prices and retail sales for December is reported on Friday