After finishing strong at the end of 2011, the stock market responded to the job market as U.S. Payrolls unexpectedly jumped by 200,000 in December, decreasing the unemployment to the lowest level since February of 2009 (8.5%). Along with a better than expected job market report, consumer confidence ended 2011 at a five month high and the Dollar made gains against the Euro while achieving a 15-month high, but the market seems to still be preoccupied with the euro-zone debt crisis and the depressed U.S. housing market . Many investors feel that December’s jobs number was not as high as was expected when seasonal/temporary jobs are accounted for, since courier and service jobs reported the highest gains in the job market. Oil fell for two consecutive days as speculation leans toward a recession in Europe while Iran talks about disrupting shipments in the Middle East. As we begin our start of 2012, many investors are looking for the U.S. GDP to expand by as much as 2.5% and forecast U.S. stocks to gain at least 10% for fiscal 2012.
– Charles Stack
Article submitted by: Charles Stack of the Capital Markets Lab (CML). To learn more about the Capital Markets Lab (CML) please visit https://business.fiu.edu/capital-markets-lab/.