Stock Market Stalls as Investors Approach the Holiday Season – Dec. 22, 2016

Daily Stock Market News Dec. 22, 2016:  Stocks fell a little today in light trading, just prior to the break for the Christmas holiday.  The holiday has also caused the drive towards a 20,000 Dow to stall.  Economic growth was upgraded to the strongest in two years.  See more economic news and today’s closing market prices.

stock-market-graphic- stock market

U.S. Stock Market Closing Prices Dec. 22, 2016:

Dow Jones Industrial Averages:  19,918.88  -23.08  (-0.12 percent)

S & P 500:  2,260.96  -4.22  (-0.19 percent)

NASDAQ:  5,447.42  -24.01  (-0.44 percent)

Crude Oil:  $52.65 a barrel

Current Stock Market Trending Topics:

The stock market opened this morning to lighter than normal trading.  Expect the same tomorrow, as we head into the holiday season.  In addition to the light trading, stocks slipped a little again today, with the Dow backing off from the 20,000 level.

As 2016 draws to an end, the Obama administration is also ending their eight years with 75 months of steady job growth, low inflation, increasing sales, rising incomes, strong consumer sentiment and overall positive economic news.  Investors are looking towards the Trump administration to see if the trend will continue, accelerate or reverse direction in 2017 and the following years.  Most investors are very comfortable with the current state of the economy and the fear gauge is near the lowest level of the year.

The U.S. economy continued to grow. During the third quarter, the economy grew at a 3.5 percent rate.

After years of a growing economy, things may not be quite so rosy during the next few years.  Below is a link to Bloomberg’s Pessimists Guide to 2017 which I highly recommend my readers check out.  If even 10 percent of the events they predict actually happen, things could be pretty bleak in many parts of the world … and unsettled in the U.S.

CalPERS, the California Public Employees Retirement System, lowered its investment return expectaion from 7.5 percent (which they have not accomplished in the past two years) to a more realistic 7 percent.  The decrease will occur gradually between now and 2020.  It will also increase pressure on city and local governments, as well as school districts, to make up the difference from their general revenue.

The Economic Events Which Affected the Stock Market in December:

  • December 2 – Employment Situation Report for Nov., 2016 – The U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November and unemployment dropped from 4.9 percent to 4.6 percent.  This is the lowest rates since August 2007.  November was the 74th consecutive month American added jobs. Wages also rose 2.5 percent.
  • December 13 and 14 – Meeting of the Federal Reserve. They raised their benchmark interest rate by .25 percentage points.  This was the second time this year, and only the second time in the past ten years, that interest rates have risen.  The Federal Reserve indicated that consumers should expect interest rates to rise three more times in 2017.
  • December 26 – Stock Market closed because of the Christmas holiday

Resources: / / MSN Money / Market Watch / YahooFinance / Bloomberg / Reuters and other public news sources

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