Stocks around the globe posted a mixed day of performance ahead of tomorrow’s expected signing of a “phase one” trade deal by the U.S. and China. Q4 earnings season unofficially began with the major banks kicking it off. JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup posted good results, but Wells Fargo saw some pressure after missing expectations. Outside of financials, Delta Airlines had a good Q4, beating on both the top and bottom lines. In economic news, small business optimism unexpectedly dipped and consumer price inflation came in close to expectations. Treasuries were higher, but the lower yields didn’t prevent the dollar from gaining ground. Gold lost modest ground. Crude oil prices were higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 33 points (0.1%) to 28,940, the S&P 500 shed 5 points (0.2%) to 3,283 and the NASDAQ was down 23 points (0.2%) to 9,251. 916 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.5 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI oil added $0.15 to $58.23 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was flat at $1.65 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price fell $6.00 to $1,544.60 per ounce. The Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was flat at 97.38.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2% month-over-month (m/m) in December, below the Bloomberg estimate calling for a match of November’s unrevised 0.3% gain. The core rate, which strips out food and energy, was 0.1% higher m/m, south of expectations to match November’s unadjusted 0.2% rise. Y/Y, prices were 2.3% higher for the headline rate, below forecasts calling for a 2.4% gain and compared to November’s unadjusted 2.1% increase. The core rate was up 2.3% y/y, matching projections to be in line with November’s unadjusted 2.3% gain.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index for December declined to 102.7, from November’s unrevised 104.7 level, and compared to expectations of a slight dip to 104.6. Seven of the ten index components fell, two improved and one was unchanged. 25% of employers think it is a good time to expand, and the net percentage of firms expecting a better economy, anticipating higher selling prices and better sales all increased, while the net percentage of employers anticipating job creation fell.
Treasuries were higher, with the yield on the 2-year note down 2 basis points (bps) to 1.57%, the yield on the 10-year note dropping 4 bps to 1.81%, and the 30-year bond rate declining 3 bps to 2.27%.
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