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1) Earlier in the week, Markit showed euro-zone manufacturing PMI at 46.1, a 0.1 point drop from December and an indicator that the region’s manufacturing sector will continue to contract heading into the first quarter. Today, a report compiled by Markit showed the Final Eurozone Composite Output Index at 47.3, up 0.7 points from November. At this pace, which was slightly weaker than expected, the region’s PMI will follow the euro-zone GDP forecast, and should be positive at the end of the year.
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2) When the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December policy meeting hit the markets yesterday, they had an immediate effect on trading behavior, pulling the S&P 500 down from positive to negative growth territory in just a few minutes. The minutes revealed that some members of the Fed were discussing reducing asset purchases before the end of 2013. The minutes also reveled that future stimulus could be tied to labor market performance, putting even more weight on today’s non-farm payroll.
3) The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of unemployed in the U.S. in December was 12.2 million, unchanged at 7.8 percent. Non-farm payroll rose 155,000 for the month, lead by gains in healthcare and food services. This combined with yesterday’s unemployment claims and ADP report paint a picture of the current job environment in America.
At 9:00 a.m.: S&P: 0.00%, Nasdaq: 0.00%, Dow: -0.16%.
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