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… (Read more.)
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2) Jobs Report Not Good Enough For the Federal Reserve
The U.S. economy continued to add jobs in December, but not enough to spark worries about the Federal Reserve changing its stance on ultra-low interest rates. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 155,000 workers last month, according to the Labor Department. The figure was mostly in line with expectations, as the median estimate of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a gain of 152,000. Meanwhile, economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected an increase of 160,000… (Read more.)
3) White House: We Need to Increase the Debt Ceiling, and Fast!
The White House has gone on record saying it is vital that Congress raise the U.S. borrowing authority to avoid economic uncertainty, the likes of which has dampened recovery efforts over the past two years as politicians debated over spending cuts and tax hikes. Even worse, the government defaulting on its obligations or suffering a temporary shut down, but cross-aisle political gamesmanship could hold the ceiling hostage… (Read more.)
At the close: Dow: +033%. S&P 500: +0.49%, Nasdaq: +0.04%.