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1) The ADP National Employment report indicates that private-sector employment increased by 215,000 from November to December. This compares to an average of 146,000 for the last six months.
The Department of Labor reports that the advance figure for seasonally-adjusted initial jobless claims for the week ended December 29 was 372,000, a 2.7 percent increase from last week. The four-week moving average climbed fractionally to 360,000.
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2) China’s official non-manufacturing PMI rose 0.6 points to 56.1 in December, indicating strong growth in the country’s increasingly important services sector. Construction services jumped to 61.9 on the heels of government infrastructure spending spend that has been the focus speculation by American mining and equipment companies.
3) Every good celebration is followed by a hangover. U.S. stock futures are edging down in Thursday’s pre-market after all three indices closed Wednesday’s session with gains over 2.3 percent. With a tax agreement signed, investors are turning their eyes to the debt ceiling, which was hit on December 31, and the sequester, which was delayed two months.
At 8:20 a.m.: S&P: -0.03%, Nasdaq: -0.01%, Dow: -0.09%.
The 113th Congress of the United States will be sworn in today at noon.
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