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1) The Institute for Supply Management reported that December PMI grew 1.2 points to 50.7, indicating growth in the domestic manufacturing sector. This is particularly welcome after November’s PMI came in at 49.5, below the threshold that divides growth from contraction.
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PMI readings from around the globe also came in, indicating growth in developing economies and ongoing weakness in Europe. The Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI report released on Wednesday showed a 0.1 point drop in the region’s December PMI to a level of 46.1. India’s December PMI hit a six-month high of 54.7. Brazil’s December PMI shrank 1.1 points but remains positive at 51.1. China’s PMI for the month grew to 51.5, its second month in a row of sector growth… (Read more.)
2) Wednesday’s markets celebrated in the wake of the fiscal cliff agreement being signed. Lawmakers passed a tax deal and deferred the sequester, removing much of the weight that had pressed on markets for the past few months. Among other measures, the Bush Tax Cuts will only expire for single persons earning more than $400,000 per year, or married couples earning more than $450,000 per year. Capital gains will rise from 15 percent to 20 percent for single persons making up to $400,000 per year and married couples making… (Read more.)
3) The January Effect is the tendency for stock prices to experience a general increase in the first month of the year, with the move being more pronounced among small cap companies. After a wave of selling occurs in December for tax or reporting reasons, stocks are believed to rise because investors re-enter the market. This year, the effect appears to be in full force… (Read more.)
At the close: DIJA: +2.35%, S&P 500: +2.54%, Nasdaq +3.07%.
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