Week In Review! What Happened Last Tuesday Jan. 1st
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West Palm Beach, FL
WHAT A RELIEF... Last Tuesday, with the country poised to go over a fiscal cliff of major tax hikes and spending cuts, Congress averted it by passing budget legislation the President agreed to sign. They raised taxes on a small portion of wealthy Americans and extended unemployment benefits, and the fact they came to any agreement set off a humongous relief rally on Wall Street. The S&P 500 index closed Friday at a five-year high, enjoying its largest weekly percent gain in more than a year. But spending cuts weren't addressed, so there'll be more political wrangling on that and the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling limit we'll soon reach.All was not upbeat as stocks fell Thursday after the minutes from the Fed's December meeting revealed some officials want to see an end to the central bank's bond-buying economic stimulus program later this year. Economic data continued mixed, with ISM Manufacturing and initial and continuing jobless claims missing estimates. But ISM Services topped forecasts and showed growth for that sector, while Friday's December Employment Report added a modest 155,000 jobs, although the unemployment rate remained at 7.8%.For the week, the Dow ended up 3.8%, to 13435; the S&P 500 was up 4.6%, to 1466; and the Nasdaq was up 4.8%, to 3102. Bonds got slammed as stocks soared on the cliff deal and investors worried the Fed might slow its bond purchases. The FNMA 3.5% bond we watch ended the week down .14, at $106.05. National average mortgage rates held near record lows last week in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. In the Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey, applications for purchase loans were finally down, after increasing five weeks in a row. DID YOU KNOW?... At the New Year, a resolution is an expression of intent to do something. But in the corporate world, a resolution is an official document representing an action on the part of the Board of Directors.
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