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Rover’s Weekly Market Brief — 2/9/2018


DJIA: 24,190.90 (-5.21%)

NASDAQ: 6.874.00 (-5.07%)

S&P 500: 2,620.00 (-5.14%)


Gold: 1,317.30 (-1.50%)

Copper: 308.20 (-3.31%)

Crude Oil: 59.22 (-9.52%)


December’s trade deficit [6] widened by $2.7 billion to $53.1 billion, with a $6.2 billion increase in imports outpacing a $2.7 billion increase in exports. The trade deficit for December was the widest since October 2008, and over the full year, 2017’s the deficit grew by 12% to $566 billion, making it the largest yearly deficit since 2008. Goods exports increased significantly for industrial supplies (+$1.5 billion) and capital goods (+1.2 billion), while imports increased chiefly for pharmaceutical preparations (+$1.8 billion), cell phones and other household goods (+$1.7 billion), and automotives (+$1.1 billion). The trade deficit increased for the top three countries with the widest deficits: +$0.6 billion with China (to $34 billion), +$3.8 billion with the European Union (to $17.2 billion), and +$0.2 billion with Mexico (to $6 billion).

December’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey [7] (JOLTS) was substantially unchanged from November’s report, showing 5.8 million job openings, 5.5 million hires, and 5.2 million separations at the end of the month. The job openings rate was 5.8%, with increases for jobs in information (+33,000) and the federal government (+13,000), and decreases for professional and business services (-119,000), retail trade (-85,000), and construction (-52,000). The total separations rate was 3.6%, with the rate for workers voluntarily leaving a job (the “quit” rate) at 2.2%, and the layoff and discharges rate at 1.1%. Over the 12 months ending in December, there were 64.7 million hires and 62.6 million separations, resulting in a net gain of 2.2 million jobs for 2017.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Weekly Petroleum Status Report [8] showed that both crude oil and commercial petroleum products are at the middle of their average range of supplies for the year, while crude oil imports decreased -538,000 barrels/day,   lowering the   4-week average of imports to 8.1 million barrels/day, down -4.5% compared to the same period last year. Products supplied were up +4.8% compared to last year, with a +6.5% increase in gasoline, a +8.9% increase in distillate fuel, and a -0.6% drop for jet fuel. The benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price was $65.50, down -$0.77 for the week, but up +$11.69 for the year, while gasoline prices increased to $2.637/gallon, up +$0.03 for the week and +0.344 for the year. The EIA’s Monthly Short Term Energy Outlook [9] projected that WTI prices would average $4/barrel lower than Brent prices, and that WTI prices for May would range from $55/barrel to $77/barrel, while U.S. crude production would increase to a record 10.6 million barrels/day in 2018 compared to 2017’s average of 9.3 million barrels/day.

Upcoming Economic Reports:

Wednesday February 14 – Consumer Price Index

Thursday February 15 – Producer Price Index – Final Demand (PPI-FD)

Earnings Calendar:


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