December 18th

Daily Market Commentary



  • Initial Jobless Claims in the U.S. were reported at 289K, below estimates of 295K.
  • The Markit Services PMI was reported at 53.6, slightly below estimates of 56.9.
  • The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey was below estimates, coming in at 24.5.
  • EIA Natural Gas Storage Change figures were reported at -64B, below estimates of -61B.


  • Falling oil prices may have more of an effect on U.S. employment than they did when crude tumbled six years ago, according to Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at Convergex.
  • Oil headed for its biggest gain in more than two weeks in New York amid speculation that crude’s plunge to a five-year low may have been excessive.
  • Gold rose, rebounding from a two-week low yesterday, on signs of increased physical demand.
  • Wheat rose to the highest since at least May in Chicago and Paris on concern supplies from Russia will be restricted amid moves by the government to slow shipments.


  • Canadian oil supplies to the U.S. Midwest were disrupted after Enbridge Inc. shut a pipeline because of a leak.
  • Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s biggest producer of the metal, will probably take steps to stop production at its Zambian operation after the southern African country increased mining royalties, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
  • Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. agreed to buy the Pantry Inc. chain for about $860 million in a deal that pairs the Canadian convenience store operator with one that has locations in the southeastern and gulf states of the U.S.
  • BlackBerry Ltd. unveiled a new phone that harks back to the company’s glory days of being the world’s leading smartphone maker, capping a year dedicated to stabilizing finances and winning back investor confidence.

United States

  • U.S. stock-index futures advanced as oil companies rose, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will hold its gains for a second day for the first time in two weeks.
  • FedEx Corp. fell the most in almost 11 months after reporting a lower quarterly benefit from declining fuel prices than some analysts expected and failing to boost its full-year profit outlook.
  • Signaling she’s in no hurry to raise rates, Fed Janet Yellen said the central bank is unlikely to move before the end of April and that borrowing costs will remain low for a “long time” after liftoff.


  • European shares climbed for a third day on growing confidence that central banks around the world will support the economy, while energy stocks rebounded further.
  • Credit Suisse AG used an appraisal it knew was inflated to dupe Highland Capital Management LP into refinancing a shaky real-estate development, leading to more than $250 million in losses, a lawyer for the Dallas-based debt manager told jurors at the end of trial.
  • President Vladimir Putin said Russia shouldn’t waste currency reserves protecting the ruble as the country braces for a recession brought on by the collapse of the oil price and sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.
  • German business confidence rose for a second month in a sign that Europe’s largest economy is overcoming the weakness it hit earlier in the year.
  • Asian stocks rose, following the biggest surge in U.S. shares since October 2013, after the Federal Reserve pledged patience on interest-rate increases and the yen weakened, boosting Japanese equities.
  • With an economy increasingly linked to mainland China yet a monetary policy still tied to the U.S., Hong Kong is set to be squeezed by diverging dynamics in the two nations, compounding challenges posed by political unrest.

*All information is taken from Bloomberg, unless otherwise noted.