Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through December 26th

US stocks were flat for the week as optimism over vaccines and a new US stimulus package were weighed against a new more transmittable strain of the virus and threats from the President to veto the stimulus package.  The S&P 500 dropped 0.2%, while the Dow was up 0.1% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US fell 0.7% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked down over the week to finish at 0.93%.

After being passed by Congress early in the week the President voiced concerns and threatened to veto the stimulus bill, however ultimately signed it on Sunday.

A new, fast spreading strain of the coronavirus prompted new travel restrictions out of the UK and increased concerns of additional business limitations.

Existing home sales eased in November, declining 2.5% from October.  The first decline in six months.

Consumer confidence fell in early December when economists expected a gain.

US GDP growth was revised up slightly for the third quarter from 33.1% to 33.4%.

Household spending dropped 0.4% in November for the first time in seven months.

New unemployment claims fell to 803,000 for the past week from the previous 892,000 level, however the numbers still remain very high by historical standards.

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