Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through December 5th

US stocks ended the week at a new record high on optimism over vaccines for COVID-19 and a new stimulus bill.  The S&P 500 gained 1.7% and the Dow rose 1.0% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US was up 1.4% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed over the week ending at 0.97%, up from 0.84%.  The global benchmark for oil ended at $49.25 a barrel, its highest level since March.

US shoppers spent significantly less over the five-day holiday stretch including Black Friday and Cyber Monday than last year.

The November jobs reports disappointed with 245,000 jobs added, less than half the gains of October.  The unemployment rate edged down to 6.7% from 6.9%.

The UK was the first to issue emergency approval of the Pfizer vaccine.

The Fed’s beige book said that the US economy expanded at a “modest or moderate pace” this fall.

OPEC members and a group led by Russia agreed to increase oil output by 500,000 barrels a day starting in January as they believe the worst of the pandemic is over.

Weekly jobless claims fell to 712,000, better than economists had expected.

US service sector activity and consumer spending expanded for the sixth straight month.

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