- Fed (Bullard): QE dependant on economy not dates
- Fed (Lacker): Sees increased risks of higher inflation in 2014
- Republican Senator threatens with government shutdown
- Gold futures fall after FOMC
Dow Jones Industrials: 0.16%
Nasdaq Comp.: 0.05%
S&P 500: 0.32%
The main US equity benchmarks were slightly in the blue in late trading following the release of better than expected data on the US services sector.
In turn, that followed on the publication of what at first glance appeared to have been an over - all better than expected monthly employment report, with the only exception of an unexpected up-tick in the unemployment rate.
Of interest, some market commentary was calling attention to comments from Texas Republican Senator, John Cornyn, who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, threatening a government shutdown if President Obama and Democrats don't agree to cut government spending in the coming months.
UBS believes that a downgrade of the country´s long-term debt rating by Moody´s is likely in the next three months if there is no debt agreement.
Gold was again on the retreat after last night´s minutes of the Federal Reserve´s last policy meeting showed support for further quantitative easing to be on the wane.
Acting as a backdrop, and as might have been expected after yesterday´s Fed minutes, different Fed speakers were being cited as having put forth different - and contradictory - policy views.
Goldman positive on Citigroup
Meantime, and on the corporate front, analysts at Goldman Sachs have today added Citigroup to their Conviction Buy list, although they shifted their stance on JP Morgan down to buy from Conviction buy.
Grocery retailer Supervalu is rocketing higher on reports that private equity firm Cerberus could buy some of its assets and take a stake in others.
Pharmceutical giant Eli Lilly jumped as it forecast 2013 earnings ahead of analysts´ expectations.
Johnson & Johnson has shown interest in Warburg Pincus LLC's contact-lens manufacturer Bausch & Lomb. Warburg wants at least $10bn for the business, according to people familiar with the situation, Bloomberg reports.
Furthermore, analysts at Deutsche Bank have upgraded shares
of the company to buy from hold.
From a sector stand-point the worst performance was to be seen in the following industry groups: Computer hardware (-2%), Platinum (-1.54%) and Technology (-1.14%).
Better than forecast services data
US non-farm payrolls rose by 155,000 in December, slightly ahead of the 152.000 forecast by the consensus. As well, the previous month´s data was revised up slightly. More notably, earnings per hour came in quite a bit better than expected.
The Institute for Supply Management´s index of U.S. non-manufacturing businesses rose to 56.1 in December from 54.7 a month earlier (Consensus: 54.1).
Factory orders remained unchanged in November in month-on-month terms of change (Consensus: 0.4%).
Slight fall in crude futures
Front month West Texas crude futures are now falling by 0.04% to the 92.88 dollar
per barrel mark on NYMEX despite an 11.1m barrel drop in commercial crude inventories last week.
10 year US Treasury yields are now flat, at 1.92%.