Friday, December 8, 2017
What to watch today
The biggest economic event of the month is here — the November jobs report. At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the November jobs report, which should show the economy added 195,000 nonfarm payrolls in the second-to-last month of 2017. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.1%, according to estimates from Bloomberg. Economists will also keep an eye on wage growth, which rose a disappointing 2.4% over last year in October.
In markets, bitcoin (BTC-USD) will likely remain the big story. The major U.S. indexes closed higher on Thursday, but the several-thousand-dollar price swings we saw in the value of bitcoin during the day captivated markets and made trading elsewhere a sideshow.
As of around 5:00 p.m. ET, the price of bitcoin was sitting near $16,275 according to Yahoo Finance’s compiled pricing from 60 exchanges. Coinbase, the most popular exchange for buying and selling bitcoin, was quoting the digital currency at around $16,855. Near 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, Coinbase had bitcoin briefly trading north of $19,000.
Congress narrowly averted a government shutdown: The U.S. Congress moved rapidly on Thursday to send President Donald Trump a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown this weekend, leaving fights over budget priorities and a range of other controversial issues for the coming weeks. The House of Representatives, working against a Friday midnight deadline, approved legislation in a 235-193 vote to fund a wide range of federal programs through Dec. 22. [Reuters]
Britain and EU clinch deal to move Brexit talks forward: Britain and the European Union struck a deal on Friday to talk about trade and a transition period after they agreed on the outline of their divorce, easing the pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May. The European Commission said enough progress had been made after the two sides worked through the night to end an impasse over the status of the Irish border that had scuppered an earlier attempt to clinch a deal on Monday. [Reuters]
Treasury counselor to Mnuchin eyed for under secretary post: Justin Muzinich, a counselor to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, is being considered for nomination to be under secretary for domestic finance, according to sources. Muzinich, a former Morgan Stanley banker who joined Mnuchin’s team in March as a counselor, has focused on the administration’s tax plan. [Bloomberg]
Dimon taking customer pricing hints from Amazon: JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) expects to offer more price discounts to its banking customers who buy multiple products, similar to the way Amazon.com gives extras to its Prime subscribers, chief executive Jamie Dimon said. [Reuters].
Walmart makes last-minute holiday push: In the final weeks before Christmas, Walmart (WMT) is making its biggest push yet for the company’s order online, pick up in-store service. This holiday season, the big-box retailer will qualify more items on Walmart.com for same-day pickup in stores than ever before, Walmart announced Friday. [CNBC]
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