Stocks posted gains during a quiet pre-holiday trading session. The Dow closed up 42 at 28,164 on light trading volume. Upside catalyst came from continued trade talks between China and the US. It seems that despite the Hong Kong votes and pressure put on China by the pro-democracy bill in the US Congress China still wants to make a deal. Within the CCP we have heard of clashes between hard liners and reformist. Skeptics have felt that hard liners will prevail and China will back out of a deal and try to pressure the US to capitulate but bipartisan support regarding this issue appears to be casting doubt on this claim. Stay tuned.
The latest economic news is good. GDP growth came in a 2.1% which is much better than estimates which were calling for a reading of 1.9%. Earlier this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave a speech in which he sounded optimistic regarding the economy and the gurus are saying that Jerry could be called “a glass more than half full” kind of a guy. The report showed that inventories were higher as were business investment in structures. Private sector wages and salaries also rose 0.4% in October and are up 5.2% over the past year. This reading was aided by the end of the GM strike and it indicates that spending for goods on Black Friday should be robust.
The scouts set up the Christmas Tree lot on Friday during the Apple Cup. The weather promises to be good. I will have updates as we go along. Much thanks to the support of St. Al’s church in Ballard.
Markets are closed tomorrow and only open half a day on Friday in what should be a sleeper of a session.