Another wild trading week. I am thinking of changing my name to “Whiplash Willie”. At the close the Dow was up 746 points to 23,433. Trading volume was higher. For the week the Dow was up 1.5% which seems hard to believe but I will take it. Positive news today on the China trade front and comments from Fed helped to boost stocks.
Jobs, jobs and more jobs! The December labor report came in better than even the most optimistic expectations. The gurus had expected 184,000 jobs but the actual number was 312,000 jobs plus prior month readings were adjusted higher by 54,000 jobs. The unemployment rate rose from 3.7% to 3.9% but this was due to over 400k people joining the workforce as the labor force participation rate rebounded. Wages also moved up 0.4% and are up 3.2% yoy indicating an acceleration in wage growth.
Online news site Cleantechnica reported that in 2018, electric car sales rose by an estimated 130% from 104,324 to 240,380 across all makes and models. The big winner in the bunch was the Tesla Model 3 but sales gains were also seen in the Tesla Model X and the Nissan Leaf. Notable Brands that saw big sales declines were the Chevy Bolt, Ford Focus Electric and the VW e-Golf. 2019 will see new models come out from Porsche, Jaguar and a Chinese company called Great Wall. Tesla has plans to start taking Model 3 orders from Europe and Asia and recently broke ground on a giga factory in China.