The Dow closed out the trading week with a small 23-point gain to 28,645. Trading volume was up a bit but at this time of the year the volume readings are almost meaningless. For the week the Dow is up about 190 net points or 0.67%. For the year the Dow is up 23%. Both IBD and BTS indicators remain positive as we head into the end to the wild market and political ride known as “2019”.
Bloomberg reported that banks around the world eliminated over 77,000 jobs in 2019. The article cited layoff announcements from the banks themselves. What was interesting about the layoffs was that over 83% of them occurred in Europe with Deutsche Bank leading the charge. As the European economy continues to struggle with negative interest rates the banks are bearing the brunt of the pain as net interest margins have gone the way of the dodo bird and banks have to rely on fees to cover costs. US banks meanwhile continue to thrive as strong consumer banking is driving results. Bloomberg noted that 7% of global bank layoffs came from US banks which are generally trying to eliminate staff as trends drive more customers to online and automated banking systems.