Week Ending 12/27/2019


Stocks advanced again, by 0.48% in the US and 1.10% outside the US. International stocks have outpaced their US counterparts so far in December, up 4.8% versus 3.1% in the US.

According to a report by Mastercard Spending Pulse, holiday shopping from November 1st to December 24th was up by a strong 3.4%. And Customer Growth Partners, a retail firm that provides research on retailers, calculates that the Saturday before Christmas was the biggest single shopping day in US retail sales, totaling $34.4 billion.

There was also good news for workers. Wages are rising a the fastest pace in more than a decade. Pay for the bottom 25% of wage earners was up by 4.5% in November according to the Federal Reserve of Atlanta.

The risk is that higher wages are sometimes a leading indicator of future inflation.