On Wednesday, 23 December, the session in the green zone ended with two of the three primary U.S. indices on the backdrop of optimistic labor market statistics: the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose by 0.07 percent to 3,690.01 points, weighing 0.38 percent to 30,129.83 points in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.29 percent and stopped at 12,771.11 points, according to the results of trading. In the U.S., the number of initial unemployment claims amounted to 803,000, meeting minimum values over the last three weeks, which came as a surprise to market analysts who expected an indicator value of 885,000.
Against the context of the approaching Christmas holidays, the rate of trade dropped drastically. The subject of investor attention is now on the incentive program, which once again had trouble deciding on the day before. The Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi expressed her desire to negotiate on Thursday an increase in direct payments from $600 to $2000 per family following Donald Trump’s reluctance to sign the proposed U.S. Congress stimulus package due to insufficient funds allocated.
As far as macroeconomic figures are concerned, personal income decreased by 1.1 percent in November while spendings decreased by 0.4 percent. The decline in income and spending is primarily due to the expiration of the opportunity for many people to obtain unemployment benefits. Data on sales in the primary housing market, which decreased by 11,000 units in November compared to the previous month, also reinforced the trend of decreasing consumer demand.
According to the EIA, crude oil reserves in the United States decreased by 562,000 barrels per week from December 16 to 23. This news provided an impetus to the growth of oil prices: February futures for WTI crude oil added 2.21 percent and grew to $ 48.06 per barrel by the time the NYMEX commodity exchange was closed. Against this backdrop, energy sectors stocks including Diamondback Energy (+8.51 percent), Marathon Oil (+7.92 percent), Occidental Petroleum (5.73 percent), and Devon Energy (+5.60 percent) finished as largest gainers in the Wednesday trading.