Markets Up—Significantly—Ahead of Holiday Weekend (Marketwatch) "Down 167 points after the past two days of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday climbed 144.14 points, or 1.3 percent, to 11,180.51, with all but two of its 30 components trading higher. The S&P 500 Index rose 16.04 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,196.77, with the consumer-discretionary sector leading gains among its 10 industry groups and Tiffany & Co. among its notable advancers. "
Do Relatively Positive Jobs Numbers Give Traders Something to be Thankful For? (New York Times) "The Labor Department said Wednesday that filings for first-time unemployment benefits declined to 407,000 in the week ended Nov. 20, down from a revised 441,000 the previous week and well below analysts’ forecasts of 435,000. More important, economists said, an average calculated over four weeks of the data has declined to 436,000, the lowest reading since July 2008 and during the recovery, economists said. The figures are often volatile, but the average smoothes the distortions caused by seasonal variations. "
Oil Rises on Positive Economic Data (Yahoo Finance via AP) "Benchmark oil for January delivery gained $2.21 or 2.7 percent, to $83.46 a barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange." And: "On the energy front, commercial inventories of crude oil rose less than expected for the week of Nov. 19. Gasoline inventories increased 1.9 million barrels. Analysts had expected a decline. U.S. refineries ran at 85.5 percent of total capacity on average, compared with 84 percent in the prior week. Retail gas prices have increased about 8 percent since Labor Day, driven by rising oil prices. They've fallen slightly this week following a drop in oil prices."
Tarp Worked: What Are the Political Ramification for the GOP? (Frum Forum) David Frum, the journalist and Republican speechwriter who is perhaps best known for coining the phrase "axis of evil" has posted an interesting piece on his website, Frum Forum. (The site's self description is this: "FrumForum.com is a site edited by David Frum, dedicated to the modernization and renewal of the Republican party and the conservative movement.") The piece, about the TARP program— which many congressional Republican's now revile—is written by Brad Shaeffer, the CEO of INFA Energy Brokers. Schaeffer, a self-described conservative, has the temerity to point out that, whatever its political ramifications, TARP appears to have worked. Interesting.