Tuesday January 8, 2019 4:15 p.m. Tuesday's Wrap-Up - by Lester Murray

In a slight reversal of fortune, Treasuries have been leaking a little oil throughout the day.  Looks like the Ten-Year has given up about a quarter-point in price for an end-of-the day yield around 2.73%.  The Dow would up gaining 256, mainly from the speculation that positive developments will result from the U.S.-China trade talks/tweets.  It's been a light day for data, but the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index came in better than pre-release surveys projected (that's how optimism works.)  The November reading of 104.8 was expected to slide to 103, but only had a slight slip to 104.4  A rare negative measure for the ultra-tight labor market came out in the form of the Labor Department's JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey).  Greater numbers of job openings are perceived as a positive as employers are actively seeking more employees.  Using November's data, the number of openings fell from 7,131M to 6,888M (surveys were looking for 7,050M.)  The Trade Balance in November will remain a mystery until the partial government shutdown (PGS) ends, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis gets back to work.  The Treasury auctioned about $38B Three-Year notes today at a high-yield of 2.56% with a relatively weak bid-to-cover ratio of 2.44X.  For a little perspective, the last Three-Year auction on Dec. 11 had a high yield of 2.75% and a bid-to-cover of 2.59X.  Consumer Credit was estimated to have grown by $17.5B in November, but it actually grew by $22.15B.  Never underestimate the American consumers' proclivity to borrow money.   FOMC minutes out tomorrow!!!