Business Optimism Plummets

The National Federation of Independent Businesses announced this morning that, in December, its Small Business Optimism Index plunged to 95.9 from 101.4. Pre-release estimates were expecting a much smaller decline to 100.2. After falling to a lockdown-low of 90.9 in April, this metric reached a lockdown-high of 104 last September. Later this morning, the BLS will release its JOLTS report for November and it is expected to reveal that Job Openings fell to 6.45M in November from October’s 6.65M, and that is not a positive characteristic for labor markets.

In early trading, Treasury prices continue to slide lower pushing the Ten-Year’s yield to 1.17% with the Long Bond’s yield rising to 1.90%. The Two-Year is anchoring the short end at 15 basis points as the yield curve’s slope continues to steepen. Crude oil is up less-than-a-dollar to $52.90 while gold’s $15 rally has taken that price to $1,859. Equity indices are back in the green after yesterday’s sell-off.