Market Moment

The Baker Market Moment is your way to stay on top of the latest in economic events and market-moving news. Whether it’s the latest news from the Fed or the latest number from Wall Street, the Baker Market Moment is where you can find it.

Christmas Eve Quiet

No numbers today and markets are quietly heading into the holiday weekend. News of an almost-done Brexit deal have provided some optimism for equity markets with Treasury prices little changed. Investors’ outlooks seem to be unaffected by the latest turmoil surrounding domestic efforts for a covid relief bill and the

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New Home Sales Plunge as Consumer Sentiment Slips

The Census Bureau just reported that, in November, the sales of New Homes plunged 11%. October’s downwardly revised annualized pace of 945k, down from 999k, fell to an annualized pace of 841k last month. Analysts were expecting 995k. Earlier, the FHFA announced that its October House Price Index rose by

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Initial Claims Grew Less Than Expected

Lots of data out today beginning with the early morning announcement from the Mortgage Bankers Association that Mortgage Applications grew 0.8% last week on the heels of the prior week’s rise of 1.1%. Just out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending December 19th

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Big Reversal For Consumer Confidence

The Conference Board just announced that, in December, its Consumer Confidence Index dove to 88.6 from 96.1 in the face of an expected improvement to 97. The Expectations sub-index fell to 87.5 from 89.5 while the Present Situation component plunged to 90.3 from 105.9. Investors also just learned that Existing

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Moods Improve After Relief Bill Passage

Markets have settled down somewhat after yesterday’s volatility. The news of rising case counts in the United Kingdom and that nation’s restrictive response seem to have lessened in significance as a $900B domestic covid relief bill comes to fruition. Equity indices are little changed so far and Treasury bond prices

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A Vote on the New Relief Bill Likely Today

The Sunday announcement that Congressional leaders have reached agreement on a $900B covid-relief package should mean that it will be voted on sometime today. The plan will be part of a $1.4T spending bill that should fund the government through the remainder of its fiscal year ending September 30th. Highlights

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A Quiet Start to the Day

With an agreement over a stimulus plan looking likely to produce a bill for Congressional contemplation, it remains unclear if it will be stand-alone legislation or part of a much bigger spending plan needed to fund the government for the next year. The government’s current spending allocation expires at midnight

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Stimulus Hopes Rise Along With Jobless Claims

Against the backdrop of a possible forthcoming relief bill from Congress, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this morning that Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending December 12th totaled 885k, and that was more than the 818k that analysts predicted and also more than the prior week’s upwardly revised

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Retail Sales Fall Further Than Expected

The Census Bureau just reported that Retail Sales in November fell 1.1% and that was a bigger fall than the 0.3% decline that was forecast. As if that wasn’t bad enough, October’s growth of 0.3% was revised to a decline of 0.1%. Without Autos, Sales fell 0.9% against an expected

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Empire Manufacturing Weaker Than Expected, Again

The New York Fed just announced that, in December, its Empire Manufacturing Index fell to 4.9 from 6.3. Analysts expected no change. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that its Import Price Index rose in November by a greater-than-expected 0.3% as the year-over-year pace remained unchanged at minus 1%.

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Vaccine Rolls Out Amid More Stimulus Talks

There are no economic data pronouncements scheduled for today, but the beginning of America’s vaccination program along with renewed prospects for a workable fiscal stimulus plan have lifted the spirits of many investors and moved global equity indices up along with them. There’s also been some positive overnight news on

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Wholesale Inflation Remained Pretty Tame in November

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that its Producer Price Index rose by the expected one-tenth per-cent last month while the year-over-year pace rose to 0.8% from 0.5%. October saw a rise of 0.3% in that monthly measure. Without food and energy, core PPI grew by a less-than-expected

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Jobless Claims Jump; Inflation Not So Much

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported that, for the week ending December 5, Initial Jobless Claims totaled 853k compared to estimates of 725k. The prior week’s 712k was revised to 716k. Continuing Claims for the week ending November 28th grew to 5.76M against an expected decline to 5.21M. The

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It’s All About the Stimulus

Yesterday’s late afternoon proposal of yet another stimulus plan put forth by Republican leaders has breathed new life into prospects of a possible legislative bill coming to fruition before year’s end. This latest plan, delivered to Democratic leaders by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, reportedly has the blessing of President Trump and

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Business Optimism Fell in November

The National Federation of Independent Businesses reported this morning that its Small Business Optimism Index fell further than expected last month. October’s index value of 104 was expected to fall to 102.5, but instead dropped even further to 101.4. Also out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, third-quarter Nonfarm Productivity

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