The S&P 500 moved lower after the Federal Reserve released the minutes from its December FOMC meeting. The market initially focused on comments from several members who voiced concerns over the duration of the asset purchase program. Some members thought it would be appropriate to slow or stop purchases before the end of 2013. Gold sold off by more than 1% in response to the release of the minutes. The S&P 500 fell by just 0.21% after all was said and done. The index is up 4.06% for the week.
The market will begin to move from the fiscal cliff debate to focus on the debt ceiling. The recent actions are expected to delay the breach of the debt ceiling by two months.
Shares of automakers reacted favorably to December car sales data. Ford shares were up by 2.0% after the company reported a 5.0% increase in December car sales. Their utility vehicle sales were up by 7.0%. Ford sold 2.2 million vehicles in 2012. General Motors sales were 5.0% higher and the stock responded by moving 2.4% higher.
Consumer discretionary stocks did well today. They reacted favorably to December same store sales announcements. Ross Stores was especially strong as its shares rose by 8.0% on same store sales gains of 6.0%.
ADP National Employment data disclosed that nonfarm private business sector rose by 215,000 in December. The consensus estimate called for a gain of 140,000. Weekly jobless claims came in at 372,000, slightly worse than the expected number of 365,000.
Tomorrow December nonfarm payrolls, nonfarm private payrolls and the unemployment rate will be released. Tomorrow will also see the release of November factory orders and December ISM services numbers.
Source: PFS Group