The following are the headlines discussed at Aldwin Callen's Monday morning briefing:
- The US economy added only 199,000 jobs in December, compared to 422,000 expected, with wages rising nearly 5% over the previous year; in 2021, a record 6.4 million jobs were created, but the economy is still short nearly 3 million jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels.
- In November, 4.5 million US workers abandoned their jobs, a monthly record; restaurant, bar, and hotel workers led the way, with over 1 million people quitting.
- The November goods trade imbalance topped $99 billion, beating the previous high of $97 billion set in September 2021, as US consumer spending on imported products remained strong over the holidays.
- Earnings for the S&P 500 are predicted to increase by 22% in the fourth quarter of 2021 (compared to the same quarter in 2020), but the number of companies providing negative earnings forecast is at its highest level since Q1 2020.
- Globally recorded COVID-19 instances reached 13.5 million weekly, an increase of 64 percent over the previous week, although the global seven-day average of COVID mortality decreased by 3%.
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