The U.S. economy added 178,000 net new jobs last month while the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, the lowest since 2007, the Labor Department said Friday.
That's about all one needs to know about what the Fed may do at the next meeting of the FOMC in less than two weeks, December 13 and 14.
The economy seems to have picked up some confidence from the Trump election, and there's the possibility that the Fed may consider more rate hikes at a faster pace if economic conditions continue to improve (it's about time). what the Fed doesn't want to do is slam the door shut on any expansion by raising rates too quickly, but, after eight years of moribund global flim-flammery, it's apparent that the Fed doesn't want to do anything that might draw undue attention to itself.
As the year enters the final month of a very turbulent 2016, the signs are good that the eight years of non-recovery (except for stocks) may be about to usher in a new prosperity and at least a couple of good years for the US economy. While the rest of the world is in somewhat dubious condition, especially Japan and Europe, with their mountains of debt and negative interest rates, the US seems poised to again take the lead in economic matters.
It may take a while and it may take a pullback in stocks, which hasn't happened since '09, but things do seem to be on the improve.
Other than the Dow Industrials, stocks took a bit of a beating this week, ending on a down note as the Friday rally failed to maintain momentum. This could be the beginning of a Wall Street hissy fit over rate hikes. Then again, stocks are close to all-time highs.
Stay tuned and keep that power dry.
Closing Bell, Friday 12/02/16
Dow: 19,170.42, -21.51 (-0.11%)
NASDAQ: 5,255.65, +4.55 (0.09%)
S&P 500: 2,191.95, +0.87 (0.04%)
NYSE Composite: 10,841.64, +12.65 (0.12%)
For the week:
Dow: +18.28 (+0.10%)
NASDAQ: -143.27 (-2.65%)
S&P 500: -21.40 (-0.98%)
NYSE Composite: -38.98 (-0.36%)