Usual year-end rally set to continue this week

Sliding oil prices, promising signs on the jobs front point to shoppers in right mood for festive spending spree

Published Sun, Dec 7, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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LAST week, US stock indexes finished at record highs as a combination of surprisingly strong jobs growth and sliding oil prices suggested that consumers will be in the mood to splurge for the holiday season.

The traditional year-end rally should continue this week as long as volatility in commodity and currency markets does not spill over into the stock market as it did in October.

Roughly 321,000 employees were added to non-farm US payrolls in November, according to a report from the Labor Department. That was the largest increment since July 2012. While the official unemployment rate stayed flat at 5.8 per cent, there were other promising signs, including an uptick in the average hourly wage and a downtick in the "U6" - a comprehensive measure of unemployment that counts people who have given up looking for work and people working part-time jobs because they can't find full-time employment.

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