Posted on December 11, 2017

Weekly Market Commentary December 11, 2017

Market Commentary

Stocks continued to push higher. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% last week and is now up 0.2% this month. The MSCI ACWI rose 0.1% and the Bloomberg BarCap Aggregate Bond Index finished basically unchanged.

The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, beating expectations. Hurricane relief efforts were not a factor in the report. Bitcoin has risen 400% in the last three months leading many analysts to believe the stock is a bubble. CVS Health is seeking to acquire Aetna as the health care industry continues to realign.

Key points for the week

  • The U.S. economy beat expectations by adding 228,000 jobs in November, while wage growth rose only 0.2%.
  • Many analysts are calling the rise of Bitcoin a bubble.
  • The CVS Health and Aetna merger was spurred by the changing health care landscape.

What are we reading?

Below are some areas of the market we paid particularly close attention to this week. For further information, we encourage our readers to follow the links.

Jobs report crushes expectations as hurricane impact fades

The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, beating economists’ expectations. Hurricane relief efforts had virtually no impact on November’s report. The unemployment rate continues to remain at the 17-year low of 4.1%, while wage growth rose 0.2%.

Why the end may be near for bitcoin, but just maybe

Bitcoin has increased more than 400% in the last three months, a rise that has led to significant speculative investing. The overall consensus among analysts is Bitcoin is a bubble; however, they think the technology behind it is here to stay. Meanwhile, Apple Pay and Venmo have majority market share for digital currency and advantages Bitcoin does not, such as the backing of the U.S. dollar, which reduces tax implications. Similarities between Bitcoin and past bubbles are increasing analysts’ skepticism.

CVS’s $68 Billion Bid to Bring One-Stop Shopping to Health Care

CVS Health is seeking to acquire Aetna, the third-largest health insurance company in the U.S. The deal is set to spike innovation within the health care industry by creating one-stop health care shopping by installing doctors’ offices in CVS stores. The acquisition is a move to compete with Amazon, which is exploring entering the pharmacy business, and UnitedHealthcare, which has bought multiple clinics to gain control over the delivery of health care to its customers.

Fun story of the week

Police Say Wire-Hungry Squirrel Vandalized NJ Town’s Christmas Display

In Sea Girt, New Jersey, a tree-lighting ceremony almost didn’t happen. A few days before the ceremony was to begin, several light strands were severed by, presumably, vandals. To prevent the vandals from returning, police watched over the Christmas tree until the ceremony took place. The next morning, an officer caught the vandal: a very guilty-looking squirrel.