A bit of news from abroad to start the morning:
"We have made the breakthrough we needed," said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, declaring a long-awaited Brexit deal and the opportunity to now discuss trade arrangements. A financial settlement was agreed that was "fair to the British taxpayer" and enshrined the "special rights of EU nationals," announced Theresa May, the British PM, adding a guarantee that there would be "no hard border" with Ireland. (SA)
Chinese trade unexpectedly accelerated last month in an encouraging sign for the world's second-largest economy. November exports rose 12.3% from a year earlier, while imports expanded 17.7%, resulting in a trade surplus of over $40b. Iron ore and copper imports also enjoyed a stellar rebound, which could help stem a recent pullback in commodity prices. (FT)
Job creation exceeded expectations in November and wage growth gathered steam. Employment rose by 228,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said this morning, topping estimates of 200,000. Friday's report reflected normalization in the labor market after a string of hurricanes battered the US earlier this year. The report also showed the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 per cent, while average hourly earnings grew at pace of 2.5 per cent year-on-year. (FT)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.