U.S. stocks and those around the world are lower this morning, after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a H-bomb, knocking markets already concerned about China's economy. (Fox)
Mortgage application volume fell dramatically over the past two weeks, even when adjusted for the holidays. This was likely due to a rush in home loans before the Fed rate hike. All that demand being pulled forward made for a steep 27% drop-off. We will see if this is a trend or a blip. (CNBC)
Car sales are on track for their best-selling month of the year and their best December ever as companies reported their sales. New-car revenue is expected to reach a record $58 billion for December, up 15.4% from a year earlier. (Robert E. Frey)
Private companies created far more jobs than expected in December, a bright sign for the economy. According to ADP private payrolls surged by 257,000, with gains evenly distributed among small, medium and large businesses.
Oil is down $1.18 at $34.79 a barrel. Brent crude, the price of foreign oil, fell to their lowest levels in more than 11 years this morning, as tensions between the Saudis and Iran are seen as stomping out any chance of major producers cooperating to cut output.