Financial markets struggled in December, as losses in crude sent shockwaves through the market. WTI crude oil declined by 19% during the month and closed the year at $53/bbl. Domestic large caps were mixed during the month, with sharp gains in utilities offset by losses in most other major sectors. International equities fared worse, with both developed and
emerging markets losing over 3% for the month and realizing losses for the calendar year in dollar‐terms. In fixed income, high‐quality bonds outperformed high yield, as losses surmounted in energy company bonds, while the 10yr Treasury yield ended the year 23% below where it started.
- The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. has fallen for a record 97
- The number of active oil and gas rigs in the U.S. fell sharply during December, ending the month with 1,840 rigs active; the loss of 80 active rigs represents the largest decline in active rig activity since April 2009 (Baker Hughes)
- Employment: A gain of 321,000 non‐farm jobs in November far exceeded the survey estimate of 230,000, increasing the likelihood that 2014 will produce the most net new jobs since 1999
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