Weekend Review: A Look at The Biggest Market Stories Over Weekend


On Friday, the US released the jobs numbers for the month of October. The numbers were way much more than traders had expected. In the month, the economy added more than 250K jobs. This was higher than the 190K that traders had expected. The wages rose by 3.1%, which was the fastest growth since 2009. The unemployment rate remained at historic lows of 3.7% while the participation rate continued to improve. These numbers were a reflection of the tightening labor market. They were also a reflection of the improving consumer confidence in the economy.
As the US released better than expected jobs numbers, Canada’s numbers were less impressive. In October, the country added 11K new jobs. These were lower than the 12.7K that traders were expecting and the 63K released in the previous month. The participation rate fell slightly from 65.4% to 65.2% while the unemployment rate improved to 5.8% from the previous 5.9%. The trade data too was not good. Imports increased to $50.79 billion while exports reduced to $50.3 billion.
This weekend, Berkshire Hathaway released its earnings report. The highly-expected results showed that the company continued to perform well. The company reported net earnings of more than $18 billion while the operating earnings rose to more than $6 billion. In a rare move, the company announced that it had repurchased stock worth almost a billion dollars. Warren Buffet’s company is watched closely by investors because of the respect they have for him. Many view him as the best investor of our time.
This weekend, the US reimposed sanctions on Iran. This was a highly-anticipated move by the market. They were announced after the US announced that it would exit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Iran deal was a deal negotiated by Iran and other countries like China, Russia, and the European Union to curb the future developments of Iranian nuclear weapons. During his campaign, Trump called the deal the worst deal ever. This was after the Obama administration released billions of dollars to Iran.
Over the weekend, Chinese president Xi Jinping promised that his country will reduce barriers to entry with the goal of increasing the amount of goods the country imports. He also asked global leaders who criticize China’s trade practices to start fixing their own countries before they start criticizing his country. While China is the biggest importer in the world, it is also criticized for the many tariff and non-tariff barriers. For example, while the average Chinese tariffs are about 16%, those of the developed countries like the United States are about 2%. He also said that China will take a tougher measure on intellectual property. This is a major issue for the Chinese economy. This is because its manufacturers are known to spend little or no money on research and development. Instead, they are known to knock-off established western brands. For example, while an original Gucci bag sells for more than $1000, it is possible to buy a similar knock-off for less than $10.
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