Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures down 1.1% to 7,020.00
  • Dow Average down 1.6% to 32,857.30
  • Aussie down 0.7% to 0.6659 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield little changed at 3.6674%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield rose 5.9 bps to 3.28%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield rose 6.9 bps to 3.80%
  • Gold spot down 1.4% to $1,788.63
  • Brent futures down 0.9% to $81.44/bbl

Economic Events

US stocks dropped on Thursday as investors digested data validating the Federal Reserve’s assertion that the economy is robust enough to withstand more tightening. The S&P 500 fell as much as 3%, before coming off session lows.

The dollar gained. The policy-sensitive, two-year Treasury yield climbed to 4.27%. Oil snapped a three-day rally.

Data on Thursday painted a picture of a resilient economy, stoking concern that the Fed has a longer way to go to subdue inflation. Initial jobless claims rose less than forecast in the week ended Dec. 17, underscoring the strength in the labor market. Third-quarter gross domestic product was revised to 3.2% — compared with a previously reported 2.9% advance — on firmer spending.

Other News

With one click, shoppers expect items to be shipped to them with alacrity and precision, across continents and oceans. Why then, do so many people make it hard for delivery drivers to find their homes?

Tiny house numbers, perhaps OK for hawks or eagles but not human drivers in a moving vehicle, are among the top pet peeves, drivers say. So are Christmas decorations or snow blotting out mailbox numbers. House numbers spelled out in cursive are a pain.

Ditto for those in Roman numerals: Time is lost when workers have to drive by IV or V times to find the right house.

Steve Spitler, a seasonal delivery driver covering routes south of Atlanta, recently reached a driveway that had three houses. Only one had a house number and it wasn’t the address on his package, he said.

“There was nobody home at any of the places,” said Mr. Spitler, who is in his first season as a driver. “The middle house had a large A monogram on the door and it matched the last name of the package so I took my best guess and left it there.”

During the peak delivery season, the number of daily packages can reach around 100 million, up from an average of around 62 million to 72 million in other times of the year, according to parcel analytics firm ShipMatrix Inc.

To cope, companies such as FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc., and Inc. hire thousands of seasonal drivers to ferry packages from Thanksgiving until as late as mid-January.

(Wall Street Journal)