Wall Street's Top Weekend Stories, Sunday Dec. 6th

Stocks were pointed higher in early trading following positive reports out of China and then were buoyed by a much better than expected monthly jobs report. The market was then given additional fuel to run higher when Fed Chair Powell said the central bank would be flexible in it approach to interest rates and normalizing its balance sheet. The dovish comments pushed the major averages to gains of more than 3%, giving the market solid gains for the week ahead of the first trade talk meeting between the U.S. and China since the 90-day truce was called at the beginning of December.

ECONOMIC EVENTS: U.S. nonfarm payrolls jumped 312,000 in December, which was significantly stronger job growth than expected. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9% versus 3.7%. Average hourly earnings increased 0.4% versus 0.2% previously, for a 3.2% year-over-year pace. The final Markit services PMI for December dipped 0.3 points to 54.4 from November's 54.7, though it was better than the 53.4 preliminary December print. Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. rig count is down 8 rigs from last week to 1,075.

In White House news, President Donald Trump is "seriously considering" potential options to circumvent Congress, including declaring a national emergency, in order to get funds from the DOD and elsewhere to help pay for parts of a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, ABC News reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the ongoing discussions. Trump held a meeting with congressional leaders that he called "contentious" but also "very productive" and confirmed that he is prepared for the ongoing government shutdown to go on for months or years, though he does not think that it will and he hopes it will be over within days.

In central bank news, Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell, while speaking in a roundtable discussion with former Chairs Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen in Atlanta, said that the Fed "wouldn't hesitate to make a change" on its balance sheet normalization efforts should he feel they were creating a problem to the markets. Powell added that the Fed is always prepared to shift its policy stance "significantly" as warranted. Additionally, Powell said he has no meeting scheduled with President Trump and would not resign if asked to by the president.

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