A month-long rally on Wall Street, sparked by Donald Trump's election as U.S. president, extended on Thursday, driving major Wall Street indexes to record highs. Investors have been betting on stocks of industrial and financial companies as they expect these sectors to benefit the most from Trump's promise to spend more on infrastructure and simplify regulations. "The market is projecting a lot more confidence in future growth, and I don't expect any big pullback to derail the rally until the end of the year," said Chris Story, senior trader at Manulife Asset Management in Boston, Massachusetts.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell from a five-month high last week, pointing to labor strength that underscores the economy's sustained momentum. A tight labor market together with signs of a strengthening economy and steadily rising inflation will likely push the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates next week. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 258,000 for the week ended Dec. 3, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
A Bangladesh government-appointed panel investigating the cyber-heist of $81 million from its central bank in February found five officials at the bank were guilty of negligence and carelessness, the head of the panel told Reuters on Thursday. In his first detailed comments on the inquiry since a report was submitted to the government in May, former central bank governor Mohammed Farashuddin said the officials were low to mid-level and were not directly involved in the crime. Bangladesh has so far refused to make the inquiry report public saying it wanted to deny perpetrators knowledge of the investigation into one of the world's biggest cyber-heists.
The European Central Bank trimmed back its asset buys in a surprise move on Thursday but promised protracted stimulus to aid a still fragile recovery, and dismissed any talk of tapering the program away. With still no sign of a sustained rebound in underlying inflation and heightened political risk from looming elections in four of the euro zone's five biggest economies, the ECB promised to keep borrowing costs depressed longer than predicted, even reserving the right to raise back purchases if the outlook sours. Although the cut in the volume of monthly assets buys suggests a concession to conservative countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, the underlying message was seen as dovish, catering to nations on the periphery and a boost for financial markets.
McDonald's said it would create a new international holding company domiciled in the UK that would receive the majority of royalties from licensing deals outside the United States. "We are aligning our corporate structure with the way we do business, which is no longer in geographies, but in segments that group together countries with common market and growth characteristics," McDonald's said in a statement. The move will also help to cut costs, McDonald's said.
By Alex Lawler and Rania El Gamal LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) - Only five of 14 non-OPEC oil producers have agreed so far to meet the group on Saturday for talks aimed at widening a deal to reduce output, casting doubt on whether OPEC will secure the full cuts it is seeking, two OPEC sources said. The last time non-OPEC countries joined the organization in cutting output, in late 2001 as prices dropped in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, non-members promised cuts of 462,000 barrels per day, not quite the 500,000 bpd OPEC then sought. Currently, Russia has said it will cut 300,000 bpd, meaning other non-OPEC producers combined will need to pledge the same amount to lower output by the 600,000 bpd OPEC wants - half the reduction OPEC is making.
The net worth of U.S. households increased in the third quarter as U.S. stock prices and real estate values continued to flourish, a report by the Federal Reserve showed on Thursday. Household net worth rose to $90.2 trillion over the quarter, up from a slightly downwardly revised $88.6 trillion in the previous period. Wealth has been aided by rising stock prices.
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