In this recap, US markets ended the year higher, in the last trading week of 2021, finishing a year of repeated records for the major indexes, helped by low-interest rates & the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. Dow +18.73% in 2021; S&P 500 +26.89% in 2021; NASDAQ +21.39% in 2021. Global markets ended the week and the year was mostly higher too. The omicron variant still causes fears.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that the country’s industrial profits in November rose +9% from last year at $126.54B, a much slower pace than expected, well off the +24.6% gain reported in October, pressured by falling prices of some raw materials, a faltering property market & weaker consumer demand.
The Great Plains in the US, the most important lands to farm and produce grains and beef in the US (40%), are drying up.
The energy crisis continues: Indonesia banned coal exports due to concerns about low supplies of its domestic power plants; Europe still regulates the energy spend; Germany pulled plug 3 of its last 6 nuclear power stations; prices skyrocket. 1000’s are without power on Sunday, after a winter storm slammed the U.S. Pacific Northwest, dumping nearly 30 inches of snow in the Sierra region & leading to road closures in Northern California. As of Sunday afternoon, there were over 20K without power in the state of Washington, over 14K without power in California & more than 10K without power in Oregon.
Legendary actress Betty White dies at 99 years old; Mexico Prepares to Launch Its Own CBDC by 2024; Family gets keys to Habitat for Humanity’s first 3D-printed home in the US; Biden admin committed to extending (ISS) operations through 2030; Musk sold another 934,090 Tesla shares, about $1.02B nearing his 10% target; WHO warned new Covid variants could well emerge during the pandemic.
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