Thursday Morning Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories Moving Markets

In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 0.70 percent, the Hang Seng closed up 0.59 percent, and the S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.31 percent. Following positive note, European markets were edging (slightly) up heading toward the opening bell in New York, led by the STOXX 50 at +0.32 percent. Brent crude climbed about 0.88 percent to $112.74 a barrel.

At 8:25 a.m.: S&P: +0.31%, Dow: +0.31%, NASDAQ: +0.47%.

Here are three stories that will help shape the markets today: jobs

1) Initial jobless claims for the week ended January 5 grew by 4,000, or about 1 percent, to 371,000. The four-week moving average climbed 6,750, or 1.9 percent, to 365,750. (Full release.)

2) Spain sold 5.82 billion euros ($7.6 billion) worth of bonds at its first debt auction of 2013, beating its own upper target of 5 billion euros. Yields dropped over half a percent across the board from the last time the Spanish Treasury sold each of the securities, suggesting that Spain’s goal of selling 71 billion euros ($92.75) worth of bonds this year is feasible.

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At the same time, the European Central Bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 0.75 percent, in line with expectations. The rate is expected to remain at this level until 2014. The Bank of England left its key rate at 0.5 percent. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Greece hit a new record high of 26.8 percent for October on the tail of 0.1 percent GDP contraction in the euro-area for the third quarter…

3) Analysts at UBS AG say the equities bull market could be at its end. Michael Riesner and Marc Mueller, two technical analysts, report that it’s about time for a cyclical bear market to wake up following tremendous gains in the U.S. equity markets since 2009 (over 100 percent for the S&P 500, if you start from March 2 of that year).

But don’t fear! According to the chartists, another long-term bull market will begin in about two years, at the tail end of 2014. That new bull market will, in turn, complete the larger bearish-pattern than began in 2000 — the cycles go on and on.

S&P 500 Index Chart - Yahoo! Finance

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