Financial Buzz Reporting LIVE from the NYSE – December 20th, 2013

December 16th, 2013 – December 20th, 2013

Welcome to Financial Buzz Market Weekly, here at the New York Stock Exchange, bringing you a review of this week’s stock market.

Finally, the taper has begun. The Federal Reserve met Tuesday and announced on Wednesday that they would start to reduce their bond-buying program beginning in January.  Monthly long-term Treasury bond purchases will go down to $40 billion and mortgage-backed securities purchases will go down to $35 billion for a monthly total of $75 billion. This is $10 billion less than current monthly levels.  The Dow Jones Industrials rallied almost 300 points on the news. Gold is now hovering around the lowest levels since August 2010.

Industrial production for November increased 1.1%, stronger than expected, largely due increases in utilities, mining, and motor vehicles.  The Consumer Price Index remained tame with a month-to-month change of 0% and a yearly change of only 1.2%.  

Housing starts for November surged to the highest levels seen in almost 6 years, 1.09 million units.  Meanwhile, existing home sales fell 4.3% to 4.9 million units in November for a 4th straight month of declines, and the lowest level in a year.  Jobless claims were up 10,000 from the prior week at 379,000, however, seasonal volatility casts some doubt on the seriousness of this report. Finally, the revised 3rd quarter GDP was released, coming it at an annual 4.1% and beating economists’ expectations of 3.6%.

Now let’s take a look at some stocks.

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) announced early Thursday morning that the company has initiated a public offering of 70 million shares. Approximately 27 million shares are being offered by the company, while founder Mark Zuckerberg will be unloading approximately 41 million of his own shares, dropping his voting power from 58.8% to 56.1%.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced that they have acquired Boston Dynamics, a tech company specializing in advanced robotics. Boston Dynamics currently still has deals with the US military that Google will continue to honor.

Methes Energies International Ltd. (NASDAQ: MEIL) released a 4th quarter update earlier this week and announced that the company’s recent production targets for October and November were achieved and that November’s production was the highest production month in gallons in the company’s history.

And finally, the Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) announced several major developments at the start of the week. Boeing authorized an additional $10 billion repurchase plan, meanwhile, quarterly dividends will increase by 50% to $0.73 per share.  Also, the company will expand their flight and maintenance training capabilities in Russia with a new training facility.

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