Despite a full plate of economic data, U.S. markets were relatively quiet in the holiday-shortened week. Stocks barely moved and bond yields drifted lower. The S&P 500 added less than one point, while the ten-year note yield slid four basis points to 2.22 percent.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the news flow was light. But that was hardly the case. Third quarter GDP growth was revised higher to 2.1 percent from the previous estimate of 1.5 percent, and durable goods orders in October surpassed expectations. Early fourth quarter readings on manufacturing activity, new and existing home sales, consumer spending and sentiment and inflation all showed some degree of deceleration. In contrast, stocks in the Eurozone were lifted by the prospect of additional central bank easing and a weakening currency.

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MINNEAPOLIS – November 30, 2015 – Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AMP) today announced that Jim Cracchiolo, chairman and chief executive officer, is scheduled to speak about the company’s business and strategy at the Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Conference in New York City on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at approximately 10:00 a.m. (ET).
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Stocks shrugged off any concerns related to the impending Fed rate hike, a firming dollar, or global terrorism, to post their best week of the year. Last week, the S&P 500 rose 3.3 percent to push the index back into positive territory for the year, and back above its 150 and 200 day moving averages. Consumer discretionary and technology names led the way, but all sectors participated. The ten-year note yield was virtually unchanged on the week at 2.26 percent, while the two-year note yield surged from 0.84 to 0.92 percent, its highest level since March.

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The six-week long winning streak for stocks came to an abrupt end last week, as share prices succumbed to concerns over global growth and likelihood of a Fed rate hike in December. The S&P 500 shed 3.6 percent, with most of the damage coming on Thursday and Friday. The downdraft was enough to push the index back into negative territory for the year, down 1.7 percent. The steepest losses came in the energy sector, which plunged 5.5 percent.

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MinneapolisNov. 12, 2015 – For the sixth year in a row, a surge of more than 10,000 volunteers from Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP) will arrive at warehouses, assembly lines and kitchens across the country to sort food donations and prepare meals – all to help families facing hunger. Tomorrow morning, Friday, Nov. 13, more than 500 events will take place coast to coast with Ameriprise employees, advisors and clients putting all of their energy into helping the more than 48 million Americans struggling with hunger. Through this massive volunteer effort, the company expects to help provide more than 1 million meals for people in communities nationwide.  View More

A blowout jobs number on Friday upended the calculus for a possible Fed rate hike in December. The total of 271,000 new non-farm jobs created in October was nearly 100,000 more than the consensus expectation, and above the highest individual forecast. After a worrisome slowdown in the previous two months to average job growth of just 139,000, Friday’s report was a surprise and a welcome reversal.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.0 percent and the year-over-year growth in average hourly wages rose to 2.5 percent, its highest level since July, 2009. The report underscored the Fed’s admonition to pay attention to its December meeting despite a series of recently weaker economic reports. In conjunction with a report on Monday that suggested stability in the manufacturing sector, expectations for a rate increase in December climbed to 70 percent. Bond yields jumped on the news, with the two-year yield rising six basis points to 0.89 percent, and the ten-year note rising 11 basis points to 2.33 percent.

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Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP), today unveiled new research on how U.S. investors perceive financial risk and how those feelings shape investment decision-making. View More

U.S. equity markets managed to squeeze out another week of gains, the fifth in a row. This time the gains were more muted as investors attempted to determine if the rally underway since late September still has legs. Curiously, all of last week’s gains came on Wednesday, the day the Federal Reserve again chose to leave interest rates unchanged while reminding us that a December rate hike remains a possibility. After falling immediately after the Fed’s announcement, stocks surged to close at the highs of the session, posting a gain of 1.2 percent.

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A double dose of central bank intervention powered global equity markets sharply higher last week. First, it was the European Central Bank’s turn on Thursday, and although no new policy initiatives were announced, President Draghi made it clear that additional measures were on the table for December.

Markets immediately voiced their approval, sending Eurozone stocks higher by 2.5 percent on the day. The S&P 500 followed with a gain of 1.7 percent of its own. On Friday, it was the People’s Bank of China’s turn. It took action by lowering both lending rates and reserve requirements, as well as eliminating the cap on deposit rates. Japanese stocks rose by 2.1 percent on Friday, and were followed by additional gains in the Eurozone of 2.2 percent and in the U.S. of 1.1 percent. For the two day period the MSCI All Country World index climbed 2.5 percent in local currency terms. Notably, the MSCI Emerging Markets index rose a more muted 1.0 percent on Friday. The dollar rose sharply in response. After closing at 1.13 against the euro on Wednesday it ended the week at 1.10. Overall, the DXY index rose from 95.04 to 97.13 over the two day move.

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