U.S. equity markets are trading higher today. OPEC announced that the member nations have agreed on a production cut extension for nine months. In addition non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, are expected to participate with the proposed plan. Oil prices, however, are lower as much of this news was anticipated and was the main reason for the rally off of the recent US$45/barrel area.
South of the border, jobless claims came in at 234,000 vs. an expectation of 238,000. This continues the trend of the claims number coming in below 300,000 which is an indication of a healthy labor market. In addition, U.S. international trade in goods data showed that the goods deficit widened to -US$67.6 billion, which was larger than expected. This was the result of export declines for industrial supplies and consumer goods and an import jump for cars.