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AMZN Shares Fall After $1.28 Billion Fine in Italy, U.S. Labor Markets Receive a Much Needed Boost & IMF Chief Gita Gopinath Pressures Central Banks to Raise Rates

U.S. jobless claims fall to lowest level since 1969

Initial jobless claims in the United States fell to their lowest levels since 1969, as the U.S. labor market received a much needed boost.

Figures from the Labor Department showed that initial claims for state unemployment benefits came in at 184,000 for the week that ended December 4th.

đź’ˇ Jobless claims: A falling trend
The move lower in claims, which fell from the 227,000 reported the week before, represents more progress for a labor market still struggling with a worker shortage and other pandemic-related fallout.

Gauging the progress in jobs is critical now as the Federal Reserve changes gears on its ultra-easy monetary policy and prepares its first normalization steps after more than a year and a half of unprecedented accommodation.

This was down 43,000 from the week prior, and lower than the 220,000 applications some analysts had forecasted.

Thursday’s number comes on the back of a disappointing Nonfarm payrolls report, where 221,00 jobs were added to the economy, after being forecasted to increase by 550,000.

As of writing, the Dow Jones was up on the news, whilst the NASDAQ and S&P 500 traded lower.

IMF chief puts pressure on central banks to raise rates

A week before the Federal Reserve and other central banks hold their monthly meetings, the IMF today put pressure on these institutions to raise rates.

Speaking during an event hosted by the WHO, Gita Gopinath, who is the Chief Economist at the IMF, gave her view on the current market climate.

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Gopinath stated that, “We are now in the phase where countries around the world just don’t have the space to keep monetary policy very loose, to kind of keep interest rates extremely low. We are seeing inflationary pressures building up around the world”.

Her comments come as the Fed, Bank of England, and European Central Bank; all look to announce their latest policy updates next week.

Gold prices rose marginally on the comments, hitting a high of $1,780, before tailing off.

Amazon shares fall, after $1.28 billion fine in Italy

Shares in Amazon were trading lower during Thursday’s session, as it was announced that the company had been fined by Italian regulators.

Amazon was fined $1.28 billion by the “Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato”, for monopolizing its platform, by encouraging sellers to use its own logistic service, to the detriment of competing distributors.

đź’ˇ Is this one of many harsh punishments?
This is the second fine Amazon faces with the Italian regulators in less that a month (when they were fined along with Apple) and the third in less than six months. It sounds like a lot, but its a behavior the EU wants to stop as they continue to introduce more legislation on the matter.

The U.S. wants to take part in as well in order to make it illegal for tech giants (Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook) to give preferences to companies that use their services.

The company has opted to appeal the fine, and stated that, “Small and medium-sized businesses have multiple channels to sell their products both online and offline: Amazon is just one of those options”.

Amazon’s spokesperson went on to add that, “We constantly invest to support the growth of the 18,000 Italian SMBs that sell on Amazon, and we provide multiple tools to our sellers, including those who manage shipments themselves”.

$AMZN was down 0.32% as of writing.

“It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, it’s how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.”

– George Soros

Eliman Dambell

Senior Market Analyst


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