The highlight of the report was wage growth, which decelerated to 0.2% in December from a revised 0.4% in November. The slowdown suggested inflation could remain low and gave investors hope that Federal Reserve officials may ease their rate-hiking campaign this year as they look for signs of economic stability amid a still-uncertain recovery from the pandemic recession.
Meanwhile, another closely watched report showed that activity in the U.S. services industry contracted last month for only the second time since April 2020, when activity plunged due to coronavirus lockdowns across much of America’s economy at that time. Both reports encouraged investors because they suggest policymakers have more leeway to keep monetary policy loose in the future if necessary, while also providing some support for an already strong stock market rally in recent weeks, which has been fueled largely by optimism about vaccine rollouts and additional fiscal stimulus measures expected soon under President Joe Biden’s administration.
Overall, Friday’s data releases provided ample evidence that, despite lofty valuations in many sectors right now, further upside potential exists among U.S. stocks – something investors should consider going forward given what appears to be an ongoing period of heightened volatility until there is greater clarity about how long it will take before life returns to normalcy after months spent living through one of history’s most turbulent periods.
Tesla (TSLA) has been in the news recently after the electric carmaker announced a significant price cut for its vehicles in China. The move came following a December drop in deliveries, which sent shares of Tesla down as much as 7% earlier this week.
The starting price for the Model 3 was slashed to 229,000 yuan (around $33,000), while prices on the Model Y were lowered to 259,900 yuan ($37,886). Tesla is feeling pressure from competitors such as Nio and Xpeng Motors, which are offering more affordable cars with comparable features.
It remains unclear whether these cuts will be enough to spur sales growth for Tesla in China, one of its most important markets. Some analysts have suggested that it may take additional incentives, such as tax credits or subsidies from local governments before we see any real uptick in demand there.
In addition to cutting prices on their vehicles, Tesla also appears ready to invest heavily in expanding production capacity at their Shanghai factory. This could prove beneficial long-term if they can increase output and lower costs even further through economies of scale. However, given current market conditions, it remains uncertain how successful these efforts will be over time.
Overall, investors should keep an eye out for any updates regarding production expansion plans or new government initiatives aimed at stimulating demand within Chinese markets; both could play an integral role in determining future success levels associated with beleaguered Tesla’s operations abroad.