U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 312,000 jobs in December, far above consensus. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, the labor force participation rate increased to 63.1%, and average hourly earnings annual growth edged up to 3.2%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that US and China officials will meet Monday for the first formal trade negotiations since the early-December trade truce. The talks are expected to center on intellectual property protection and Chinese industrial policy, which the US believes favors domestic Chinese companies over foreign firms. FT

Alexandra Stevenson of the New York Times reports that the Chinese government is poised to cut the reserve requirement ratio to inject more than $200 billion into the Chinese economy. The move comes as the Chinese economy is facing weakening factory output, wavering consumer confidence, and an ongoing trade battle with the United States. NYT

According to the Wall Street Journal, more first-time homebuyers are turning to their parents for help with mortgage down payments. Data show that over 26% of mortgage borrowers who used loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration received assistance from a relative in making the down payment, highlighting the ongoing affordability issues affecting first-time homebuyers. WSJ