Thanksgiving week is relatively quiet in terms of economic news

Last week saw a mixed bag of  returns as the large caps of the Dow and S&P 500 lost value for the  second consecutive week, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq and small caps of the  Russell 2000 posted gains. Major gains from consumer companies such as  Wal-Mart Stores, which reported its strongest sales in several years, weren’t  enough to offset falling energy stock prices. On the other hand, the Nasdaq  posted a gain of almost .50%, while the Russell 2000 was the leader by far,  climbing 1.19%. Long-term bond prices didn’t move much, as the yield on  10-year Treasuries inched up only 2 basis points.

The price of crude oil (WTI)  fell to $56.63 per barrel last Friday, down from the prior week’s closing  price of $56.86 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) climbed to $1,294.60 by  early Friday evening, up from the prior week’s price of $1,276.30. The  national average retail regular gasoline price increased to $2.592 per gallon  on November 13, 2017, $0.031 higher than the prior week’s price and $0.408  more than a year ago.

Market/Index 2016 Close Prior Week As of 11/17 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 19762.60 23422.21 23358.24 -0.27% 18.19%
Nasdaq 5383.12 6750.94 6782.79 0.47% 26.00%
S&P 500 2238.83 2582.30 2578.85 -0.13% 15.19%
Russell 2000 1357.13 1475.27 1492.82 1.19% 10.00%
Global Dow 2528.21 2961.95 2953.40 -0.29% 16.82%
Fed. Funds  target rate 0.50%-0.75% 1.00%-1.25% 1.00%-1.25% 0 bps 50 bps
10-year  Treasuries 2.44% 2.32% 2.34% 2 bps -10 bps

Chart reflects price changes,  not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should  not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last  Week’s Economic Headlines 

  • Prices producers  receive for goods and services climbed 0.4% in October. This gain  follows a 0.4% increase in September and a 0.2% jump in August. Over the  past 12 months ended in October, producer prices are up 2.8% – the  largest rise since an advance of 2.8% for the 12 months ended February  2012. Prices less foods, energy, and trade services rose 0.2% for the  month and have increased 2.3% over the 12 months ended in October.  Generally, as producer prices rise, these increases get passed through  to consumers.
  • While producer prices  have risen, that increase hasn’t been reflected in consumer prices – at  least not yet. For October, consumer prices rose a scant 0.1%, according  to the Consumer Price Index. This follows a 0.5% price jump in  September. Core prices, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.2%  for the month. The CPI rose 2.0% for the 12 months ended in October, a  smaller increase than the 2.2% increase for the period ended in  September. Core prices increased 1.8% over the past 12 months.
  • Soft consumer prices  may be encouraging increased consumer purchases as retail sales were  $486.6 billion in October, up 0.2% from September. Sales at the retail  level are up 4.7% over the last 12 months.
  • October, the first  month of fiscal 2018 for the federal Treasury, saw a monthly deficit of $63.2  billion. Government receipts for the month totaled $235.3 billion, while  outlays totaled $298.6 billion. By comparison, the deficit for October  2016 was $45.8 billion.
  • According to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics, import prices advanced 0.2% in October after  increasing 0.8% in September. Excluding fuel import prices, which swung  sharply higher (1.4%) last month, import prices only managed a 0.2%  monthly increase. Year-on-year, import prices, excluding petroleum, have  risen only 1.4%. Export prices recorded no change in October, after  increasing 0.7% in September. The price index for agricultural exports  increased 1.9% in October, the largest monthly rise since a 2.5% advance  in June 2016. Excluding agriculture, export prices actually declined  0.3% in October.
  • Industrial production  rose 0.9% in October, and manufacturing increased 1.3%. The index for  utilities rose 2.0%, but mining output fell 1.3%, as Hurricane Nate  caused a sharp but short-lived decline in oil and gas drilling and  extraction. Even so, industrial activity was boosted in October by a  return to normal operations after hurricanes Harvey and Irma suppressed  production in August and September.
  • October was a very  solid month for new home construction. According to the Census Bureau,  building permits were up 5.9%, housing starts increased 13.7%, and  housing completions jumped 12.6% over September.
  • In the week ended  November 11, the advance figure for initial claims for unemployment  insurance was 249,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s  level. The advance insured unemployment rate fell slightly to 1.3%. The  advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during  the week ended November 4 was 1,860,000, a decrease of 44,000 from the  previous week’s level, which was revised up 3,000. This remains the  lowest level for insured unemployment since December 29, 1973, when it  was 1,805,000.

Eye on  the Week Ahead 

Thanksgiving week is relatively  quiet in terms of economic news. The report on existing home sales for  October follows on the heels of September’s positive returns. Another  important economic report on orders for durable goods is also out this week.  For the year, new orders placed with domestic manufacturers are up 8.3%  compared to 2016.

Recipe of the Week

Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip

Best Regards,

Paul Hutton

Data sources: News items are  based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources  (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with  secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or  trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data  Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information  Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver);  Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on  sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its  accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed  herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities,  and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee  of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss  of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will  be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S.  common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the  common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S.  economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all  common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a  market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The  Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common  stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available  for direct investment.

Securities  and investment advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services,  Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Fixed and traditional insurance offered through  Hutton Financial Advisors, which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial  Services, Inc.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2017

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