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Weekly Market Insights

The Markets (as of market close ​​​​​​November​ ​15​​​​​​​, 2019)

The large caps of the Dow and S&P 500 surged last week. The Dow reached 28000 for the first time in its history while the S&P 500 posted solid gains for the sixth consecutive week. Investors continued to be bullish on hopes that a trade deal between the United States and China is on the horizon. The tech stocks of the Nasdaq also climbed last week while the small-cap Russell 2000 and the Global Dow dropped back. Year-to-date, each of the benchmark indexes listed here are well ahead of their 2018 closing values, led by the Nasdaq, which is nearly 30% ahead of last year's ending mark.The large caps of the Dow and S&P 500 surged last week. The Dow reached 28000 for the first time in its history while the S&P 500 posted solid gains for the sixth consecutive week. Investors continued to be bullish on hopes that a trade deal between the United States and China is on the horizon. The tech stocks of the Nasdaq also climbed last week while the small-cap Russell 2000 and the Global Dow dropped back. Year-to-date, each of the benchmark indexes listed here are well ahead of their 2018 closing values, led by the Nasdaq, which is nearly 30% ahead of last year's ending mark.

 

Oil prices rose last week, closing at $57.93 per barrel by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week's price of$57.39. The price of gold (COMEX) rebounded last week, closing at $1,468.70 by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week's price of $1,459.20. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.615 per gallon on November 11, 2019,$0.010 more than the prior week's price but $0.071 less than a year ago.The Dow hit a new record high last week, and each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid gains as investors received encouraging news on the trade front. Both the United States and China sent signals out that an initial trade agreement would be signed in the near future, marking the first phase of the trade deal between the economic giants. As money flowed into stocks, long-term bond prices fell, pushing yields higher. For the week, the S&P 500 posted its fifth straight week of gains, while the Nasdaq advanced for the sixth consecutive week. The largest gainer last week was the Global Dow, which climbed over 1.50%.

 

Oil prices rose last week, closing at $57.39 per barrel by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week's price of $56.14. The price of gold (COMEX) fell for the first time in several weeks, closing at $1,459.20 by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week's price of $1,515.70. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.605 per gallon on November 4, 2019, $0.009 more than the prior week's price but $0.148 less than a year ago.

The Dow hit a new record high last week, and each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid gains as investors received encouraging news on the trade front. Both the United States and China sent signals out that an initial trade agreement would be signed in the near future, marking the first phase of the trade deal between the economic giants. As money flowed into stocks, long-term bond prices fell, pushing yields higher. For the week, the S&P 500 posted its fifth straight week of gains, while the Nasdaq advanced for the sixth consecutive week. The largest gainer last week was the Global Dow, which climbed over 1.50%.

 

Oil prices rose last week, closing at $57.39 per barrel by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week's price of $56.14. The price of gold (COMEX) fell for the first time in several weeks, closing at $1,459.20 by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week's price of $1,515.70. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.605 per gallon on November 4, 2019, $0.009 more than the prior week's price but $0.148 less than a year ago.

The Dow hit a new record high last week, and each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid gains as investors received encouraging news on the trade front. Both the United States and China sent signals out that an initial trade agreement would be signed in the near future, marking the first phase of the trade deal between the economic giants. As money flowed into stocks, long-term bond prices fell, pushing yields higher. For the week, the S&P 500 posted its fifth straight week of gains, while the Nasdaq advanced for the sixth consecutive week. The largest gainer last week was the Global Dow, which climbed over 1.50%.

Oil prices rose last week, closing at $57.39 per barrel by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week's price of $56.14. The price of gold (COMEX) fell for the first time in several weeks, closing at $1,459.20 by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week's price of $1,515.70. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.605 per gallon on November 4, 2019, $0.009 more than the prior week's price but $0.148 less than a year ago.

Market/Index

2018 Close

Prior Week

As of ​11/15

Weekly Change

YTD Change

DJIA

23327.46

27681.24

28004.89

1.​17%

​​​20.05%

Nasdaq

6635.28

8475.31

8540.83

0.77%

​​28.72%

S&P 500

2506.85

3093.08

3120.46

​0.89%

​2​4.48%

Russell 2000

1348.56

1​598.86

1​​596.45

​-0.15%

​​1​8.38%

Global Dow

2736.74

3157.91

3154.39

-0.11%

1​5.26%

Fed. Funds target rate

2.25%​–2.50%

1.50%​–1.75%

1.​50%​–1.75%

​0 bps

-​75 bps

10-year Treasuries

2.68%

1.93%

1.83%

-10 bps

-​​​​85 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

  • Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose 0.4% in October. However, core prices (less food and energy) inched up 0.2%. After recent monthly declines, energy prices increased 2.7% last month, accounting for more than half of the increase in the overall CPI. Within the energy index, gasoline prices rose 3.7% in October. Food prices rose 0.2%. Over the last 12 months, the CPI has risen 1.8%. Over the same period, core prices are up 2.3%.The services sector of the economy continues to outpace the manufacturing sector. According to the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management, the October Non-Manufacturing Index increased 2.1 percentage points above its September reading. Survey respondents noted growth in business activity, new orders, and employment. Only prices received for services decreased in October from the prior month. The report indicated that, despite the positive results, "respondents continue to be concerned about tariffs, labor resources, and the geopolitical climate."

  • Producer prices rose 0.4% in October after falling 0.3% in September. Prices are up 1.1% for the 12 months ended in October, the smallest increase since a comparable rise in the 12-month period ended October 2016. Prices for services rose 0.3% last month, boosted by a 0.8% advance in margins for trade services, which measure changes in margins received by wholesalers and retailers. The index for goods advanced 0.7% in October, the largest increase since a 1.0% jump in March. Seventy percent of the October rise in goods is attributable to prices for energy, which moved up 2.8%.
  • Both import and export prices fell in October, further evidencing waning global inflation. Import prices dropped 0.5% while export prices dipped 0.1%. For the year, import prices are down 3.0% and export prices are off 2.2%. Driving import prices lower was a 3.7% drop in petroleum prices, which more than offset a 32.0% increase in natural gas prices. Fuel prices declined 13.7% over the past year. For exports, a 0.6% decline in prices of nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials offset a 1.9% increase in agricultural export prices.
  • Manufacturing continues to lag in 2019. The Federal Reserve's industrial production index fell 0.8% in October after dropping 0.3% in September. Manufacturing production decreased 0.6%, primarily due to a 7.1% drop in the output of motor vehicles and parts that resulted from a strike at a major auto manufacturer. The decreases for total industrial production, manufacturing, and motor vehicles and parts were their largest since May 2018, April 2019, and January 2019, respectively. Mining production decreased 0.7%, while utilities output fell 2.6%. Overall, total industrial production was 1.1% lower in October than it was a year earlier.
  • The first month of the new fiscal year for the federal government saw October start off with a deficit of $134.5 billion, 34% higher than the $100.5 billion deficit the prior October. Government receipts totaled $245.5 billion, with $126.4 billion coming from individual income taxes and $6.6 billion received from corporate income taxes. The federal government spent $380.0 billion in October, with Social Security ($89.0 billion), National Defense ($71.0 billion), and Medicare ($56.0 billion) accounting for most of the expenditures, as usual.
  • For the week ended November 9, there were 225,000 claims for unemployment insurance, an increase of 14,000 from the previous week's level. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims remained at 1.2% for the week ended November 2. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended November 2 was 1,683,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the prior week's level, which was revised up by 4,000.
  • Retail sales rose 0.3% in October and are up 3.1% since October 2018. Last month turned out to be a bounce back for retail sales, which fell 0.3% in September. In October, motor vehicle sales rose 0.5%, gasoline sales climbed 1.1%, and nonstore (online) sales surged 0.9%. On the downside, sales at clothing stores fell 1.0% and furniture store sales dropped 0.9%.

Eye on the Week Ahead

This week the focus is on the continuing trade negotiations between the United States and China — clearly a market mover. Also, economic reports center on the housing sector, with October housing starts figures as well as the latest on existing home sales.

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.


The Markets (as of market close ​​​​​​November 1, 2019)

A better-than-expected jobs report and strong third-quarter earnings from some major companies drove stock prices higher for the fourth consecutive week. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reached closing highs while the other benchmark indexes listed here posted solid returns. The small caps of the Russell 2000 recorded the largest weekly gain, followed by the Nasdaq, the S&P 500, the Dow, and the Global Dow. Long-term bond prices rose, pulling yields lower as the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell 8 basis points.

Oil prices fell last week, closing at $56.14 per barrel by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week's price of $56.65. The price of gold (COMEX) rose for the third week in a row last week, closing at $1,515.70 by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week's price of $1,507.10. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.596 per gallon on October 28, 2019, $0.042 less than the prior week's price and $0.215 less than a year ago.

Market/Index

2018 Close

Prior Week

As of ​11/1

Weekly Change

YTD Change

DJIA

23327.46

26958.06

27347.36

1.​44%

​​​1​​​7.23%

Nasdaq

6635.28

8243.12

8386.40

1.74%

​​26.39%

S&P 500

2506.85

3022.55

3066.91

​1.47%

​2​2.34%

Russell 2000

1348.56

1​558.71

1​​589.33

​1.96%

​​1​7.85%

Global Dow

2736.74

3079.14

3109.68

0.99%

1​3.63%

Fed. Funds target rate

2.25%​–2.50%

1.75%​–2.00%

1.​50%​–1.75%

​25 bps

-​75 bps

10-year Treasuries

2.68%

1.80%

1.72%

-8 bps

-​​​​96 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

  • The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates for the third consecutive time, dropping the target range for the federal funds rate 25 basis points to 1.50%-1.75%. The Committee noted that while the labor market remains strong, economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate, and household spending has been accelerating at a strong pace, business fixed investment and exports remain weak. In addition, inflation continues to run below the Fed's target rate of 2.0%. The Committee vote was 8 in favor and 2 voting to maintain the target range at 1.75%-2.00%. Further rate cuts are on hold for the time being. The Committee next meets in December.
  • The initial, or "advance," estimate of the third-quarter gross domestic product showed the economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.9%. The second-quarter GDP increased 2.0%. While economic growth decelerated in the third quarter, it is better than most experts expected, primarily due to consumer spending, which offset weakness in other sectors of the economy. In the third quarter, personal income increased $172.8 billion compared with an increase of $244.2 billion in the second quarter. Disposable personal income increased $181.7 billion last quarter compared to $192.6 billion in the second quarter. With a reduction in consumer income in the third quarter came a deceleration in consumer spending (accounting for more than two-thirds of economic activity). However, consumer spending was enough to offset weak business investment, which turned negative for the first time since 2016.
  • There were 128,000 new jobs added in October, and the unemployment rate inched up one tenth to 3.6%. Job growth has averaged 167,000 per month thus far in 2019. The number of unemployed persons also climbed marginally from 5.8 million in September to 5.9 million. The labor participation rate rose from 63.2% to 63.3% last month. The employment-population ratio held at 61.0%. Notable job gains in October occurred in food services and drinking places (48,000), social assistance (20,000), professional and business services (22,000), and financial activities (16,000). Indicative of the slowdown in manufacturing production, that sector declined by 36,000 jobs in October. The average workweek was unchanged at 34.4 hours in October. Average hourly earnings rose by $0.06 to $28.18. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.0%.
  • Prices for consumer goods and services decreased less than 0.1% in September as inflationary pressures remained muted. Personal income and disposable (after-tax) personal income each climbed 0.3%. Consumer spending ramped up 0.2% in September, helped by robust employment and rising wages.

  • Manufacturing continued to lag in October, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®. The purchasing managers' index registered 48,3%, which, while better than September's 47.8%, still represents contraction in the manufacturing sector (a reading below 50% constitutes contraction). Survey respondents noted an increase in new orders, up 1.8% at 49.1%, but still contracting. Production, supplier deliveries, and prices each fell in October and are all below 50.0%. Employment, inventories, and new export orders increased, respectively.
  • The international trade in goods (excluding services) deficit for September was $70.4 billion, down $2.7 billion from August. Exports of goods for September were $135.9 billion, $2.2 billion less than August exports. Imports of goods for September were $206.3 billion, $4.9 billion less than August imports. While the goods deficit shrank last month, both import and export trading contracted — evidence of a slowing global economy.

  • For the week ended October 26, there were 218,000 claims for unemployment insurance, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's level, which was revised up by 1,000. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims remained at 1.2% for the week ended October 19. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended October 19 was 1,690,000, an increase of 7,000 from the prior week's level, which was revised up by 1,000.

Eye on the Week Ahead

While the last week of October was full of economic information and reports, the first week of November is relatively calm. The goods and services trade report for September is available this week. The 2019 goods and services international trade deficit sat at $429 billion for January through August — about $28 billion higher than the deficit over the same eight-month period in 2018.

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.


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