Blog Post

US markets for stocks, bonds and commodities saw very little change this past week.  Now with 98% of the S&P 500 companies reporting earnings, those earnings are down 1.3%.  While the markets were slow it was a busy week for economic data including:

  • The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell 3.4% in October, more than expected. This follows strong September numbers.  At the current levels existing home sales for the year should be the strongest since 2007.  Rising existing home prices and tighter inventory were blamed for the October decrease.
  • The Commerce Department reported
    • New home sales were up 10.7% in October from September and 4.9% higher than a year ago.
    • Revised estimate of 3rd quarter growth from a 1.5% to a 2.1% annual pace. The increase was due to a smaller than first estimated reduction in inventories.  The high level of inventories remains a concern going forward.  The consumer drove the growth as household spending grew at a 3% rate, revised down from the initial 3.2%.
    • Gross domestic income rose at a rate of 2.6%. Gross domestic income reflects all money earned by consumers, businesses and government agencies.  Corporate profits were down 4.7% from a year ago, the largest year over year drop since the Q2 2009 while increased employment more than offset the drop in profits.
    • Consumer spending grew only 0.1% in October after growing 0.1% in September and 0.4% in October.
    • Personal income rose 0.4% in October.
    • Durable goods orders rose a seasonally adjusted 3% in October, much better than expectations. Durable goods orders are still down 4.2% for the year through October.  The sharp rise in October was attributed to an 81% increase in non-defense aircraft orders.
  • The Labor department reported that first time claims for unemployment fell 12,000 in the prior week to 260,000, much better than expectations. The four week moving average of claims was unchanged at 271,000.
  • The Energy Information Administration reported that crude-oil inventories increased 961,000 barrels to 488.2 million barrels. This is the ninth week of crude increases.  Gasoline stockpiles rose 2.5MM barrels and distillate stocks rose 1MM barrels.
  • Baker Hughes reported that US active drilling rigs declined by 555 and now stands 54% below the peak reached in October 2014.

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Best Regards,

Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF®                                                                               Erik Smith

President                                                                                                           Partner

Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management                269-441-4143

77 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 140

Battle Creek, MI  49017

Tel  269-441-4090

Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091

Toll Free: 800-513-8180

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Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Cambridge and Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management are separate companies and are not affiliated.

These are the opinions of Loren Rex and Erik Smith and are not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.


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