Blog Post

Stocks Post Modest Gains In Holiday Shortened Week

Major stock indices posted modest gains in this holiday shortened week.

The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its November meeting and, while noting that inflation is trending lower, did not rule out further rate increases and did not discuss rate cuts.  Some economic numbers indicate a slowing economy, which can reduce inflationary pressures, while other numbers have been resilient.  Unemployment claims have remained very low and while durable goods orders fell in October, this was likely due to the UAW strike.

OPEC was scheduled to meet this weekend to discuss further production cuts, however this was postponed until Thursday.  Saudi Arabia has been disappointed with other members adherence to previous production cuts.

Treasury bond yields rose with the 30-year bond yield at 4.603% and the 10-Year note at 4.471%.  Freddie Mac reported that the average 30-year mortgage rate fell to 7.29%.  Crude oil fell to $75.19 a barrel and natural gas fell to $2.996 per MMBTUs.  The U.S. dollar index fell to 103.39 and gold rose to $2003.70 an ounce.

  • The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales fell 4.1% in October.
    • The median price for an existing home sale has risen 3.4% from a year ago to $391,800.
    • The inventory of unsold homes rose 1.8% in the month of October.
  • The Commerce Department reported.
    • Advance durable goods orders fell 5.4% in October following a 4.0% increase in September.
      • From a year ago durable goods orders have risen 4.0%.
      • Excluding transportation, durable goods orders were unchanged in October.
      • Excluding defense, durable goods orders fell 6.7%.
  • The Labor Department reported:
    • Seasonally adjusted first-time claims for unemployment were 209,000, an decrease from the previous week’s revised level of 233,000.
      • The 4-week moving average of claims, designed to smooth out volatility, was 220,000, an decrease of 750 from the previous week’s revised level. 
      • For the full unemployment report go here:  https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf .
  • The EIA weekly oil report is here: http://ir.eia.gov/wpsr/wpsrsummary.pdf .  Also, the EIA reported in the prior week:
    • Field production of crude oil was unchanged at 13.2MM BPD.
    • Natural gas storage fell 7BN cubic feet and is above the 5-year average at this time of year.
  • Baker Hughes reported the number of active oil rigs was unchanged at 500.  The number of active natural gas rigs rose 3 to 117.

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

Founder / Emeritus                                                                            President & C.E.O.                                  

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. The Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

Sources:

https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WCRFPUS2&f=W

https://ir.eia.gov/ngs/ngs.html

https://www.freddiemac.com/pmms

https://www.wsj.com/market-data?mod=nav_top_subsection

https://bakerhughesrigcount.gcs-web.com/na-rig-count

https://www.census.gov/economic-indicators

https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/current/default.htm

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-11-14/japan-s-economy-slips-into-reverse-amid-weak-yen-inflation?sref=rkXJdUyz

https://www.bls.gov/cpi/

https://www.bls.gov/ppi/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-11-15/china-property-slump-deepens-as-beijing-mulls-more-stimulus?sref=rkXJdUyz

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-11-15/china-s-economic-activity-mixed-as-beijing-steps-up-support?sref=rkXJdUyz

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