Blog Post

Weekly Market Commentary – Battle Creek

US Stocks squeaked out small gains this week as did oil.  Foreign stocks fell.  The dollar was mostly unchanged.  Gold prices fell modestly and the 10-year Treasury rate declined modestly.

In the numbers this week:

  • The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales rose 0.7% in November from October to 5.61MM annual sales pace. This was the highest existing home sales since February 2007.  From a year ago, existing home sales were 15.4% higher.
  • The Census Bureau reported:
    • The U.S. population grew at only 0.7% in the 12 months ending July 1. This is the smallest increase since 1936-1937.  The bureau noted migration from northern states to western states.  Utah, Nevada and Idaho had the fastest growth while New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois lost population.
    • Nearly 40% of 18-34 year-olds are living with parents, siblings or other relatives, the highest since 1940. This has been rising since 2005.
  • The Commerce Department reported
    • Gross domestic product in the third quarter was revised up from 3.2% annual pace to 3.5% annual pace. The revision was based on stronger consumer spending on services and better business investment in buildings and intellectual property.  Expectations are for slower growth in the fourth quarter and for the entire year to be in the neighborhood of 2% growth which has been typical since the recovery began in 2009.
    • Orders for durable goods fell 4.6% in November due to a 73.5% decline in civilian aircraft orders. Excluding aircraft, orders rose 0.5%.  Excluding defense, orders fell 6.6%.  October orders were revised up to a 4.8% gain.  For the first 11 months of 2016 orders are down slightly from the same period in 2015.
    • Consumer spending rose 0.2% in November while incomes were unchanged. October spending was revised up to 0.4% and incomes revised down to 0.5%.  Spending on gasoline and clothing rose 0.1%, long lasting goods such as cars and appliances fell 0.6% and services spending rose 0.3.
    • New home sales increase 5.2% in November to a seasonally adjusted pace of 592,000. For the first 11 months of the year sales were up 12.7% compared to the same period a year ago.
  • The Energy Information Administration weekly report is attached this time.
  • Baker Hughes reported that oil drilling rigs rose by 13 to 523. Gas drilling rigs rose 3 to 129.
  • The Labor Department reported:
    • Initial claims for unemployment rose 21,000 to a seasonally adjust 275,000. The four-week moving average of claims rose 6,000 to 263,750. Claims are still consistent with an economy that is adding jobs.

Please call us if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF®, MA                                                          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

Fax  866-381-2301

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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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