The stock market finished the week significantly lower as tech and energy stocks sold-off. Interest rates were little changed with the 10-year treasury yield dropping only 2 basis points to 3.05%. The spread between the 10-year treasury yield and the 2-year treasury yield also showed little change, widening only by 1 basis point to 0.27%. The price of gold was virtually unchanged at $1,223.50 an ounce, while the price of crude oil dropped 9.54% to $51.39 a barrel, as concerns regarding over supply continue to drive the price lower. The U.S. dollar index rose from 96.44 to 96.90.
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THIS WEEK’S ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS
- Housing starts in October came in slightly below expectations at a 1.23 million annualized rate, 1.5% higher than the month prior. However, housing permits came in slightly above expectations at a 1.26 million annualized rate, but still dropped 0.6% from the month prior.
- New orders in durable goods dropped a sharp 4.4% for the month of October, as a large reversal in the heavily weighted defense aircraft component pulled new orders down. Excluding the transportation component, which includes defense aircrafts, durable goods orders in fact rose by 0.1%.
- Initial unemployment claims rose by 3,000 to 224,000 for the week ending November 17th. Meanwhile continuing unemployment claims dropped a marginal 2,000 to 1.67 million. Both initial and continuing unemployment claims are near all-time lows.
- Existing home sales rose 1.4% in October after dropping six consecutive months in a row. Despite rising interest rates putting pressure on home sales, this month’s rise was supported by a 0.6% drop in the price of homes to a median of $255,400. Year-over-year existing home sales have still dropped 5.1%.
According to the National Retail Federation, approximately 30% of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Be aware that the market does not turn when it sees light at the end of the tunnel. It turns when all looks black, but just a subtle shade less black than the day before.”
– James Montier
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