What I’m Watching This Week – 14 November 2016

The Markets (as of market close November 11, 2016)

The markets climbed at the beginning of last week as money moved from bonds (yield on 10-year Treasuries gained 5 basis points) to equities. The Dow jumped 370 points and Nasdaq gained over 2.0% by the close of trading last Monday. Following the election, equities surged as did long-term bond yields. The Dow gained over 256 points, Nasdaq and the S&P 500 each jumped over 1.0%, and the Russell 2000 climbed over 3.0%. Money continued to move from long-term government bonds as the yield on 10-year Treasuries reached 2.0% for the first time in nine months. The trading frenzy calmed by the end of last week, but not before the Dow reached a record high, gaining almost 1000 points over the week to close at 18847.66. The Russell 2000 was last week’s strongest performer, climbing more than 10.0% on the heels of its best weekly performance since December 2011.

The price of crude oil (WTI) fell by last week’s end, closing at $43.17 per barrel, down from the prior week’s price of $44.13 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) also sunk, closing at $1,225.50 by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week’s price of $1,305.60. The national average retail regular gasoline price increased to $2.233 per gallon on November 7, 2016, $0.003 more than the prior week’s price but $0.002 less than a year ago.

Market/Index 2015 Close Prior Week As of 11/11 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 17425.03 17888.28 18847.66 5.36% 8.16%
Nasdaq 5007.41 5046.37 5237.11 3.78% 4.59%
S&P 500 2043.94 2085.18 2164.45 3.80% 5.90%
Russell 2000 1135.89 1163.44 1282.38 10.22% 12.90%
Global Dow 2336.45 2390.21 2441.96 2.17% 4.52%
Fed. Funds target rate 0.25%-0.50% 0.25%-0.50% 0.25%-0.50% 0 bps 0 bps
10-year Treasuries 2.26% 1.77% 2.15% 38 bps -11 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 Headlines

  • Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States last Tuesday. He is the first person elected to the Oval Office without prior political or military experience. The long-term impact president-elect Trump’s election will have on the economy and the stock market has yet to be determined, however following an immediate drop in equities early last Wednesday, stocks rebounded during the week, led by the Dow, which reached an all-time high. As the next several weeks unfold, more information about the president-elect’s policies and cabinet appointments should be revealed. How the economy and markets respond is open to speculation at this point.
  • According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover report for September, the number of job openings increased slightly from 5.453 million in August to 5.486 million in September. There were 187,000 fewer hires in September, while total separations (quits, layoffs, discharges) fell by about 138,000. The quits rate was unchanged at 2.1% and the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to 1.0% — a record low. Some 3.1 million workers quit their jobs in September, while another 1.5 million workers lost their jobs to discharges or layoffs.
  • October is the first month of the federal government’s 2017 fiscal year. According to the October monthly statement from the Department of the Treasury, there was a $44.19 billion deficit for the month. The government took in $221.69 billion and spent $265.88 billion for the month. Compared to the last fiscal year, the deficit for this October is $92.37 billion lower than the deficit from 12 months earlier.
  • Following a decline in October, consumers’ opinion of the economy has picked up, according to November’s preliminary results from the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers. Respondents’ improving economic outlook helped drive the Index of Consumer Sentiment to 91.6 — well ahead of October’s 87.2. It should be noted that the preliminary data for this report was collected before last week’s presidential election.
  • In the week ended November 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment insurance claims was 254,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate remained at 1.5%. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ended October 29 was 2,041,000, an increase of 18,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

Eye on the Week Ahead

With the results of the U.S. presidential election in the rearview mirror, it will probably take a while for the dust to settle as to the effect the election results will have on the equities markets and the economy. Will the Trump victory impact the Fed’s decision regarding interest rates? With respect to the economy, reports next week highlight the latest information on retail sales, the Consumer Price Index, and the Producer Price Index — each of which are indicators of consumer spending and inflationary trends.

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