AN ARGUMENT AGAINST TAPERING
According to the Labor Department, the economy added 148,000 jobs in September. The jobless rate dipped to 7.2%, but job creation has averaged less than 150,000 for three straight months. (August job growth was revised up to 193,000, July job growth down to 89,000.) The University of Michigan’s final October consumer sentiment index slipped in the wake of the federal shutdown: the 73.2 reading was an 11-month low. Economists polled by Reuters forecast it coming in at 75.0.
EXISTING HOME SALES PACE SLOWS
There was good news beneath the 1.9% September decrease reported by the National Association of Realtors. Residential resales have increased 10.7% in the past 12 months, 25.0% with distressed sales factored out. Distressed sales made up 14% of the market last month compared to 24% a year before. The median sale price was $199,200 last month, improving 11.7% in a year.
DURABLES & INVENTORIES: GOOD NEWS
September saw a 3.7% jump in durable goods orders (albeit a 0.1% retreat minus transportation orders). The Commerce Department also said wholesale inventories rose 0.5% in August, a hint that businesses and suppliers expect solid holiday sales.
ANOTHER RECORD CLOSE FOR THE S&P 500
Rising 0.88% for the week, the S&P settled at a new peak of 1,759.77 Friday, and both the DJIA (+1.11% to 15,570.28) and NASDAQ (+0.74% to 3,943.36) advanced with it. Friday’s NASDAQ close represented a 13-year high.
THIS WEEK: Apple, Merck and Herbalife announce earnings Monday, which is also when NAR issues its September pending home sales report. Tuesday brings earnings from Nokia, Baidu, Pfizer, Gilead, Aflac, BP, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Electronic Arts, LinkedIn and Yelp plus the September PPI, September retail sales figures, the Conference Board’s October consumer confidence poll and the August S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve makes a policy statement and the September CPI and October ADP employment change report appear; Facebook, General Motors, Allstate, GlaxoSmithKline, Barclays, Comcast, Visa, Expedia, Kraft Foods, Boeing and AT&T are out with earnings. October’s Challenger job-cut report arrives Thursday, along with a new initial claims report and quarterly results from ExxonMobil, MasterCard, ConocoPhillips, Sony, Starbucks and AIG. On Friday, November kicks off with Q3 results from Chevron, the October ISM manufacturing index and Commerce Department figures on October car and truck sales.
About the Independent Financial Advisor
Robert Pagliarini, PhD, CFP®, EA has helped clients across the United States manage, grow, and preserve their wealth for the past 25 years. His goal is to provide comprehensive financial, investment, and tax advice in a way that was honest and ethical. In addition, he is a CFP® Board Ambassador, one of only 50 in the country, and a real fiduciary. In his spare time, he writes personal finance books, finance articles for Forbes and develops email and video financial courses to help educate others. With decades of experience as a financial advisor, the media often calls on him for his expertise. Contact Robert today to learn more about his financial planning services.