CONSUMER CONFIDENCE TRENDS DOWN
November saw the Conference Board consumer confidence index plummet. It dropped 8.7 points from its revised October mark of 99.1 to 90.4; economists polled by Briefing.com assumed it would rise slightly to 99.6. The CB attributed November’s poor reading (the lowest since September 2014) to declining expectations of job and wage growth in the next few months. November’s final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index also declined to 91.3 from its preliminary reading of 93.1.
CONSUMER SPENDING NUDGES UP
Personal spending improved just 0.1% in October, but the Commerce Department’s latest report also revealed that personal incomes rose by 0.4% last month. In news related to consumer spending, October saw a 3.0% gain in capital goods orders (0.5% minus transportation orders), and the Bureau of Economic Analysis put Q3 GDP at 2.1% in its second estimate, 0.6% higher than in its first.
A LEAP FOR NEW HOME SALES IN OCTOBER
New home buying increased 10.7% last month according to the Census Bureau, resulting in a 4.9% annualized gain. Resales declined 3.4% in October, the National Association of Realtors noted, citing declining inventory as a major factor.
AN ADVANCE FOR THE BIG THREE
The Nasdaq led the way among the major U.S. equity indices last week, rising 1.06% to a November 27 close of 5,127.53. Next was the Dow, gaining 0.37% in the shortened trading week to settle at 17,798.49 Friday. The S&P 500 eked out an 0.04% advance from Monday through Friday to close the week at 2,090.11.
THIS WEEK: NAR’s October pending home sales index appears Monday. Tuesday sees the release of the November ISM manufacturing PMI and Q3 earnings from Bob Evans. Wednesday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen speaks on the outlook for the economy in Washington, D.C.; the Fed releases a new Beige Book, a new ADP employment change report comes out, and Wall Street also considers earnings from Aeropostale and American Eagle Outfitters. Thursday, Janet Yellen testifies on the economic outlook in the Senate; October’s Challenger job-cut report, November’s ISM services PMI, a new initial claims report and earnings from Barnes & Noble, Dollar General, Express, Five Below, Kroger, Land’s End, Sears Holdings and Toro also arrive. The Labor Department’s November jobs report arrives Friday, plus earnings from Big Lots! and Hovnanian.