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Economic Update 12/02/13


Two respected barometers of consumer mood went different ways in November. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index came in at a disappointing 70.4, down from a revised 72.4 mark for October and well below the 74.0 reading forecast by November’s final consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan rose to 75.1, topping the projection by 1.6 points.


September’s edition of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index found house prices rising 3.2% for the third quarter, 13.3% YTD and 11.2% across the past 12 months. Building permits rose 6.2% in October, with the Census Bureau measuring a 13.9% annual gain. Pending home sales declined for another month: they fell 0.6% for October, the National Association of Realtors noted.


Overall hard goods orders slipped 2.0% in October, partly reversing the 4.1% increase in September. The silver lining? The Census Bureau found that October’s retreat was just 0.1% with transportation orders removed.


The NASDAQ was the frontrunner among the big three U.S. indices last week, rising 1.71% to 4,059.89. Both the S&P 500 (+0.06% to 1,805.81) and Dow (+0.13% to 16,086.41) realized tiny gains during the abbreviated trading week. Turning to the NYMEX, oil and gold both had poor Novembers: on the month, gold slid 5.46% to $1,250.60 an ounce and light crude dropped 3.60% to $92.72 a barrel.

THIS WEEK: Monday, ISM releases its November manufacturing PMI and the Census Bureau provides September and October construction spending data. Tuesday, the Commerce Department releases figures on November auto sales. On Wednesday, ISM puts out its November service sector PMI, the Federal Reserve offers a new Beige Book, the Census Bureau issues long-awaited September and October new home sales figures, and ADP produces its November job change report. The federal government releases its second estimate of Q3 GDP Thursday; also on tap for that day are the November Challenger job cuts report, data on October factory orders, and the latest initial jobless claims numbers. Friday, the Labor Department issues the November employment report, the Commerce Department publishes data on October consumer spending, and December’s preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment index arrives.

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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.

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