SERVICE SECTOR LOOKS VERY HEALTHY
The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly services index improved 2.4 points in November to a 57.2 reading. Analysts polled by Briefing.com had expected a small gain to 55.6. It was the PMI’s best reading since October 2015, and it marked the 82nd consecutive month of expansion for the non-manufacturing segment of the economy.
HOUSEHOLD SENTIMENT SOARS
Rising 4.2 points to a mark of 98.0, December’s initial University of Michigan consumer sentiment index came in just a tenth of a point below its most recent (2015) peak. This was one of the index’s three highest readings in the last 12 years. The main reason, in the words of University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin: “More consumers spontaneously mentioned the expected positive impact of new economic policies than ever before recorded in the long history of the surveys.”
OIL FINISHES THE WEEK WITH A FLOURISH
WTI crude advanced 1.22% Friday, reaching $51.46 a barrel as Wall Street ended its trading day. Gold and silver respectively slipped 1.11% and 1.03% on the same day; gold ending the week at $1,159.40 an ounce, and silver, at $16.92 an ounce.
WILL THE DOW HIT 20,000 BEFORE THE END OF 2016?
Investors are starting to wonder. As stocks closed at record highs Friday, the blue chips settled closer to that potential milestone at 19,756.85. The Dow gained 3.06% on the week. Five-day advances for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were even greater. The Nasdaq rose 3.59% to 5,444.50 during the week, while the S&P climbed 3.08% to 2,259.53. When the closing bell rang Friday, the S&P was up 4.39% month-over-month, the CBOE VIX volatility index down 17.08% in a month.
THIS WEEK: Monday, Verifone Systems announces quarterly results. Nothing notable is slated for Tuesday. The Federal Reserve makes an interest rate decision on Wednesday, and in addition to that, Wall Street will react to the November Producer Price Index, reports on November retail sales and industrial output, and earnings from Pier 1 Imports, Progressive and Worthington Industries. November’s Consumer Price Index, and the latest initial jobless claims report arrive Thursday, as well as earnings from Adobe Systems, Jabil Circuit, Navistar, Oracle, and Rite Aid. Friday, the Census Bureau releases data on November groundbreaking and building permits, and Carnival presents a new earnings report.