CONSUMER SPENDING IMPROVES 0.3%
This November increase matched the forecast of economists polled by Briefing.com, and it was a nice change after a flat October reading (revised down from an initially reported 0.1% gain). Consumer incomes also rose 0.3% in November.
HOUSEHOLD OPTIMISM INCREASES IN DECEMBER
At mid-month, the preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment index presented a reading of 91.8. Last week, it rose slightly to 92.6. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com expected a final December reading of 92.0.
RULE CHANGES HAMPER EXISTING HOME SALES
New mortgage disclosure rules instituted by the federal government delayed some closings in November. Therefore, the 10.5% slip in resales reported by the National Association of Realtors was not all that surprising. New home sales fared better in November: the Census Bureau reported a 4.3% increase. Year-over-year, new home buying was up 9.1%.
FINAL Q3 GDP NUMBER: 2.0%
The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its third-quarter growth estimate last week; its prior appraisal was 2.1%. In a development related to this quarter’s GDP, hard goods orders were flat in November.
OIL REBOUNDS, STOCKS FOLLOW SUIT
The NYMEX price of WTI crude settled at $38.10 a barrel Christmas Eve, rising 5.7% for the trading week. Wall Street, as a consequence, had its best week since mid-November. The S&P 500 rose 2.76% during three-and-a-half trading days to 2,060.99, while the Dow gained 2.47% to 17,552.17, and the Nasdaq advanced 2.55% t0 5,048.49.
THIS WEEK: Nothing major is scheduled for Monday. Tuesday sees the release of the October S&P/Case-Shiller home price index and the Conference Board’s December consumer confidence index. On Wednesday, NAR’s November pending home sales index appears. The Labor Department issues a weekly jobless claims report on Thursday, which is also New Year’s Eve; the bond market will close at 2:00pm EST, but the NYSE and NASDAQ will be open regular hours. New Year’s Day falls on Friday, with all U.S. financial markets closed.
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.