THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Nov. 19-25, 2023
📈 Stocks move higher in a quiet trading week
Last week was a fairly quiet one, with many people off for the Thanksgiving holiday. However, a couple of notable pieces of data dropped. On Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported that durable goods orders decreased 5.4% in October, the second-biggest decline since April 2020. But on Friday, S&P Global released its estimates of growth in business activity during November. The report showed that the services sector had a big pick-up over the past few weeks, compensating for a bigger-than-expected slowdown in manufacturing. So kind of a big mixed bag as far as data goes.
Slowing growth signals and dwindling inflation fears drove up demand for the $16 billion auction of 20-year U.S. Treasury bonds early last week. The auction drove down the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to an intraday low of 4.37% by Wednesday — its lowest level in two months. It didn’t stay that way for long, however; the 10-year yield popped back up by Friday. Speaking of Friday: Shoppers were out in full force for Black Friday, spending a record $9.8 billion. (That’s an increase of 7.5% from 2022.) It’s a great start to the holiday season for retailers.
🏠 Things are tough for home sellers
Home sales fell in October to a 13-year low, pummeled by high home prices and interest rates. Sales of existing homes — which make up a big chunk of the housing market — decreased 4.1%, the lowest since August 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors®. But we could be rounding the bend; mortgage rates have started to pull back somewhat and spurred a small burst of applications from buyers in early November.
🗓️ Coming this week
Patrick Huey is a small business owner and the author of two books on history and finance as well as the highly-rated recently-released fictional work Hell: A Novel. As owner of Victory Independent Planning, LLC, Patrick works with families and non-profit organizations. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® and an Accredited Tax Preparer. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University.
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