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Weekly Economic Update: November 28, 2023

Presented by Nicholas Wealth Management

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
  • A flurry of speeches from Fed officials is scheduled for this week, especially on Tuesday. Their comments will provide some insight into what the Fed may do at its next meeting on Dec. 12.
  • This week’s data will include the second reading of third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), which is forecasted to remain unchanged from its initial reading of 4.9%. The latest personal consumer expenditures (PCE) numbers on Thursday will also give us a look at how the consumer is doing.
  • Other data this week includes new home sales (Monday), Case-Shiller home price index (Tuesday), pending home sales (Thursday) and construction spending (Friday).
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