Weekly Market Recap – December 1, 2023

The major U.S. stock indexes secured their fifth consecutive positive week, although the pace of upward movement slowed during a mostly tranquil week of trading. The Dow registered an increase of more than 2%, while the S&P posted a fractional gain, propelling both indexes to year-to-date highs.

November emerged as the strongest month this year for the major U.S. stock indexes, significantly offsetting much of the overall decline witnessed in the previous three months. The NASDAQ surged by 10.7%, the S&P 500 rose by 8.9%, and the Dow gained 8.8%.

U.S. government bond prices experienced a surge, resulting in lower yields. Investors seemed to shift their focus toward the potential for future interest-rate cuts rather than anticipating further rate hikes. On Friday, the yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond fell to approximately 4.22%, marking the lowest point in over three months and a substantial decline from the recent peak of 4.99% on October 18.

The government’s initial estimate of third-quarter GDP growth exceeded expectations, and a subsequent update released on Wednesday revealed even more robust growth. The revised annual growth rate reached 5.2%, surpassing the 4.9% initial estimate from October. This acceleration, compared to the 2.1% growth in this year’s second quarter, is anticipated to experience a cooldown in the current quarter, partly due to elevated interest rates.

During the recently concluded earnings season, companies in the S&P 500 reported an average earnings gain of 4.7% over the same quarter a year earlier, as per FactSet data. This outcome marked the first year-over-year earnings increase since the third quarter of 2022, with the communication services sector leading with an impressive earnings growth of 42.0%.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s preferred indicator for tracking inflation revealed a continued deceleration in consumer prices in October. The Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index rose at a 3.0% annual rate, down from 3.4% in September. Core inflation, excluding volatile food and energy prices, climbed 3.5% in October, a slight decrease from the 3.7% recorded in September.

On Thursday, the government reported that U.S. consumer spending in October rose at an annual rate of 0.2%, marking the slowest pace in five months. This monthly result represents a notable deceleration from September’s figure of 0.7%.

The upcoming monthly labor market report, set to be released on Friday, will reveal whether the recent slowdown in U.S. jobs growth extended into November. In October, the economy generated 150,000 new jobs, half as many as in September and down from an average of 258,000 over the last 12 months. The unemployment rate for October edged upward to 3.9%.

Major U.S. Economic Reports

New home salesOct679,000719,000
S&P Case-Shiller home price index (20 cities)Sep3.9%2.5%
Consumer confidenceNov102.099.1
GDP (first revision)Q35.2%4.9%
Advanced U.S. trade balance in goodsOct-$89.8B-$86.8B
Initial jobless claimsNov 25218,000211,000
Personal incomeOct0.2%0.4%
Personal spendingOct0.2%0.7%
PCE indexOct0.0%0.4%
Core PCE indexOct0.2%0.3%
PCE (year-over-year)3.4%
Core PCE (year-over-year)3.7%
Chicago Business Barometer (PMI)Nov55.844.0
Pending home salesOct-1.5%1.1%
S&P Global manufacturing PMINov49.449.4
ISM manufacturingNov46.7%46.7%
Construction spendingOct0.6%0.4%
Auto salesNov15.5 million


Closing Prices for the Week

Dow Jones Industrials Average36,245.50
Nasdaq Composite14,305.03
S&P 500 Index4,594.63
CBOE Volatility Index12.63
S&P GSCI548.70
U.S. Dollar Index103.268
10-Year T-Note (Mar ’24)110-215
Crude Oil WTI (Jan ’24)74.07
Natural Gas (Jan ’24)2.814
Gold (Feb ’24)2,089.7
Silver (Mar ’24)25.857
Corn (Mar ’24)484-6
Wheat (Mar ’24)602-6
Soybean (Jan ’24)1325-0
Coffee (Mar ’24)184.35
Sugar #11 (Mar ’24)25.09

Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone.

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