Weekly Market Update — November 25, 2023

  • It was a short trading week for equity investors given the Thanksgiving holiday, but stock markets advanced for the 4th week in a row on very light trading
  • All 11 S&P 500 sectors were green this week, with Health Care (+2.2%) and Consumer Staples (+1.4%) leading the pack and Energy (+0.3%) bringing up the rear
  • The week saw a decent amount of earnings reports, especially among retailers Dick’s Sporting Goods, Nordstrom, Best Buy, and Kohl’s and the results were generally decent
  • The economic data received this week was less positive, especially existing home sales which hit a 13-year low and initial jobless claims which surprised
  • The 2-year Treasury increased to 4.95% and the 10-year Treasury increased three basis points to 4.47%
  • Oil crept lower. Prices for Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, were down about 1% to a bit under $81 a barrel
  • Next week will be an especially busy week, as New Home Sales, Consumer Confidence, Q3 GDP, the PCE Price Indices, and the November ISM Manufacturing Index are all on tap
  • In addition, there will be some big names reporting earnings, including blue-chip HP and Intuit, and tech-names Okta, Salesforce and Snowflake
Weekly Market Performance

Close Week YTD
DJIA 35,390 +1.3% +6.8%
S&P 500 4,559 +1.0% +18.7%
NASDAQ 14,251 +0.9% +36.2%
Russell 2000 1,808 +0.5% +2.6%
MSCI EAFE 2,122 +1.2% +9.3%
*Bond Index 2,058.10 -0.11% +0.86%
10–Year Treasury Yield 4.47% +0.03% +0.6%

*Source: Bonds represented by the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond TR USD. This chart is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of any specific security. Past performance cannot guarantee future results.

Stocks Advance for 4th Week in a Row

It was another good week for U.S. equity markets, as the major markets recorded their 4th weekly gain on light trading during the short-holiday trading week as markets were closed Thursday and early Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Generally speaking, the Growth names outpaced the Value names, as all 11 S&P 500 sectors advanced


There were also plenty of earnings reports this week, with the most-expected and watched being AI-chipmaker NVIDIA. And after beating earnings and revenues its stock price dropped as it issued cautious guidance because of export challenges with China.

Also, on Friday – and to little media coverage – S&P Global released its estimates of growth in business activity in November and suggested that “relatively subdued demand conditions and dwindling backlogs led firms to cut their workforce numbers for the first time since June 2020.”

There was also fair amount of economic data to digest, most less positive and arguably worse than expected, including that:

Existing Home Sales Decline to 13-Year Low

Existing home sales decreased 4.1% month-over-month in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.79 million. That is the slowest pace of sales since August 2010. In addition, sales were down 14.6% from the same period a year ago.

  • The median existing home price for all housing types increased 3.4% year-over-year to $391,800, the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year price increases and the highest ever for the month of October. The median price for single-family homes increased 3.0% year-over-year to $396,100.
  • The inventory of homes for sale at the end of October was 1.15 million units, up 1.8% from September and down 5.7% from a year ago.
  • Unsold inventory sits at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.4 months in September and versus 3.3 months in October 2022. It remains well below the 6.0-months’ supply typically associated with a more balanced market.
  • 66% of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month. Properties typically remained on the market for 23 days, up from 21 days in September and 21 days in October 2022.


Durable Goods Orders Decline

  • Durable goods orders for October declined 5.4% month-over-month.
  • Excluding transportation, durable goods orders were flat month-over-month.


Consumer Sentiment Declines Again

  • The final reading for the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for November came in at 61.3 versus October’s final reading of 63.8.
  • In the same period a year ago, the index stood at 56.7.
  • November marks the fourth straight month that consumer sentiment has declined.

Leading Economic Index Declines Again in October and Signals Recession

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. fell by 0.8% in October 2023 to 103.9 (2016=100), following a decline of 0.7% in September. The LEI contracted by 3.3% over the six-month period between April and October 2023, a smaller decrease than its 4.5% contraction over the previous six months (October 2022 to April 2023).

“The US LEI trajectory remained negative, and its six- and twelve-month growth rates also held in negative territory in October. Among the leading indicators, deteriorating consumers’ expectations for business conditions, lower ISM Index of New Orders, falling equities, and tighter credit conditions drove the index’s most recent decline. After a pause in September, the LEI resumed signaling recession in the near term. The Conference Board expects elevated inflation, high interest rates, and contracting consumer spending – due to depleting pandemic saving and mandatory student loan repayments – to tip the US economy into a very short recession. We forecast that real GDP will expand by just 0.8 percent in 2024.”







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