The major stock market averages posted moderate gains last week, which was shortened by the market being closed Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving Day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.8% to 34,347 – the NASDAQ Composite (which is tech-heavy) lagged the group, adding .7% to 11,226 – while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 1.5% to 4,026 (finishing above the psychologically notable 4,000 level).
The stock market was supported by minutes released from this month’s Federal Reserve meeting, which indicated a majority of members support a slowing in the pace of interest rate increases. Additionally, some solid retail earnings reports showed consumer strength, despite concerns about an upcoming recession. On the negative side, extensive lockdowns in China dampened investor sentiment. The lockdowns, along with civil unrest and protests there, weighed on overseas trading last night and are pressuring our markets lower today.
Back to a normal schedule in the week ahead, and the financial markets have a full plate to digest. We’ll be monitoring developments in China, Federal Reserve comments, a fresh batch of earnings reports, and a list of diversified economic data being released – with the most important and widely followed being the jobs report.
The U.S. Department of Labor is scheduled to release the November Jobs Report on Friday – market expectations are the economy added 200,000 jobs and for the unemployment rate to come in unchanged at 3.7%. Jobs data is important to the Federal Reserve and its decisions on monetary policy/interest rates. Current probabilities are the Fed will raise rates by ½ percentage point at their December 14th meeting – according to the CME FedWatch Tool – which is a slower pace than their recent series of ¾ percent hikes.
As always, please contact us with any questions you may have or if you would like to set up a meeting.
All the best – Southport Station Financial Management, LLC