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Weekly Market Commentary: December 17, 2018

In this week’s recap: inflation moderates, oil prices head south, and equities have a tough week.

AS FUEL GROWS CHEAPER, INFLATION BECOMES TAMER

Last week, the latest Consumer Price Index arrived, showing no move for headline inflation in November and a 0.2% core inflation increase. That precisely matched the consensus forecast of economists polled by Reuters. What held the headline CPI in check last month? You can credit a sudden drop in gas prices, which fell 4.2%. Annualized inflation declined to 2.2%. Overall producer prices only rose 0.1% last month, compared to an October ascent of 0.6%.1,2

A MIDDLING ADVANCE FOR RETAIL SALES

During October, American households boosted their retail spending by 1.1% (originally reported by the Department of Commerce as a gain of 0.8%), but November presented a different story. Sales rose last month, but only by 0.2%. The gain remained at 0.2% with auto buying removed.2

OIL HEADS 2.6% LOWER

That was the weekly loss for light sweet crude, influenced by two factors: increasing dollar strength and concerning economic data from China, which made traders wonder if the P.R.C.’s demand for crude could lessen. Oil settled at $51.20 Friday on the NYMEX.3

STOCKS HEAD LOWER

Bothered by anxieties about global growth, bulls lost some of their appetite for risk last week. Across five trading days, the S&P 500 ceded 1.26%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1.18%; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.84%. That left them at the following settlements on Friday: S&P, 2,599.95; DJIA, 24,100.51; COMP, 6,910.66. The small-cap Russell 2000 index had it worse, falling 2.57% to 1,410.81 over five days. While all this happened, volatility actually declined, at least according to the CBOE VIX; the leading gauge of Wall Street instability retreated 6.89% for the week to 21.63.4

TIP OF THE WEEK

A simple tip to keep credit card spending under control: only use a card for purchases you know you can pay off within one month.

THIS WEEK

Oracle and Red Hat share quarterly results on Monday. | On Tuesday, the Census Bureau offers a snapshot of November residential construction activity, and Darden Restaurants, FedEx, Jabil, Micron Technology, Navistar, Steelcase, and Worthington Industries present earnings. | Wednesday, the Federal Reserve releases its latest policy statement, followed by a press conference with Fed chair Jerome Powell; in addition, investors will consider October existing home sales numbers and earnings from General Mills, Paychex, Rite Aid, and Winnebago. | On Thursday, earnings roll in from Accenture, BlackBerry, Conagra Brands, Nike, and Walgreens Boots Alliance, and the Department of Labor issues a new initial claims report. | Friday, Wall Street reviews November consumer spending and capital goods orders data, the federal government’s third estimate of Q3 growth, and earnings from CarMax.

% CHANGE Y-T-D 1-YR CHG 5-YR AVG 10-YR AVG
DJIA -2.50 -1.67 10.59 18.14
NASDAQ 0.11 0.79 14.54 35.82
S&P 500 -2.76 -1.96 9.29 19.93
REAL YIELD 11/9 RATE 1 YR AGO 5 YRS AGO 10 YRS AGO
10 YR TIPS 1.07 0.48 0.72 2.43

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 12/14/184,5,6,7

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 THE WEEKLY RIDDLE

Dave says that the small city he lives in has a municipal building with more than a hundred stories. What building is this?

 LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: Take a word with four letters. Take away one, and what remains will be better … better than zero, anyway. What word is this?

ANSWER: Gone.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 – cnbc.com/2018/12/12/us-consumer-price-index-november-2018.html [12/12/18]

2 – briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2018/12/10-14 [12/14/18]

3 – marketwatch.com/story/oil-falls-as-stock-weakness-and-dollar-strength-dull-impact-of-bullish-supply-data-2018-12-14 [12/14/18]

4 – markets.wsj.com/ [12/14/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F14%2F17&x=0&y=0 [12/14/18]

6 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/14/18]

7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/14/18]