Every equity sector was higher last week as the market responded to dovish comments in the November FOMC minutes.
There are seven different Fed speakers this week, which will add further depth to the release of last week’s Fed Minutes from November. Personal Income and Personal Spending will give us another look at how consumers are faring as we officially enter the holiday season. As we pointed out last week, Redbook Sales have been strong during the month of November, compared to previous time periods. The early returns on Black Friday show a record $9.1 billion in online sales, which exceeded expectations. However, in-store traffic was slower than usual. Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year and should exceed last year’s results.
The Housing Market is showing some tiny green shoots as Weekly Mortgage Applications rose for two consecutive weeks, which has not happened since June of this year.
In addition, New Home Sales have improved since bottoming in August. Initial Jobless Claims have risen of late, but are still below the highs seen earlier this Summer. Durable Goods Orders and Consumer Sentiment rose last week more than expected and that could point to a resilient U.S. Consumer. A strong jobs report this week will have two effects—first, it could set markets back a little as investors could take that as a sign the Fed can continue raising rates, and second, it would mean that consumers have plenty of money to spend through the holiday season.
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