Markets, Economy

Weekly Kickstart (11/27/2017-12/01/2017)

11/27/17 8:00 AM

/iStock-841214812.jpgThe market melt-up resumed last week, as the S&P 500 lifted by 0.91 percent to 2,602.42. That was the first weekly increase since October and the largest gain in nearly two months. Further, the S&P 500 ended Friday at a new all-time closing high that left the benchmark index up an outstanding 16.24 percent year-to-date. Last week’s rise in the market was attributed to a sharp rally in the price of oil and greater optimism about this year’s holiday shopping season. However, there were relatively few reports on the economy released last week and trading volumes were extremely low due to Thanksgiving.


As a result, retail investors should probably avoid reading too heavily into last week’s price action. Moreover, December and January have historically been some of the best performing months for the stock market but the next few weeks should see a rapid rise in headlines out of Washington regarding tax reform, along with a big announcement on monetary policy from the Federal Reserve. All of this means that there will be lots of potential catalysts for a spike in market volatility. Savvy retirement investors, though, are not overly concerned about near-term fluctuations in equity valuations and instead focus more on long-term wealth creation through consistent participation in a tax-advantaged savings vehicle, dollar-cost averaging, and regularly consulting with a professional financial advisor. As always, we are here to help with any questions you may have.


To recap a few of the things we learned about the economy last holiday-shortened week, the positives included that existing home sales rose, durable goods orders (excluding transportation) increased, and first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell. As for the negatives, mortgage refinance applications declined, and core capital expenditures, an important proxy for U.S. business investment, unexpectedly decreased. This week the pace of economic data picks up with several important reports on housing, manufacturing, wage growth, and inflation scheduled to be released.


**A more detailed snapshot of the U.S. economy can be found here.**

What To Watch:








Sources: Econoday, FRBSL

Post author: Charles Couch