Stocks edged higher last week, with the S&P 500 rising by 0.25 percent to 2,263.79. This small gain left the benchmark index up 10.76 percent year-to-date, and just 0.35 percent below the all-time closing high hit earlier this month. During the past five days, stocks traded within their narrowest weekly range of 2016. That was not too surprising ahead of the Christmas holiday when many large institutional traders had likely already begun their winter vacations. Volumes could remain light this week as well, although an uptick in volatility around Thursday and Friday related to both end-of-month and end-of-year repositioning is possible. For retail investors, the point is to not read too heavily into the recent price action of the market, which likely will not return to "normal" until January. Moreover, the focus of retirement investors should remain on the long-term goal of building wealth through consistent participation in the highly resilient stock market. Such efforts can be enhanced with the use of tax-advantaged savings vehicles, 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 week, the positives included that mortgage and refinance applications increased, existing home sales lifted, new home sales rose, housing inflation eased, consumer sentiment firmed, regional manufacturing activity rebounded, core durable goods orders improved, and U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2016 grew by more than previously estimated. As for the negatives, services sector activity cooled, income growth stalled, consumer spending moderated, corporate profits growth in the third quarter was revised lower, and the number of Americans making first-time claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly jumped. This holiday-shortened week the pace of economic data remains slow but there are still several important reports on housing, manufacturing, employment, and consumers scheduled to be released.
A more detailed snapshot of the U.S. economy can be found here.
What To Watch:
- US Holiday: Christmas (Obs)
- Markets Closed
- S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI9:00 AM ET
- Consumer Confidence10:00 AM ET
- Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index10:00 AM ET
- State Street Investor Confidence Index10:00 AM ET
- Dallas Fed Mfg Survey10:30 AM ET
- 2-Yr Note Auction 1:00 PM ET
- International Trade in Goods8:30 AM ET
- Jobless Claims8:30 AM ET
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index9:45 AM ET
- EIA Natural Gas Report10:30 AM ET
- EIA Petroleum Status Report11:00 AM ET
- 7-Yr Note Auction 1:00 PM ET
Sources: Econoday, Twitter, Bloomberg, Advisor Perspectives, FRBSL
Post author: Charles Couch