Hey Folks, we have a big holiday in the US coming up this coming week with Thanksgiving on Thursday and markets closed and only open a half day on Friday. Naturally volume will be very light as the official Black Friday shopping day kicks off…and with COVID making another comeback some Government Officials are appearing to overstep their boundaries even telling folks how many people they can have over for the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Either way, the financial markets are near all time highs and appears to march to the beat of its own drummer. Get our take below in this week’s Round-Up.
WEEKLY SOUND BITES;
• The major indexes ended mixed, as good news on the coronavirus vaccine was offset by worries about the worsening of the pandemic in most parts of the country. The DOW, the S&P MidCap, and the small-cap Russell 2000 Index all reached new intraday highs in the first part of the week before giving up their gains. Energy shares outperformed as oil prices rose on hopes for an end to the pandemic in 2021, as well as signals that OPEC and other major oil exporters would delay a global production increase planned for January. Health care and utilities shares lagged. Portfolio Managers are the most overweight Equities (more bullish) since Jan 2018 and cut cash holdings to their lowest levels since April of this year…The spread between the Bulls & Bears exceeded 40% showing an extreme level of exuberance…and the ratio of insider sales to purchases exceeded 58:1 which is also consistent with interim market peaks..
• Further evidence emerged during the week that the pandemic and its drag on the economy would get worse before the vaccines would become widely available, however. New local shutdowns and restrictions were announced across the country as case counts rose and hospital systems grew more stressed. Sentiment seemed to take a particular blow from news Wednesday that the New York City public school system, the nation’s largest, would be switching to remote learning. It also appeared unlikely that substantial federal fiscal aid would help offset the impact of the surge in the virus, as it had in the spring. The chances for a bipartisan agreement on a new stimulus package appeared to remain slim…
• The week’s economic data arguably provided evidence for the Fed’s continued caution. Weekly jobless claims rose for the first time in over a month, from 711,000 to 742,000. Continuing claims through state insurance programs continued to fall, from 6.8 million to 6.4 million, although the drop was mostly offset by rising claims through a federal program providing extended benefits, from around 4.1 million to 4.4 million. Retail sales excluding autos in October missed expectations and grew at the slowest pace (0.2%) since April. Industrial production rose a bit more than expected in October, but regional manufacturing gauges indicated slowing expansion.
• The mixed economic outlook and growing coronavirus concerns pushed the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to its lowest level in two weeks. (Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.) The broad municipal bond market delivered solid gains through most of the week and extended its outperformance versus Treasuries for the month-to-date period.
Enjoy this week’s Market Round-Up;
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