Hope all is well with you and your families. The major U.S. stock indexes climbed for the third week in a row, but at a far slower pace than in the previous two weeks, as the indexes’ weekly gains were less than 1%. Earnings season began with several of the major U.S. banks reporting that their third-quarter results were boosted by strong trading and investment banking revenue. Overall, companies across the S&P 500 are expected to report a roughly 20% decline in earnings, according to FactSet. I have chosen to break down this week's market news using quotes from the movie The Big Lebowski.
"Well, sir, it’s this rug I have, it really tied the room together."-The Dude
Americans are shopping again for rugs, clothes and many other items. U.S. retail sales rose by a better-than-expected 1.9% in September. The latest gain marks the fifth consecutive monthly increase—a string that has returned retail sales to pre-pandemic levels and then some.
"Are you employed sir?"-The Big Lebowski
The number of people filing new applications for unemployment benefits has remained stubbornly high, despite recent months’ progress in reducing the U.S. unemployment rate. The latest weekly report showed that unemployment claims climbed to a higher-than-expected 898,000, the most since late August.
"You see what happens! This is what happens when.."-Walter Sobchak
Globally, we will see what happens when you can't agree on economic decisions during a pandemic. In the UK we are on the brink of Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that the United Kingdom will prepare to leave the European Union’s single market at year end without a Brexit trade agreement in place. Continued uncertainty over terms of the U.K divorce from the EU weighed on European stocks throughout the week, as did rising coronavirus cases. Here in the US, politicians are unable to put their differences aside as prospects diminish for virus related economic relief. The next round of stimulus remained elusive, as the White House and leaders of the House and Senate continued to disagree over details.
I continue to believe that the uncertainty will lead to volatility in the short term but longer term stocks will continue to offer the most growth opportunity long term. I am here to help at any time. If you would like to schedule a phone/web conference appointment, I have included a link to my calendar below and you can self schedule. For those of you who prefer an in person meeting I am now scheduling in person meetings as well, please email me if you would prefer an in person appointment.
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