Weekly Economic Update
MidAmerica Financial Resources Presents:
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
- Anne Frank
Here’s a New Year’s resolution worth considering: maxing out your annual contributions to retirement accounts in 2014. If you haven’t been doing this, see if you can do it next year.
It softly goes up and down the stairs in many homes and office buildings, and yet it never moves. What could it be?
Last week’s riddle:
It is in seconds, seasons, centuries and minutes, but you won’t find it in years, decades or days. What is it?
Last week’s answer:
The letter N.
December 30, 2013
A HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON TO CELEBRATE
Good news from the Commerce Department: November brought a healthy 0.5% gain in personal spending (matching the consensus forecast of economists polled by Briefing.com) and a 0.2% rise in personal income that offset the 0.1% retreat in October. SpendingPulse, which tracks online and in-store retail purchases, says that retail sales increased 3.5% during the holiday season. It reports that 2013’s holiday spending was 2.3% greater than in 2012; the International Council of Shopping Centers puts the gain at 2.7%.1,2
NO CHANGE IN CONSUMER SENTIMENT
Against expectations, the University of Michigan’s final December consumer sentiment index came in at 82.5 – exactly where it was at the end of November. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com had projected the index to end 2013 at 83.3.1
NEW HOME SALES DOWN, BUT UP FROM SUMMER
November’s 2.1% dip in new home buying seemed to reflect buyers adjusting to higher mortgage rates. Still, the pace of new home purchases (a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000) was up nicely from July and August (when it was below 400,000). In November, new home sales were up 17% from a year ago; the Commerce Department noted a median price of $270,900, representing a 10.6% year-over-year gain.3
MORE DEMAND FOR DURABLES
Orders for hard goods were up 3.5% in November, 1.2% with transportation orders removed. The Census Bureau revised its October durable goods report to show an 0.7% overall retreat.1
STOCKS POST WEEKLY GAINS
A short trading week saw the S&P 500 advancing another 1.27% to 1,841.40, the Dow climbing 1.59% to 16,478.41 and the NASDAQ gaining 1.26% to 4,156.59.4,5,6
THIS WEEK: Monday, the National Association of Realtors puts out its November pending home sales report. October’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the Conference Board’s December consumer confidence index both appear on Tuesday; New Year’s Eve is a regular trading day for both the NYSE and NASDAQ, but the U.S. bond market should wrap things up at 2:00pm EST. U.S. financial markets are closed Wednesday (New Year’s Day). ISM’s December manufacturing PMI is the big news item on Thursday, with weekly jobless claims figures also being released. Friday, the Commerce Department issues data on December car and truck sales.
Sources: CNNMoney.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 12/27/134,5,6,7,8,9
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This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. Marketing Library.Net Inc. is not affiliated with any broker or brokerage firm that may be providing this information to you. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.
1 - briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2013/12/23-27 [12/27/13]
2 - bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-26/u-s-holiday-sales-rise-3-5-spendingpulse-says.html [12/26/13]
3 - marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-approach-fastest-pace-since-2008-2013-12-24 [12/24/13]
4 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/dow [12/27/13]
5 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/nasdaq/ [12/27/13]
6 - money.cnn.com/data/markets/sandp/ [12/27/13]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F27%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/27/13]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F27%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/27/13]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F27%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/27/13]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F26%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/27/13]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F26%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/27/13]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F26%2F08&x=0&y=0 [12/27/13]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F26%2F03&x=0&y=0 [12/27/13]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F26%2F03&x=0&y=0 [12/27/13]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F26%2F03&x=0&y=0 [12/27/13]
8 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/27/13]
9 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/27/13]
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Weekly Economic Update