Economic Update 10/31/16

ECONOMY EXPANDS 2.9% in THIRD QUARTER

After just 1.4% growth in Q2, this was welcome news. Surging exports and greater inventory investment and federal spending made Q3 the best quarter for the economy in two years, according to the Department of Commerce. The federal government’s core PCE price index was up 1.7% for the quarter versus 1.8% in Q2.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDICES DESCEND

Last week, the Conference Board’s gauge of household confidence came in at 98.6 for October, down from 103.5 in September. The University of Michigan’s final October consumer sentiment index slipped to 87.2 from its prior mark of 87.9.

PENDING HOME SALES REBOUND

The National Association of Realtors noted a 1.5% gain in housing contract activity in September, following a 2.5% downturn in August. The August S&P/Case-Shiller home price index revealed a 5.3% annual rise in U.S. home values.2

BLUE CHIPS FARE BEST DURING A MIXED WEEK

Across five trading days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.09% to settle at 18,161.19 Friday. Weekly losses struck the S&P 500 (0.69% to 2,126.41) and Nasdaq Composite (1.28% to 5,190.10).

THIS WEEK: September consumer spending figures are out on Monday, along with earnings from Aegion, Anadarko Petroleum, Loews, Nautilus, and Tesoro. Tuesday, ISM releases its October factory PMI and Archer Daniels Midland, Coach, Cummins, Electronic Arts, Gilead Sciences, Kellogg, Molson Coors, Mosaic, Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum, Papa John’s, Pfizer, Square, U.S. Steel, Western Union, and Wingstop announce earnings. Wednesday, the Federal Reserve makes its latest policy statement, ISM’s service sector PMI appears, ADP issues its September payrolls report, and earnings news arrives from Allergan, Allstate, AIG, Anthem, Avis Budget, Clorox, Estee Lauder, Facebook, GoDaddy, iHeartMedia, Marathon Oil, MetLife, Office Depot, Prudential, Red Robin, Sunoco, Take-Two Interactive, Time Warner, Transocean, Whole Foods, Yelp, and Zynga. The October Challenger job-cut report and the latest initial claims figures come out Thursday, and Alamo Group, AMC Networks, Avon, Chesapeake Energy, Cigna, Fluor, GoPro, Hyatt Hotels, Icahn Enterprises, Kemper, Kraft Heinz, Lions Gate, Monster Beverage, Noble Corp., Starbucks, and TiVo all join the earnings parade. Friday, the Department of Labor provides its October jobs report, and Duke Energy, Humana, Jamba, and Revlon present earnings.

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