In this week’s recap: a first-rate Q3 GDP reading, mixed housing indicators, slightly weaker household sentiment, and a significant retreat for equities.
Weekly Economic Update
October 29, 2018
FIRST ESTIMATE OF Q3 GDP: 3.5%
A 4.0% gain in consumer spending and a 3.3% advance in government spending helped strengthen the economy in the three months ending in September. Bureau of Economic Analysis data shows that the past two quarters represent the best 6-month period for U.S. growth since 2014. It appears likely that the economy will expand more than 3% this year; if that happens, 2018 will enter the history books as the best year for the economy since 2005.1
NEW HOME SALES SLUMP, BUT PENDING HOME SALES IMPROVE
According to the Census Bureau, new home buying decreased 5.5% last month, even as the number of new homes on the market hit a nine-and-a-half-year high. The median sale price of $320,000 was 3.5% lower than it was in September 2017. Pending home sales surprised to the upside in September: they rose 0.5%. Economists polled by Briefing.com expected the National Association of Realtors to announce a housing contract activity decline of 0.3%.2,3
A SLIGHT DIP FOR CONSUMER SENTIMENT
Friday, the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for October appeared, bearing a reading of 98.6. This was 0.4 points below its preliminary October mark, but little cause for concern.3
MORE TURBULENCE ON WALL STREET
Investors would love to see the major indices recapture some of their October losses, and perhaps that will happen as the month ends. The Dow Industrials, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite all retreated significantly last week after five days of sizable ups and downs, as anxieties about reduced profit margins and rising interest rates lingered. The blue chips gave back 2.97% to settle at 24,688.31 Friday. Losing 3.78% for the week, the Nasdaq fell to 7,167.21 at Friday’s closing bell; across the same stretch, the S&P 500 slipped 3.94% to 2,658.69.4
Monday, the Department of Commerce presents its snapshot of September personal spending, and the September PCE price index appears; investors will also consider earnings from Akamai, Blackbaud, Bloomin’ Brands, Booz Allen Hamilton, Embraer, Mondelez, Nautilus, Transocean, U.S. Auto Parts, and Wingstop. | Tuesday, Wall Street reviews earnings from Aetna, Allergan PLC, Amgen, Anadarko Petroleum, AutoNation, Baidu, Baker Hughes, Big 5 Sporting Goods, BP, Brinker International, Coca-Cola, Container Store, Cummins, Curtiss Wright, Denny’s, Eaton, eBay, Edison International, Electronic Arts, Extra Space Storage, Facebook, Fiat Chrysler, Fresh Del Monte Produce, GE, Genworth Financial, Herbalife, Honda Motor Co., Huntsman, Hyatt Hotels, Mastercard, MGM Resorts, Pfizer, Public Storage, Regis Corp., Sony, Under Armour, Voya Financial, Vulcan Materials, Waddell & Reed, WestJet, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts; the latest Conference Board consumer confidence index and Case-Shiller home price index also arrive. | On Wednesday, the corporations announcing earnings include Air Canada, Allstate, AIG, Anthem, Chesapeake Energy, Clorox, Diebold Nixdorf, Estee Lauder, Express Scripts, Fitbit, Garmin, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Kellogg, Molson Coors, Sprint, Taylor Morrison, Yum! Brands, and Zynga, and ADP releases its September payrolls report. | The October ISM manufacturing PMI comes out Thursday, along with the September Challenger job-cut report, the latest initial unemployment claims numbers, and earnings from AMC Networks, Apple, Arcelor Mittal, Avon, CBRE Group, CBS, Cigna, Cirrus Logic, DowDuPont, Exelon, Fluor, GoPro, Hanesbrands, Kraft Heinz, Live Nation, Marathon Petroleum, MetLife, Motorola Solutions, Pitney Bowes, RE/MAX Holdings, Royal Dutch Shell, Shake Shack, Spotify, Starbucks, Symantec, U.S. Steel, Wayfair, and WW. | Friday, the Department of Labor issues its October employment report, and Alibaba, Chevron, Duke Energy, Enbridge, Exxon Mobil, Seagate Technology, and Willis Towers Watson offer earnings news.
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10 YR TIPS
Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 10/26/184,5,6,7 Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.
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1 - marketwatch.com/story/third-quarter-gdp-cools-a-bit-to-a-still-solid-35-rate-2018-10-26 [10/26/18]
2 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-24/u-s-new-home-sales-fall-more-than-forecast-to-least-since-2016 [10/24/18]
3 - briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2018/10/22-26 [10/26/18]
4 - markets.wsj.com/us [10/26/18]
5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=10%2F27%2F08&x=0&y=0 [10/26/18]< br>5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=10%2F27%2F08&x=0&y=0 [10/26/18]< br>5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=10%2F27%2F08&x=0&y=0 [10/26/18]
6 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [10/26/18]
7 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [10/26/18]
Posted on Mon, October 29, 2018
by Sound Financial