By Bill Hornbarger, Chief Investment Officer
Three Things to Watch
- Despite a full calendar of important economic news, the markets will focus on the new emerging coronavirus strain in South Africa. The news that it could be more transmissible and the uncertainty surrounding the efficacy of vaccinations against it, will overshadow what is expected to be strong economic news this week.
- Economic releases this week include consumer confidence on Tuesday, ISM Manufacturing on Wednesday, and the employment report on Friday. The ISM report is expected at a strong 61.1 with prices remaining elevated and 535,000 new jobs are forecast to have been added in November, with the unemployment rate expected to decline to 4.5%, the lowest since the pandemic started last March.
- The Fed will also be in the news this week with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testifying in front of Congress (with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen) on Tuesday and Wednesday on the coronavirus and the CARES Act. The Beige Book will also be released on Wednesday.
Three Things to Know
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 905 points or 2.5% on Friday in its worst day since October 2020. The S&P 500 and Russell 2000 were down 2.3% and 3.7% respectively, on the same day. (Source: msn/money)
- Shoppers returned to stores on Black Friday this year, but traffic remained well below pre-pandemic levels. Visits to stores and shopping centers climbed 48% from a year ago while trailing 2019 traffic by 28%. One reason this year’s gain wasn’t larger is that retailers spread out traffic peaks by starting holiday deals early. (Source: Sensormatic Solutions)
- The average new car purchased in the United States in September cost $45,031, an all-time record price and up 12.1% from $40,159 as of September 2020 (Source: MFS, Kelley Blue Book)
The above information reflects the current opinion of the author. It is based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward-looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security mentioned.