Weekly Economic Update – 11/22/2023

The Week on Wall Street

Stocks extended their November rally last week as investors cheered lower-than-forecast inflation data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.94%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 2.24%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 2.37% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, increased 3.36%.1,2,3

Stocks March Higher

A better-than-anticipated consumer inflation number on Tuesday sent bond yields sharply lower, igniting a powerful, exceptionally broad-based rally that saw 91% of all New York Stock Exchange volume advancing in price and a similarly substantial advance (85%) on the NASDAQ. Small-cap stock performance was solid, surging 5.2%, more than double the advance of the S&P 500.4

Further gains came the following day as wholesale price inflation rose even slower than consumer prices. The rally paused in the final days of trading as stocks digested their gains and investors assessed weak retail sales and industrial production reports and a rise in continuing jobless claims.

Inflation Cools

Two inflation reports released last week, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI), showed continued inflation progress. Consumer prices were flat in October from the previous month, while the 12-month increase was 3.2%. Both were below market forecasts. Core CPI (excluding food and energy) also moderated, rising just 0.2% in October and 4.0% from a year ago–below forecast. The climb in the annual core CPI was the lowest in two years.5

Producer prices confirmed the disinflationary picture, as wholesale prices declined 0.5% in October (versus a +0.1% forecast). It was the biggest decline in 3 ½ years. Over the last 12 months, wholesale prices rose just 1.3%.6

Weekly Riddle

A man tells you there are 12 seconds in a year. This sounds absurd, but in what sense is he correct?

Last week’s riddle: It is found in the ground, round as a circle and yards deeper than a cup, and a hundred horses cannot pull it up. It isn’t going anywhere; it cannot think; it might provide you with something to drink. What is it?

 Answer: A well.

John Dombroski Jr. may be reached at (480) 991-1055 or [email protected]
www.grandcanyonplanning.com

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