November 1, 2023
The Markets (as of market close October 31, 2023)
The most recent inflation data demonstrated the challenges the Federal Reserve faces in trying to bring down rising prices, with annual core prices for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the personal consumption expenditures price index remaining well above the 2.0% target set by the Fed. Prices for shelter and food climbed higher, while energy prices dipped lower.
The economy has proven resilient despite the threat of a government shutdown, an autoworkers strike, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the Israel-Hamas conflict. Third-quarter gross domestic product expanded at an annualized rate of 4.9%, according to the advance estimate. While subsequent iterations for the third quarter could see a reduction in growth as more complete data is made available, the economy clearly expanded above expectations in the third quarter. Consumer spending, which makes up about 70.0% of the economy, rose, with increased spending in durable goods, nondurable goods, and services. However, that trend may not last, as consumers may have to tighten their purse strings in light of high interest rates, while the resumption of student loan payments and dwindling pandemic-era savings might eat into their budgets.
Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark the performance of specific investments.
The Federal Open Market Committee concludes its two-day meeting on November 1. Another interest rate increase will likely come out of that meeting or when they next meet in December. The markets will look to rebound from three consecutive monthly downturns.
Data sources: Economic: Based on data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (unemployment, inflation); U.S. Department of Commerce (GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, housing); S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index (home prices); Institute for Supply Management (manufacturing/services). Performance: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI, Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e., wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Forecasts are based on current conditions, subject to change, and may not come to pass. U.S. Treasury securities are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. The principal value of Treasury securities and other bonds fluctuates with market conditions. Bonds are subject to inflation, interest-rate, and credit risks. As interest rates rise, bond prices typically fall. A bond sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 largest, publicly traded companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. The U.S. Dollar Index is a geometrically weighted index of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to six foreign currencies. Market indexes listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.
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