Economic Update 11-27-2023
- In a holiday-shortened week, economic data included the index of leading economic indicators continuing their slide downward over the past half-year. Durable goods orders also declined, as did existing home sales. On the positive side, jobless claims fell back.
- Equities were slightly higher last week, on light volume in the U.S. and few dramatic data releases. Bonds were mixed as interest rates ticked slightly higher, but spirits were boosted by a decent auction for long-term U.S. Treasuries. Commodities were also mixed with gains in metals offset by a slight drop in oil prices.
U.S. stocks ended the light volume holiday week slightly higher, with minimal economic information to review. Every sector ended in the positive, led by health care and consumer staples, while energy lagged with minimal gains, following minimal change in petroleum prices. The closely-watched earnings news from Magnificent 7 member Nvidia resulted in a beat of earnings and revenue expectations, but a stock price decline related to forward-looking guidance related to China. Otherwise, the drama for the week included the conclusion of the OpenAI executive suite drama, following the firing of the CEO, his move to primary investor Microsoft, and then a return to the artificial intelligence firm by Thanksgiving after an employee revolt. The newsworthiness of this is less financial in the near-term, but remains tied to excitement about which firms become most dominant in AI and the battle over commercialization—much of which remains to be determined.