Weekly Economic Update 1/4/2016

January 4, 2016

HOUSEHOLDS MORE OPTIMISTIC AS 2016 APPROACHES
In December, consumer confidence increased. The Conference Board’s respected index posted a reading of 96.5 in the last month of the year, 3.9 points above its revised November mark. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected a reading of just 93.5. (1)

PENDING HOME SALES INDEX FALLS
The National Association of Realtors reported a 0.9% decrease in housing contract activity in November, in contrast to the 0.5% improvement that economists contacted by the Wall Street Journal had expected. Pending home sales were still up 2.7% annually through November, despite declining for three of the past four months. (2)

HOME PRICES ADVANCE 5.5% YEAR-OVER-YEAR
This annualized gain in the latest (October) edition of the 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index is the largest recorded since August 2014. Through October, the Case-Shiller had risen 36.4% from its March 2012 low. (1,3)

S&P 500 POSTS SMALL LOSS FOR 2015
At the close on December 31, the broad benchmark settled at 2,043.94, going -0.21% for the shortened trading week and -0.73% for the year. The Dow ended 2015 at 17,425.03, going -0.18% for the week and -2.23% year-over-year. Of the three major U.S. indices, only the NASDAQ had a positive 2015; after a -0.20% weekly descent to a December 31 close of 5,007.41, its yearly performance was still strongly in the plus column at +5.73%. Oil ended the year at $37.04 on the NYMEX, posting a 30.5% 2015 loss; gold ended 2015 at $1,060.20 on the COMEX, down 10.5% for the year. (4,5)

THIS WEEK: ISM’s December manufacturing PMI appears Monday, and markets will also react to China’s latest factory PMI readings. Sonic and SuperValu present earnings on Tuesday. Wall Street will scrutinize the minutes from the December Federal Reserve policy meeting on Wednesday, as well as the December ADP employment change report, the December ISM non-manufacturing PMI and earnings from Monsanto. The December Challenger job-cut report arrives on Thursday, plus new initial claims figures and earnings from Barracuda Networks, Bed Bath & Beyond, Constellation Brands, The Container Store, KB Home, PriceSmart, Ruby Tuesday, WD-40, and Walgreens Boots Alliance. Investors will consider the Labor Department’s December jobs report on Friday.

WEEKLY QUOTE

“To imagine the unimaginable is the highest use of the imagination.”
– Cynthia Ozick

WEEKLY TIP
As the year begins, review your estate plan to see if there are any documents that need revising.

WEEKLY RIDDLE
There is an adjective. When you take away the whole from it, some still remains. What adjective is this?

Last week’s riddle:
They are found around the world, attached to ground. They lack mouths, yet they enjoy a “light” meal each day. What are they?

Last week’s answer:
Plants.

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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

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Citations.
1 – briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2015/12/28-01 [12/30/15]
2 – foxbusiness.com/economy-policy/2015/12/30/pending-home-sales-post-unexpected-drop-in-november/ [12/30/15]
3 – marketwatch.com/story/double-digit-home-price-gains-continue-in-some-cities-spcase-shiller-says-2015-12-29 [12/29/15]
4 – markets.wsj.com/us [12/24/15, 12/31/15]
5 – schaeffersresearch.com/content/ezines/2015/12/31/s-p-dow-jones-industrial-average-snap-annual-winning-streaks [12/31/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F31%2F10&x=0&y=0 [12/31/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F31%2F10&x=0&y=0 [12/31/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F31%2F10&x=0&y=0 [12/31/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F30%2F05&x=0&y=0 [12/31/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F30%2F05&x=0&y=0 [12/31/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F30%2F05&x=0&y=0 [12/31/15]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/31/15]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/31/15]

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