U.S. and World News
- The President of the European Central Bank hinted this week at the possible need for the Eurozone to expand is QE program. This is based on comments that Mario Draghi made in Brussels in which he said that downside economic risks are clearly visible, which may translate to an increase in the ECB’s monetary policy measures at the next policy meeting in December.
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- China has taken another step to boost its yuan currency’s global usage by announcing it will start direct trading with the Swiss franc. The franc marks the 7th major currency outside of the U.S. dollar that can be exchanged directly for the yuan. The announcement comes ahead of an International Monetary Fund meeting this month that will consider the inclusion of the yuan in its Special Drawing Rights Basket, putting it on par with the U.S. dollar, yen, euro and pound sterling in terms of international acceptance.
- The leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies, known as the G20, are set to meet in Turkey starting on Sunday. Among others, items to be discussed at the global forum include bank regulation, tax cooperation, global growth, the Syrian civil war and the Iranian nuclear deal. G20 countries account for 85% of the world economy, 75% of world trade and 67% of the world’s population.
- Equity markets reversed their recent course, heading negative this week. The S&P 500 ended the week down 3.56%, closing at 2,023. Similarly, the Dow Jones decreased 3.64% and closed at 17,245. Year to date, the S&P is up 0.08% and the Dow is down 1.13%.
- Yields in the Treasury markets moved lower this week after last week’s spike upwards. The 10 year Treasury bond now yields 2.28% while the 5 year Treasury bond now yields 1.67%.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell significantly again this week. Prices decreased by 7.97% closing at $40.76 per barrel. In 2015, WTI Oil prices are down 31.44%.
- The spot price of Gold decreased this week, losing 0.55% and closing at a 52-week low of $1,083.82 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are down 8.49%.
- Initial jobless claims came in at 276,000 which was unchanged from the prior week’s figure. The Labor Department noted that there were no special factors that affected the claims figure. The four week moving average for claims now stands at 268,000.
- Retail sales in October disappointed against consensus expectations, rising just 0.1%. Core retail sales (excluding auto sales) showed a gain of 0.2% in October, also missing estimates.
- The University of Michigan’s measure of consumer sentiment was stronger than expected in the preliminary November reading at 93.1, an increase from the 90.0 level seen in October. Both consumers’ assessment of current conditions and household expectations of the future increased during the month.
Fact of the Week
- A large portion of the Friday the 13th superstition can be traced to the 1907 novel by Thomas Lawson, entitled Friday, the Thirteenth. In it, the antagonist, an evil stock broker takes advantage of the public’s fear of the number 13 to crash the market and cause Wall Street panic on Friday the 13th. Despite the negative connotation, the Dow Jones has been positive 66% of the time on these dates. Although it is a different story when the occurrence is in the month of November; the market has fallen 70% of those November occurrences (including today). (Source: Art Cashin)
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