U.S. and World News
- Saudi Arabia’s handling of the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist working for the Washington Post, is under sharp criticism as the story continues to change nearly every day. The latest announcement from Saudi prosecutors was yesterday, when they stated that the killing was in fact premeditated. This morning, President Erdogan of Turkey stated that “Turkey has other information and evidence about the killing by Saudi officials after Khashoggi entered the consulate on October 2nd, and it will eventually reveal that information”. Whether the crown prince of Saudi Arabia knew of the murder and the location of the body are the two mysteries that remain. The incident has put a strain on a long standing strong relationship with the United States and Saudi Arabia.
- Stocks plummeted this week as volatility picked up further. The S&P 500 lost 3.93% and closed at 2,659. The Dow Jones fell by 2.97% and closed at 24,688. Year to date, the S&P is up 1.03% and the Dow Jones is up 1.67%.
- Yields also fell sharply this week as investors piled into bonds this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.91% and 3.08%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil was down for yet another week, losing 2.32% and closing at $67.67 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 12.58%.
- The spot price of Gold rose 0.61% this week, and closed at $1,233.95 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 5.28%.
- Initial jobless claims rose by 5,000 to 215,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims remained unchanged at 212,000. Claims rose by 4,000 in Florida and by 3,000 in Georgia as a result of Hurricane Michael.
- Durable goods orders rose by 0.8% in September versus expectations of a -1.5% decrease. This was led by defense aircraft.
- Durable goods orders ex-transports rose by 0.1% in September versus expectations of a 0.4% increase.
- Core capital goods orders fell by 0.1% in September versus expectations for a 0.5% increase.
- New home sales fell 5.5% in September to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 553,000 units versus expectations for 625,000 units. Sales fell the most in the Northeast region (-40.6%).
- Pending home sales rose by 0.5% in September versus expectations for no change. Pending home sales rose the most in the West region (+4.5%).
- Real GDP rose by 3.5% in the third quarter, beating expectations of a 3.3% increase.
- Personal consumption rose by 4.0% versus expectations of 3.3%, the fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2014.
- The Core PCE Price index rose by 1.6% in the third quarter versus expectations for a 1.8% increase.
- The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment fell by 0.4 points to 98.6 in October versus expectations for a reading of 99.0.
Fact of the Week
- The largest one day decline in the S&P 500 happened on “Black Monday” (10/19/87), when the index dropped 20.5%, equal to 58 points. A 20.5% drop today would be equal to 545 points. The largest one day drop so far this year was 113 points. (Source: BTN Research)
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