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Market Commentary by Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Chief Economist
The economic data calendar was thin. Weekly claims for unemployment insurance benefits fell, but the numbers are normally choppy during this time of year (still, the underlying trend may be edging down due to better seasonal hiring this year). The September trade deficit was a bit narrower than assumed in the advance GDP report. Imports and exports fell sharply during the recession (narrowing the trade deficit considerably) and partly rebounded in the recovery (leading to a resumed widening of the deficit). However, recent figures suggest a flattening in these trends (and perhaps some stabilization in the size of the trade deficit, at least in the near term).
There was much interest ahead of the G-20 meeting (as with any such meeting), but these things always disappoint. The G-20 communiqué suggested no progress on reducing global imbalances or relieving monetary and fiscal policy tensions. The euro weakened on renewed sovereign debt worries (this time focusing mostly on Ireland, where austerity moves have done nothing to instill confidence).
Next week, the economic calendar picks up with a vengeance. The focus should be on the reports of retail sales, industrial production, and residential construction, which are all expected to be moderate. The inflation reports will reflect some boost from higher gasoline prices (amplified by the seasonal adjustment, which is expecting price declines), but core inflation should remain low. While the markets could react to any surprises in the data – and with so many reports, there’s a good chance of something unexpected – the figures aren’t likely to significantly alter the overall economic picture (that is, moderate growth, but not especially strong).
Consumer Money Rates
Treasury Yield Curve – 11/12/2010
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 11/12/2010
Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. There are special risks involved with global investing related to market and currency fluctuations, economic and political instability, and different financial accounting standards. The above material has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. There is no assurance that any trends mentioned will continue in the future. While interest on municipal bonds is generally exempt from federal income tax, it may be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax, state or local taxes. In addition, certain municipal bonds (such as Build America Bonds) are issued without a federal tax exemption, which subjects the related interest income to federal income tax. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss.
US government bonds and treasury bills are guaranteed by the US government and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and guaranteed principal value. US government bonds are issued and guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by the federal government. Treasury bills are certificates reflecting short-term (less than one year) obligations of the US government.
Commodities trading is generally considered speculative because of the significant potential for investment loss. Markets for commodities are likely to be volatile and there may be sharp price fluctuations even during periods when prices overall are rising. Specific sector investing can be subject to different and greater risks than more diversified investments.
Tax Equiv Muni yields (TEY) assume a 35% tax rate on triple-A rated, tax-exempt insured revenue bonds.
The information contained herein has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Data source: Bloomberg, as of close of business Noverber 11th, 2010.
Frazier Allen, WMS, CRPS, Financial Advisor with F&M Bank
Web Site: http://www.raymondjames.com/frazierallen
TopicsCapacity Utilization, Consumer Price Index, Economic Data, European Debt, Federal Open Market Committee, Financial Markets, Frazier Allen, Global Equity Markets, Gross Domestic Product, Index of Leading Economic Indicators, Manufacturing Output, Raymond James, Raymond James Investment Services, Scott J. Brown, Seasonal Adjustment, Short-Term Interest Rates, Thanksgiving, Volatility, Weekly Market Snapshot
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