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Market Commentary by Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Chief Economist
The economic data reports were mixed, but mostly on the strong side of expectations. Retail sales rose 1.1% in September, while figures for July and August were revised higher. Industrial production rose a little more than anticipated, but manufacturing activity was down in the quarter as a whole. Residential construction activity surged in September (single-family permits up 6.7%), although improvement may have been inflated by the seasonal adjustment (19 working days last month, vs. 23 in August and 21 a year ago). The Consumer Price Index was boosted by higher energy costs, but the underlying trend in core inflation remained low.
While the economic data were mostly favorable, the stock market was more concerned with earnings reports, which were generally disappointing. News reports noting that we’re at the 25th anniversary of Black Monday probably didn’t help either.Next week, the economic data reports are among the most unreliable of the government’s data releases. Durable goods orders should reflect a rebound in aircraft orders, but for ex-transportation, the picture is unclear (the recent trend has been weak). New home sales are expected to have picked up, but these figures are choppy and subject to large revisions.
The advance GDP report for 3Q12 is likely to be the week’s highlight, but there’s a lot of uncertainty in the government’s initial growth estimate. Focus on the key components, consumer spending and business fixed investment. Personal consumption expenditures should have risen at a moderately strong pace. Business fixed investment is expected to have been weak. The Fed policy meeting should result in no change in interest rates or in the Fed’s asset purchase program, but we could get some minor changes in the wording of the Fed’s economic assessment.
Consumer Money Rates
Treasury Yield Curve – 10/19/2012
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 10/19/2012
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 October 18th, 2012.
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, Volatility, Weekly Market Capacity Utilization, Weekly Market Snapshot
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