Market Perspective for November 30, 2018

Equities rallied today, ahead of the G20 meetings in Buenos Aires. The S&P 500 Index gained 0.82 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and NASDAQ both gained 0.79 percent. The Russell 2000 Index increased 0.52 percent.

Technology stocks led the market for the week, pulling the Nasdaq higher by 5.64 percent. SPDR Technology (XLK) gained 6.05 percent.

The consumer discretionary and communication services sectors advanced this week. SPDR Consumer Discretionary (XLY) increased 5.77 percent and SPDR Communication Services (XLC) 4.99 percent. AT&T (T) announced it will launch a streaming service to compete with Netflix (NFLX) and Disney+ (DIS). SPDR Healthcare (XLV) also was a leader this week. It gained 5.89 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Powell said interest rates are close to their neutral rate, a significant shift from his comments two months ago. The minutes from the November Fed meeting backed up Powell’s comments. Treasury bond yields edged lower at the short-end of the curve but held steady at the long-end.

New home sales missed expectations in October at an annualized pace of 544,000. Weekly claims for unemployment edged up to 234,000 but remain near multi-decade lows.

Crude oil stabilized this week. It briefly dipped below $50 a barrel on Thursday but spent most of the week trading between $50 and $52 a barrel. Natural gas was more volatile. It bounced more than 10 percent on Wednesday. SPDR Energy (XLE) advanced 3.36 percent.

SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) gained 4.75 percent, MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM) 3.27 percent and iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) 1.63 percent, respectively.

 

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