Global equities were up on the week in the range of 1-2% with broad participation across market cap and region. Stocks are now in the real “Santa Claus” rally window, which is the last five trading days in December plus the first two in January.
There was a little more housing activity than expected in November. Most of the housing data reported this week came in better than expected with 1.712 million building permits issued.
Despite a big rebound to the end the week, equities were trying to get back lost ground. As we have noted earlier, the breadth has seen better days with the average stock significantly underperforming the S&P 500.
November was another month where the unemployment rate came in better than expected. The rate of 4.2% shows continued employment gains through 2021. The preannouncement consensus was for unemployment to go down to 4.5% from October’s 4.6%.
Equity markets took a sharp drop this week, which was kickstarted by the worst Black Friday return ever. New virus concerns didn’t help things nor did hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell when testifying before the U.S.
Durable orders decreased for the second month in a row. The October drop of 0.5% or $1.2 billion was driven by a decrease in the ordering of transportation equipment. Transportation equipment ordering has been down three of the last four months.
Retail sales in October were the highest they have ever been. The increase of 1.7% outpaced the expected increase of 1.2%. The largest increase of 4% came from non-store retailers.
Equity markets maintained their post Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting gains whereas bond yields reversed course and headed lower. Index level dispersion was minimal with large caps, small caps, and NASDAQ all posting gains between 0.5% to 1.0%.