“No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it.”
Before 2016 begins, take a look at your spending patterns. Which expenses are necessary, which less so? In reviewing them, you could spot opportunities to save money next year.
They are found around the world, attached to ground. They lack mouths, yet they enjoy a light meal each day. What are they?
Last week’s riddle
Normally flat and often inscribed, it can fall off the tallest building and land unscathed, but it can fall off a kayak or raft and be ruined. What is it?
Last week’s answer
A piece of paper.
CONSUMER SPENDING IMPROVES 0.3%
This November increase matched the forecast of economists polled by Briefing.com, and it was a nice change after a flat October reading (revised down from an initially reported 0.1% gain). Consumer incomes also rose 0.3% in November.1
HOUSEHOLD OPTIMISM INCREASES IN DECEMBER
At mid-month, the preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment index presented a reading of 91.8. Last week, it rose slightly to 92.6. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com expected a final December reading of 92.0.1
RULE CHANGES HAMPER EXISTING HOME SALES
New mortgage disclosure rules instituted by the federal government delayed some closings in November. Therefore, the 10.5% slip in resales reported by the National Association of Realtors was not all that surprising. New home sales fared better in November: the Census Bureau reported a 4.3% increase. Year-over-year, new home buying was up 9.1%.2
FINAL Q3 GDP NUMBER: 2.0%
The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its third-quarter growth estimate last week; its prior appraisal was 2.1%. In a development related to this quarter’s GDP, hard goods orders were flat in November.1
OIL REBOUNDS, STOCKS FOLLOW SUIT
The NYMEX price of WTI crude settled at $38.10 a barrel Christmas Eve, rising 5.7% for the trading week. Wall Street, as a consequence, had its best week since mid-November. The S&P 500 rose 2.76% during three-and-a-half trading days to 2,060.99, while the Dow gained 2.47% to 17,552.17, and the Nasdaq advanced 2.55% t0 5,048.49.3,4
Nothing major is scheduled for Monday. Tuesday sees the release of the October S&P/Case-Shiller home price index and the Conference Board’s December consumer confidence index. On Wednesday, NAR’s November pending home sales index appears. The Labor Department issues a weekly jobless claims report on Thursday, which is also New Year’s Eve; the bond market will close at 2:00pm EST, but the NYSE and NASDAQ will be open regular hours. New Year’s Day falls on Friday, with all U.S. financial markets closed.
|% CHANGE||Y-T-D||1-YR CHG||5-YR AVG||10-YR AVG|
|REAL YIELD||11/20 RATE||1 YR AGO||5 YRS AGO||10 YRS AGO|
|10 YR TIPS||0.73%||0.59%||1.08%||2.07%|
wsj.com, bigcharts.com, finance.yahoo.com, treasury.gov – 12/24/155,6,7,8
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional..
1 – briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2015/12/21-25 [12/23/15]
2 – foxbusiness.com/economy-policy/2015/12/23/new-home-sales [12/23/15]
3 – marketwatch.com/story/oil-futures-end-higher-post-strong-gains-in-holiday-shortened-week-2015-12-24 [12/24/15]
4 – cnbc.com/2015/12/24/us-markets.html [12/24/15]
5 – markets.wsj.com/us [12/24/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F24%2F14&x=0&y=0 [12/24/15]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/24/15]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/24/15]