Money Talk Podcast, Friday Nov. 10, 2023
Landaas & Company newsletter November edition now available.
Advisors on This Week’s Show
(with Max Hoelzl and Joel Dresang, engineered by Blake Miller)
Week in Review (Nov. 6-10, 2023)
Significant Economic Indicators & Reports
No major releases
Imports rose more than exports in September, widening the U.S. trade gap by 4.9% to $61.5 billion. Cellphones and cars led the 2.7% increase in imports, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported. Exports rose 2.2%, led by petroleum products and soybeans. Through the first three quarters of 2023, the trade deficit widened 20% from the same time in 2022 to $147.4 billion. In that year, exports grew 1% while imports rose 4.2%. Trade deficits detract from gross domestic product, the broadest measure of overall economic growth.
The Federal Reserve reported that revolving consumer credit rose at an annual rate of 2.9% in September. The increase in credit card debt suggests consumer spending – which drives about two-thirds of the U.S. economy – remained resilient. It also hints at a possible slowdown, which the Fed has been trying to achieve by raising interest rates the past year and a half. The pace of credit card debt slowed from a 13.7% annual rate in August. The quarterly pace has been decelerating since the end of 2022. Credit card borrowing took two years to recover from its pre-pandemic peak. In contrast, it took a decade to recover from the financial collapse and the Great Recession.
No major releases
The four-week moving average for initial unemployment claims rose for the third week in a row to its highest level since mid-September. Data from the Labor Department showed the four-week average still down 42% from its 56-year average, reflecting continued reluctance by employers to let workers leave amid a tight hiring market. Nearly 1.6 million Americans were claiming jobless benefits in the latest week, up 0.1% from the week before and up 27% from the same time in 2022.
The University of Michigan said consumer sentiment is declining for the fourth month in a row. Despite higher opinions of their personal finances, consumers indicated in the university’s preliminary November report that high interest rates and the wars in Gaza and Ukraine soured their outlook on the economy. For the top third of stockholders, sentiment improved. The university said expectations for inflation generally rose from October, especially for gas prices.
MARKET CLOSINGS FOR THE WEEK
- Nasdaq – 13798, up 320 points or 2.4%
- Standard & Poor’s 500 – 4415, up 57 points or 1.3%
- Dow Jones Industrial – 34284, up 222 points or 0.7%
- 10-year U.S. Treasury Note – 4.63%, up 0.07 point