Market Commentary, 11/20/18

Stocks couldn’t maintain their positive momentum and ended the week with the S&P 500 falling 1.6%, the Dow down 2.2%, and the Nasdaq off 2.1%. The S&P 500 Index remained close to its level at the start of November but was nearly 7% below its record high reached in September.

The S&P 500 finished the week with gains on Thursday and Friday, but that wasn’t enough to offset the market’s shaky start to the week. The biggest decline came on Monday, when weakness in the technology sector weighed on the broader market.

In addition to declines in the US market, the British pound fell sharply as several members of UK Prime Minister’s Theresa May’s cabinet resigned over the deal she reached with the European Union on her country’s pending exit from the EU. While May did manage to secure overall approval from the cabinet, the resignations ensured that the deal will face plenty of resistance when Parliament votes on it. (Source: John Hancock)The British pound fell sharply as several members of UK Prime Minister’s Theresa May’s cabinet resigned over the deal she reached with the European Union on her country’s pending exit from the EU. While May did manage to secure overall approval from the cabinet, the resignations ensured that the deal will face plenty of resistance when Parliament votes on it.

On a positive note, US retail sales exceeded expectations in October, which could bode well for retailers heading into the holiday shopping season. Sales increased 0.8% last month over September’s level, topping most economists’ expectations. (www.wsj.com)

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Americans paid more for gas, rent, and vehicles last month. The CPI increased 0.3% in October, the most since January. This brings the annual rate to 2.5% in October, up from the 2.3% in September. More than a third of this increase is due to the rise in gasoline prices in October. (Source: Sherman Sheet)The S&P 500 finished the week with gains on Thursday and Friday, but that wasn’t enough to offset the market’s shaky start to the week. The biggest decline came on Monday, when weakness in the technology sector weighed on the broader market. The S&P dropped 2.0% and the Nasdaq sank 2.8%. Stocks couldn’t maintain their positive momentum of the previous two weeks as the major indexes fell around 2%. As a result, the S&P 500 Index remained close to its level at the start of November but was nearly 7% below its record high reached in September.

Despite the market volatility last week, both unemployment and continuing unemployment claims are at historically low levels, retail sales are up, and reported factory activity expanded at a robust pace. Overall the economic fundamentals continue to be strong, despite the correction that is due to geopolitical conflict.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Regards,

Wayne Copelin, CFP®
President, Copelin Financial Advisors, Inc.
514 Brooks Street
Sugar Land, TX 77478
Phone (281) 240-2902
Fax: (281) 240-2856
www.copelinfinancial.com

Securities offered through ProEquities, Inc., a Registered Broker-Dealer and Member FINRA & SIPC Advisory Services offered through Harvest Investment Services, LLC., a Registered Investment Advisor Copelin Financial Advisors, Inc and Harvest Investment Services, LLC are independent of ProEquities, Inc.

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