Weekly Market Update
By Michael McKeown, CFA, CPA - Chief Investment Officer
Chart of the Week
The Department of Labor usually publishes the jobs report on the first Friday of the month. But because this Friday is the first of December, there is not enough time to compile the data.
Today’s unemployment rate at 3.9% is the highest level since January 2022. This is low by historical standards. The unemployment rate was below 4% for just 48 months in total since 1970 (or less than 8% of the time). Of the seven largest states by population, California had the largest increase in its unemployment rate, rising from 3.8% to 4.8%. Pennsylvania’s improved over the past year, as the level hit a recent cycle low at 3.4%.
The regional differences bear watching as the national trend changes. After inflation took center stage the last two years, it seems the Fed and economists will be more focused on this data in the months ahead. This could lead to more discussion on the path of interest rate cuts in 2024.
What We’re Reading
The Full Reset – Morgan Housel
Morgan Stanley’s 2024 Housing Outlook Sees 3 Tailwinds for Buyers – Newsweek
Consumer Checkpoint: Households spending slows but checking accounts still flush – BofA
Cash Isn’t Meant for Your Portfolio Forever – The Bottom Line
Podcast of the Week
The housing market felt the impact of higher mortgage rates in October, though lower Treasury yields over the past few weeks should help alleviate borrowing pains. Durable goods orders and manufacturing data were worse than expected. Jobless claims and services data beat expectations.
The Week Ahead
Over the next week, we get the second estimate of GDP and the ISM reports, which give a snapshot of the trends in growth. Price data for personal consumption expenditures (PCE) will be important to see if tame inflation continues.
Thank you for reading.
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