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Weekly Economic News, November 21 – 25, 2016

on Nov 23, 2016 in Announcements: Financial Planning, General Parrott Insurance News

YELLEN HINTS STRONGLY AT A RATE HIKE
Thursday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen told Congress that the central bank could raise the benchmark interest rate “relatively soon,” calling current monetary policy merely “moderately accommodative.” She added that Fed officials envision “only gradual increases in the federal funds rate over time to achieve and maintain maximum employment and price stability.” Friday, the Fed Rate Monitor Tool at Investing.com put the possibility of a December rate hike at 91%.1,2

FRESH SIGNS OF A HEALTHY ECONOMY
Two economic indicators really stood out last week. Headline and core retail sales increased 0.8% in October, according to the Census Bureau (which also revised the September retail sales gain north to 1.0%). Housing starts advanced 25.5% last month, the Bureau also noted; this more than offset a 9.5% September dip.3

CONSUMER PRICES ROSE 0.4% IN OCTOBER
This change in the Consumer Price Index took its year-over-year increase to 1.6%. A mere 0.1% monthly gain in the core CPI left its 12-month advance at 2.1%. Producer prices were flat last month, with core prices retreating 0.2%; in the year ending in October, the headline Producer Price Index rose only 0.8% with the core PPI advancing 1.2%.3

BIG THREE SEE ANOTHER WEEK OF GAINS
Wall Street was still very bullish last week, and the Nasdaq Composite set the pace among the three major indices. The tech benchmark added 1.61% in five days to settle at 5,321.51 Friday. Smaller weekly gains came for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (0.11% to 18,867.93) and S&P 500 (0.81% to 2,181.90). WTI crude ended the week at $45.56 on the NYMEX; gold, at $1,208.50 on the COMEX.4

Citations.
1 – marketwatch.com/story/yellen-says-fed-may-hike-interest-rates-relatively-soon-2016-11-17 [11/17/16]
2 – nasdaq.com/article/us-stocks-slip-as-investors-contemplate-future-fed-rate-hikes-cm711485 [11/18/16]
3 – investing.com/economic-calendar/ [11/18/16]
4 – markets.wsj.com/us [11/18/16]

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