Weekly Economic Update for November 21, 2011

Presented by Mark K. Lund, Investor Coach.

“Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”
– Harvey Fierstein

For the first month since June, consumer inflation decreased. The biggest influence on the 0.1% decline in the Consumer Price Index? Falling retail gasoline prices. New car prices also saw their biggest one-month drop in nearly two years. Core CPI rose 0.1% in October; annualized inflation lessened to 3.5% with annualized core CPI at 2.1%. Producer prices declined last month as well, going -0.3% after a +0.8% September showing; core PPI was flat in October.1,2

The Commerce Department said U.S. retail purchases increased by 0.5% in October – the fifth consecutive monthly gain. While overall housing starts declined 0.3% last month, single-family home construction improved by 5.1%. October housing permits were 17.7% above year-ago levels. The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rose a striking 0.9% in October, with the boost in home construction a key factor.2,3,4,5

In fact, gold had its roughest trading week since September, with prices pulling back 3.5% to $1,720.10 at Friday’s COMEX close. Oil prices also descended: crude settled at $97.41 per barrel on the NYMEX at week’s end.6,7

Investors weren’t buying much last week, what with one eye on Europe and another on the “super committee” impasse in Congress. The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ all pulled back for the week as follows: DJIA, -2.94% to 11,796.23; S&P 500, -3.81% to 1,215.67; NASDAQ, -3.97% to 2,572.50.8

THIS WEEK: Monday, the National Association of Realtors tells us about October existing home sales and Hewlett-Packard and Tyson Foods issue 3Q results. Tuesday brings the second estimate of 3Q GDP, the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes and earnings from Campbell Soup and Hormel Foods. Wednesday is big indeed: the day before Thanksgiving is the deadline for the Congressional “super committee” to approve a deficit-trimming plan. Wednesday will also see the release of data on October consumer spending and October durable goods orders, plus the latest initial claims figures and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment poll for the month. Thursday being Thanksgiving, all U.S. financial markets will be closed. This Friday will be Black Friday, of course; the NYSE will have a shortened trading day.

DJIA +1.89 +5.50 -0.89 +1.82
NASDAQ -3.03 +2.31 +1.04 +3.30
S&P 500 -3.34 +1.59 -2.65 +0.56
10 YR TIPS 0.05% 0.83% 2.33% 3.50%

Sources: cnbc.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov, treasurydirect.gov – 11/18/118,9,10,11 Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends.

If you pay your real estate taxes instead of your mortgage lender, you could pre-pay some 2012 taxes this year to qualify for a deduction on your 1040.

WEEKLY RIDDLE Gerald Ford was our 38th President, but he was actually the 37th man to take the job. Why was that?

Last week’s riddle:
A sudden noise startles a gopher, an owl and a skunk at the edge of a forest. The owl flies off and the gopher retreats into his burrow, but the skunk runs for the trees. How far can that skunk run into the forest?

Last week’s answer:
Halfway; after he gets halfway in, he’s running out of the forest.

1 – www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9R1SFE00.htm [11/16/11]
2 – www.nytimes.com/2011/18/16/business/economy/us-retail-sales-rose-0-5-in-october.html [11/16/11]
3 – www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-housing-starts-20111118,0,4792319.story [11/17/11]
4 – www.dailyfinance.com/2011/18/18/index-of-leading-economic-indicators-rises/ [11/18/11]
5 – montoyaregistry.com/Financial-Market.aspx?financial-market=retirement-investment-funds&category=3 [11/18/11]
6 – www.cnbc.com/id/45346193 [11/18/11]
7 – www.cnbc.com/id/45346195 [11/18/11]
8 – www.cnbc.com/id/45354584 [11/18/11]
9 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F18%2F10&x=0&y=0 [11/18/11]
9 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F18F2%2F10&x=10&y=18 [11/18/11]
9 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F18%2F10&x=0&y=0 [11/18/11]
9 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F17%2F06&x=0&y=0 [11/18/11]
9 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F17%2F06&x=0&y=0 [11/18/11]
9 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F17%2F06&x=0&y=0 [11/18/11]
9 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F19%2F01&x=0&y=0 [11/18/11]
9 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F19%2F01&x=0&y=0 [11/18/11]
9 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F19%2F01&x=0&y=0 [11/18/11]
10 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [11/18/11]
10 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [11/18/11]
11 – treasurydirect.gov/instit/annceresult/press/preanre/2001/ofm71101.pdf [7/11/01]


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. 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. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. 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. This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. Marketing Library.Net Inc. is not affiliated with any broker or brokerage firm that may be providing this information to you.  Stonecreek Wealth Advisors, Inc., a fee only registered investment advisor firm in Salt Lake City, Utah, providing wealth management services.  Mark Lund is the author of The Effective Investor.