The Market Bull – December 13, 2019
Another verbal trade agreement with the Chinese failed to inspire the markets dragged down by disappointing economic data. Since Monday the Standard and Poors 500 Index is up 27 points or .86%, while the NASDAQ has gained 84 points or .97%.
Despite some fluctuations trade prices have gone essentially nowhere for a year. November prices gained .2%, about half what was expected. On the import side most of the gains came from energy up 1.1%. Export prices advanced .2%. On a year ago basis import and export prices both fell 1.3%.
Retail sales missed expectations in November substantially with a .2% gain, just half of expectations. Sales were led by Non-Store Retailers or Internet Sales +.8%, Gasoline Stations +.7%, Electronics and Appliances +.7%. Some notable laggards include Clothing and Accessories -.6%, Sporting Goods and Hobbies -.5% and Restaurants and Bars -.3%. On a year ago basis sales gained a decent 3.3%.
Business Inventories advanced .2% in October as expected, snapping a pair of declines. Growth was broad based but primarily led by retail. The inventory to sales ratio was unchanged for a 6th consecutive month at a relatively high 1.4 months.
Gross Domestic Product or GDP advanced .5% in October to start the 4th quarter. On a year-ago basis, monthly GDP was up 2.1% in October, an ok but not great figure as anemic economic growth in the post crisis period shows no signs of change. Going forward manufacturing should get a boost from the end of the GM strike. Additionally, trade, equipment investment and spending should also help to drive GDP growth in the 4th quarter.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 3,168.80 up .23
NASDAQ finished the day: 8,734.88 up 17.56
Gold ended trading at: $1,480.40 up $8.10