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Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence 

Marginally positive economic data sent the major averages into the final hour with small gains. Since Monday the Standard and Poors 500 Index is up 5 points or .2% while the NASDAQ has gained 15 points or .25%.

The Cost of Living Adjustment or COLA for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for 2018 will be 2% beginning in January as per the Social Security Administration. The maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax will increase to $128,700.

The September Consumer Price Index or CPI advanced .5% on notable gains in gasoline +13.1% and energy +6.1% prices. This pushed the year ago rate to 2.2% the first time above the Fed’s desired 2% target since April. As energy prices tend to be transitory I doubt the 2%+ rate will hold for long.

Retail sales came in a little better than expected in September with a 1.6% gain on strength in gasoline, building materials, motor vehicles and parts sales. On a year ago basis sales are up 4.4% the best showing since April.

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