Here’s What Moved The Markets – November 11 to November 15, 2019

Monday – November 11

Very little happened on the domestic front as today is Veterans Day, a market holiday, and the US stock market was closed (index futures, however, were trading) with nothing in the way of major economic reports.

The Dow advanced 0.04% or 10.25 points, ending the day at 27,691.49. Notably, Boeing lifted the index, its shares rising more than 4.5% on the news that  the 737 Max jets are to resume next month. The S&P 500 declined to 3,087.01 or 0.2% on energy and utilities sector weakness. The Nasdaq fell back 0.1% closing at 8,464.28.

If anything held back the markets from advancing on this day where very little was to be expected (considering it’s a national holiday), it’s likely President Trump’s comments late last week on the status of the US-China trade deal and tariffs rollbacks plus the escalation of violence in the Hong Kong protests.

Tuesday – November 12

The event that markets were anticipating was President Trump’s speech at the New York Economic Club. Trump’s comments were generally taken positively as they conveyed a sense of progress regarding US-China negotiations toward a trade deal though no details had been disclosed.

Trump also took the opportunity to criticize the Federal Reserve, stating that the markets would have been much higher if the Fed’s stance on interest rates wasn’t as hawkish as it had been over the last year.

“And if we had a Federal Reserve that worked with us, you could have added another 25% to each of those numbers, I guarantee you that,” Trump commented, referring to percentage gains in US indexes.

Although there wasn’t much in terms of economic reports and releases, the NFIB small business optimism index came in moderately higher, showing October figures at 102.4, higher than the expected 102.0 consensus.

On the earnings front, there were notable gains by Disney, it’s shares rising more than 1% partly due to its new Disney+ streaming service, and Facebook, whose shares rose 2.6% upon announcing a new payment functionality accessible via FB applications.

The S&P 500 closed at 3,091.84, up 0.2%–establishing a new intraday record.The Dow remained virtually unchanged at 27,691.49. The Nasdaq climbed 0.3%, closing at 8,486.09.

Wednesday – November 13

US Indexes declined but then recovered to end the day mostly on record highs. The main focus of the day was Jerome Powell’s testimony before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee in which he said he Fed is likely to keep interest rates unchanged as long as the central bank is seeing economic growth: “We see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook of moderate economic growth, a strong labor market, and inflation near our symmetric 2 percent objective.”

On the trade front, the Dow Jones reported that US-China negotiations had “hit a snag” over agricultural purchases. China is hesitant to commit to making certain farm purchases and details concerning tech enforcement still remain in negotiation.

US consumer prices rose 0.4%, slightly higher than the 0.3% that economists had expected. This figure was likely driven by energy costs. Year-over-year, the CPI rose 1.8%. Minus food and energy, core prices were up 0.2% in alignment with economist expectations.

The S&P 500 modestly advanced to a record high close of 3,094.04, up 0.1% The Dow closed up 92.10 points or 0.3% to end the day at 27,783.59. The Nasdaq however closed right below its open at 8,482.10.

Thursday – November 14

Indexes today stalled but didn’t “fall” today as global economic data, namely from Germany and China, showed both slowing and a narrow miss (Germany) on recessionary readings.

Jobless claims edged up in the week ending November 9 to 225,000, above the 215,000 that economists were anticipating.

The producer price index came in at 0.4%, whereas economists had expected a rise of only 0.3%.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony in Capitol Hill simply affirmed that the central bank is taking a “wait-and-see” response with regard to rate cuts. Powell considered the US economy to be relatively strong, addressing the weakness in manufacturing as something that has not yet affected other segments of the economy.

The Dow slipped less than 2 points. The S&P 500 also stalled but then managed to edge higher, closing at 3,096. The Nasdaq ended the day slightly higher at 8,479.

Friday – November 15 (mid-day)

The Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all soared to record highs supported by White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow’s comments that the US and China may be nearing a trade deal and yesterday’s optimistic comments by Fed Chief Jerome Powell on the US economy’s solid footing

October retail sales numbers came in at 0.3%, an increase from September that topped economist expectations of 0.2%.

Industrial production in October declined -0.8%, below the -0.4% consensus estimate manufacturing is down -0.6% and the capacity utilization rate came in at 76.7%, below the 77.2% consensus estimate

The Dow is currently at 27,957.56, up 175.60 points, or +0.63%. The S&P 500 is trading at 3,113.53, having advanced +0.53% or 16.24 points. The Nasdaq is at 8,521.91, rising 42.86 points or +0.51%. At the time of writing, the market has less than 30 minutes to close for the week

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