In major economic indicators released last week, the economy expanded at a seasonally adjusted 3.5 percent annualized rate in the third quarter. This is above the government’s prior estimate of 3.2 percent due to upward revisions in consumer spending and business investment. Consumer spending, which added 2 percentage points to GDP, rose at a 3 percent annual rate, up from the prior estimate of 2.8 percent. Durable Goods Orders fell 4.6 percent in November, mainly due to a drop in civilian aircraft orders. Excluding aircraft and vehicles, new orders rose 0.5 percent. In the housing sector, for the month of November, New Home Sales jumped 5.2 percent to a 592,000 annualized rate while Existing Home Sales rose a surprising 0.7 percent to a 5.61 annualized rate. Co-op and condominium sales jumped 10 percent, outpacing a 0.4 percent drop in single-family units.
In international markets, Italy’s government has authorized a €20 billion bailout for the country’s third-largest lender and world’s oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which has been in operation since 1742. In other financial news, two European banks, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, agreed to settle outstanding cases with the U.S. Department of Justice for $7.2 Billion and $5.3 billion, respectively.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s tends to be a quiet one. Investors will be watching for the Dow to touch 20,000. There is not much significance for the Dow hitting 20,000 other than an impressive way for stocks to cap off 2016. Let’s hope we can release those imaginary balloons this week. Investors will also be looking for Consumer Confidence, which comes out today, and Pending Home Sales, which will come out on Wednesday.
Thank you for your business and a Happy New Year!