CONSUMER SENTIMENT INDEX DECLINES
The University of Michigan’s monthly gauge of U.S. household sentiment fell to 97.8 in its initial November edition; analysts polled by Bloomberg estimated it would tick up to 100.8. While the 2.9-point dip from its final October level was the largest drop in a year, the index remained near a 13-year peak. Sixty percent of the consumers surveyed felt that stocks would rise in 2018.
Q3 Earnings: A LOOK AT THE SCORECARD
As of Friday, 87% of S&P 500 companies had reported third-quarter earnings. An analysis from Zacks Investment Research reveals that 73% have topped earnings forecasts; 67% have surpassed revenue estimates. So far, the earnings growth rate for S&P 500 firms in the third quarter is 6.8%, with revenues rising 6.2%. Zacks expects total earnings for the quarter to be 6.2% higher than Q3 2016, with year-over-year income growth at 5.7%.
OIL CAPS OFF A STRONG WEEK
Light sweet crude rose to its highest level in 28 months last week before settling slightly lower: $56.67 was the NYMEX price at Friday’s NYSE closing bell. At that time, WTI crude was up 1.8% from its November 3 close.
A SLIGHT PULLBACK ON WALL STREET
Uncertainty about the potential for tax code reform led to some weakness in stocks over the past five trading days. The S&P 500 fell 0.21% for the week to 2,582.30; the Nasdaq Composite retreated 0.20% to 6,750.94. Blue chips took a deeper loss: the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.50% to 23,422.21. The week was much rougher for the Russell 2000, which gave back 1.31% on the way to a Friday settlement of 1,475.27. The CBOE VIX ended the week at 11.29, rising 23.52% in five days.