YEARLY INFLATION BACK AT 2.0%
Consumer costs ticked up just 0.1% in October, according to the Department of Labor. The marginal monthly gain left the annualized increase in the headline Consumer Price Index at 2.0%, down from 2.2% a month earlier. The core CPI has risen 1.8% in 12 months. Gasoline prices influenced the October headline number: they fell 2.4% in October after a 13.1% September leap.
RETAIL SALES BEAT EXPECTATIONS
Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch thought retail sales would be flat for October after their huge surge in September. That was not so. They surprised to the upside with a gain of 0.2%. Minus auto buying, the advance was 0.1%.
DEVELOPERS PICK UP THE PACE AS FALL BEGINS
Newly released Census Bureau data shows a 13.7% monthly increase in housing starts in October as well as a 5.9% rise for building permits. Single-family home construction strengthened 5.3% last month.
NASDAQ OUTPERFORMS DOW, S&P 500
After a volatile five days, the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.47% higher on November 17 than it had on November 10: 6,782.79. The trading week was tougher for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which declined 0.27% to 23,358.24, and the S&P 500, which lost 0.13% on the way to a Friday settlement of 2,578.85. The Russell 2000 added 1.19% to wrap up the week at 1,492.82. Wall Street’s hottest index over the past year has been the PHLX Semiconductor – as of Friday, it had gained 49.77% in the past 52 weeks.