Wall Street saw stocks close higher last week, despite dampening hopes of an interest rate reduction. All major benchmark stock indexes rebounded from a slow start to the year by adding value last week. Some major financial companies posted lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. Information technology and communication services led the sectors, while energy and utilities underperformed, in line with BWFA investment thinking long term. Ten-year Treasury yields slipped lower. Crude oil prices retreated marginally. The dollar was flat, while gold prices ticked higher.
Last Week’s Economic News
- In what may dampen hopes for an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Price Index rose in December. The 12-month rate also rose.
- Producer prices were lower than expected in December. Over the last 12 months ended in December, producer prices rose 1.0%.
- The Treasury monthly budget deficit for December 2023 was $129.0 billion. For the year 2023, the total deficit was $1.784 trillion.
- The goods and services trade deficit was $63.2 billion in November. Year to date, the goods and services deficit decreased $161.8 billion, or 18.4%, from the same period in 2022.
- The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.073 per gallon on January 8.
- For the week ended January 6, there were 202,000 new claims for unemployment insurance.
Eye on the Week Ahead
There is a fairly substantial amount of important economic data released this week. Wednesday includes the December reports on retail sales, import and export prices, and industrial production. The end of the week focuses on the real estate sector with the release of the latest data on housing starts and the December report on existing-home sales.
Have a nice week!