Weekly Economic Update: November 27, 2023

The Markets (as of market close November 24, 2023)

Market activity was subdued during Thanksgiving week, which saw stocks close higher. All the major benchmark indexes gained ground, led by the large caps of the Dow and the S&P 500. Each of the 11 market sectors ended the week higher, with health care, energy, and communication services leading the way. Treasury yields rose marginally higher, while crude oil prices slipped for the fifth straight week. The dollar declined, while gold prices advanced for the second consecutive week.


Last Week’s Economic News

  • Sales of existing homes fell in October and 14.6% since October 2022. Existing home sales have declined for five consecutive months. Inventory of available homes for sale ticked up to a 3.6-month supply in October, marginally higher than the 3.4-month supply in September. According to the National Association of Realtors®, a persistent lack of inventory and the highest mortgage rates in a generation have contributed to the decrease in home sales. However, while the existing home market remained tight, home sellers have seen prices continue to rise year-over-year, including a new all-time high for the month of October. Single-family home sales declined last month and 14.6% from the previous year. The median existing single-family home price was $396,100 in October, down from September’s price of $397,400, but up 3.0% from the October 2022 price of $384,600.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods, down three of the last four months, decreased 5.4% in October. Transportation equipment, also down three of the last four months, drove the decrease, falling 14.8%. Excluding transportation, new orders were virtually unchanged. Shipments of manufactured durable goods, down three of the last four months, decreased 0.9% in October. New orders for nondefense capital goods decreased 15.6% in October. New orders for defense capital goods increased 24.5% in October.
  • The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.289 per gallon on November 20, $0.060 per gallon lower than the prior week’s price and $0.359 less than a year ago.
  • For the week ended November 18, there were 209,000 new claims for unemployment insurance, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week’s level. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims for the week ended November 11 was 1.2%, unchanged from the previous week’s rate. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended November 11 was 1,840,000, a decrease of 22,000 from the previous week’s level.


Eye on the Week Ahead

The last week of November brings with it the release of some important economic data: the latest report on gross domestic product and the report on personal income and outlays. GDP advanced 4.9% in the third quarter, according to the initial estimate, well above the second quarter advance of 2.1%. The report on personal income and outlays includes the personal consumption expenditures price index, the preferred inflation indicator of the Federal Reserve. Prices advanced 3.4% for the year ended in September, while core prices rose 3.7%.

Have a nice week!





Robert G. Carpenter

President & CEO
Baltimore-Washington Financial Advisors