Weekly Economic Update: November 30, 2020

The Markets (as of market close November 27, 2020)
Optimism over favorable vaccine reports provided encouragement for investors over the holiday-shortened week. Several of the benchmark indexes hit record highs last week, continuing an upward trend in the market. The Russell 2000 and the Global Dow added the most value by the end of the week, followed by the Nasdaq, the S&P 500, and the Dow. All major indexes are now well above their 2019 year-end values, with the Nasdaq nearly 40.0% higher.

Last Week’s Economic News

  • The second estimate for the third-quarter GDP showed annual growth at 33.1%, unchanged from the first estimate, but a vast improvement over the pandemic-impacted second-quarter estimate of -31.4%.
  • In October, personal income decreased 0.7% and disposable (after-tax) personal income dropped 0.8%.
  • Sales of new single-family homes fell 0.3% in October from September’s total. Despite the decrease, new home sales were 41.5% ahead of their sales pace in October 2019.
  • The international trade in goods deficit was $80.3 billion in October.
  • The manufacturing sector continued to rebound in October. New orders for manufactured durable goods, up six consecutive months, increased $3.0 billion, or 1.3%. This increase followed a 2.1% jump in September. Transportation equipment, up for five of the last six months, led the increase, at $0.9 billion, or 1.2%.
  • For the week ended November 21, there were 778,000 new claims for unemployment insurance.


Eye on the Week Ahead

Employment data for November is out this week. October saw 638,000 new jobs added and the unemployment rate dip to 6.9%. However, with the uptick in COVID-19 cases last month, both figures may have reversed course in November with fewer new jobs created, possibly driving the unemployment rate higher.

Have a nice week!





Robert G. Carpenter

President & CEO
Baltimore-Washington Financial Advisors