The S&P 500 ended the shortened holiday week up 1.5% and closed above 4000 for the first time since September, while the Nasdaq still sits below the key 12,000 level. Markets will focus on consumer spending as Black Friday kicked off the holiday shopping season. Best Buy and Abercrombie beat on earnings and although we’ve seen strong 3Q earnings, the overall outlook remains cautious as consumers are pressured by a higher cost of living. Total holiday shopping is expected to be up 2.5% this year compared to 8.6% a year ago and retail stocks will be a key sector to watch around year end as they have historically moved +/- 3% over the last 10 years.
The US 10yr rate continued to move lower this week as the minutes from the November FOMC meeting showed most officials agreeing that a slowing of rate increase will soon be appropriate. The target rate will increase for the sixth time this year bringing rates to 3.75-4%, and market still expect rates peaking at ~5% in 2023.
Crude oil continued the move lower to ~76.28, finishing the week down 4.75% and down ~14% over the last two weeks as Asian crude consumption fell to a seven-month low, further impacting the already weak demand outlook driven by rising Covid cases in China triggering lockdown-like restrictions.