Shifting trade policy perceptions remained the dominant factor for the stock market. There were no surprises in the FOMC minutes. While the economic reports were largely ignored, the data remained consistent with a mixed outlook – continued support for consumer spending growth, but ongoing weakness in business investment (this will be a key theme as we head into 2020).
The UM Consumer Sentiment Index edged up to 96.8 in the full-month reading for November, vs. 95.7 at mid-month and 95.5 in October. The report noted more pronounced partisan differences among consumers, but there is also a sharp divide between business and consumer sentiment: “one side anticipates a recession, while the other side expects an uninterrupted expansion in the year ahead – there is ample reason for both optimism as well as pessimism, but not the extreme differences voiced by these groups.”
Next week is a holiday week, but with some important data. Revisions from the advance GDP estimate to the 2nd and 3rd estimates have tended to be small in recent years (larger changes show up in the annual benchmark revisions). The advance economic indicators, durable goods shipments and inventories, and personal income/spending are all October figures, but are likely to suggest a downshift in GDP growth in 4Q19.
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