Five noteworthy figures from the previous week
The YTD gain of the Nasdaq 100 index as of Friday’s closing bell.
The Nasdaq 100 includes only the top 100 or so non-financial firms listed on the Nasdaq exchange, and this advance shows you what an amazing year the leading domestic and international tech companies are having.
Source: markets.wsj.com/us [12/15/17]
The year-over-year gain in retail sales through November.
Last month’s advance of 0.8% pushed the 12-month gain higher. The Commerce Department also measured a 10.4% yearly rise for “non-store” retail sales, which includes online purchases.
Source: www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/15/571030299/retailers-hope-for-strong-holiday-season-as-november-sales-beat-expectations [12/15/17]
Where Federal Reserve officials project the federal funds rate will be at the end of 2018.
This was the median forecast in the Fed’s latest dot-plot chart, issued last week. Four of sixteen central bank policymakers feel the benchmark interest rate will be 2.25% or higher when next year concludes, while three think it will be 1.75% or lower.
Source: www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/fed-raises-rates-while-sticking-to-three-hike-outlook-for-2018 [12/13/17]
Where the price of palladium settled on December 14 – its highest close since February 2001.
Palladium is up about 50% YTD. The metal is a prime ingredient in the manufacture of catalytic converters and other components in the engines of both gasoline-powered and hybrid cars, SUVs, and trucks.
Source: www.marketwatch.com/story/how-palladium-and-lumber-defied-the-2017-commodity-slump-2017-12-15 [12/15/17]
The latest record close for the S&P 500 (December 15).
Fresh optimism about the prospects for tax reform helped drive the broad equities benchmark to another historic settlement on Friday.
Source: www.cnbc.com/2017/12/15/us-stocks-tax-bill-congress.html [12/15/17]
1 – tradingeconomics.com/united-states/personal-savings [12/14/17]
2 – ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html [12/14/17]
3 – theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/02/job-switchers-raise/460044/ [2/8/16]
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