As of the Week of November 19, 2018

In this week’s recap: a bit more inflation pressure, a big fall retail sales gain, another setback for light sweet crude, and a down week on Wall Street.

 

IN OCTOBER, INFLATION JUMPED THE MOST SINCE JANUARY

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.3% last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was the largest monthly gain for the headline CPI since its 0.5% move in the first month of the year. A 3.0% leap in gasoline prices played a significant role. Core consumer inflation, which does not include volatile food and energy costs, increased by 0.2% in October.1

    

RETAIL SALES RISE 0.8%

Consumers certainly entered fall in a buying mood. Even with car and truck sales factored out, the gain was still 0.7% in October, and that left overall U.S. retail purchases up 4.6% year-over-year. In September, retail purchases tailed off 0.1% (the Department of Commerce first reported a 0.1% advance).2

   

WTI CRUDE FALLS INTO A BEAR MARKET

Oil’s fourth-quarter slide continued last week. Friday, light sweet crude ended the week at $56.46 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after its price slid 6.2% across five trading sessions, hitting a 12-month closing low of $55.69 on Tuesday. The commodity is now on a 6-week losing streak.3

   

MAJOr INDICES RETREAT

Investors were left cold by some of last week’s key earnings reports, and the significant October inflation advance seemed to provide additional substantiation for a year-end Federal Reserve interest rate hike. The S&P 500 lost 1.61% in five days, falling to 2,736.27 at Friday’s closing bell.  It fared better than both the Dow Industrials and Nasdaq Composite; last week, the blue chips slumped 2.22% to 25,413.22, while the tech-heavy benchmark dipped 2.15% to 7,247.87.4

 

 

Investment products are:

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. The investment products sold through LPL Financial are not insured Union Bank & Trust Company deposits and are not FDIC insured. These products are not obligations of the Union Bank & Trust Company and are not endorsed, recommended or guaranteed by Union Bank & Trust Company or any government agency. The value of the investment may fluctuate, the return on the investment is not guaranteed, and loss of principal is possible. Union Bank & Trust Company and UB&T~ Financial Services are not registered broker/dealers and are not affiliated with LPL Financial.

[/cm

[/cm