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T3's Take 3: Markets Stay Quiet Ahead of Thanksgiving Holiday


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

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Market Roundup

US markets were quiet ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The S&P 500 finished the day at 2088.89, down exactly -0.01%. The NASDAQ Composite ended the day a little stronger, closing at 5,116.14, up 0.3% due to strength in biotechnology and select names like (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX).

The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (IBB) rose 1.1% to finish at $338.85.

Leading the pack, once again, was the Russell 2000 which closed up almost 0.8% near the high of the day. The move put the Russell back to the prior high made at the beginning of November. However, on a year-to-date basis, the Russell is still lagging the S&P 500 and NASDAQ.

Energy stocks led the decliners' column despite a rally in crude oil. We also saw weakness in gold, utilities, and transports.

The sideways movement drove the VIX down 5.2% to 15.12, a level not seen since early November.

ECB Stimulus?

This morning the European Central Bank spoke out over risks related to the Chinese slowdown as well as what seems to be an almost guaranteed rate hike by the Fed, next month.

According to a Reuters report, the ECB is also exploring additional easing to monetary policy. This could include buying additional debt and/or charging banks for holding onto cash.

As a result, the euro continued to fall against the dollar, making a new seven-month low.

The ECB meets next week and, based on continuing declines in European bond yields, traders are expecting some type of stimulus announcement

European Equity markets ended the day green with the DAX closing up 2.2% and the CAC rising 1.5%.

Economic Data

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Thursday and Friday's economic data releases were moved up to today, resulting in an avalanche of new numbers.

The PCE Deflator, which is the Fed's preferred inflation indicator, was flat month-over-month in October, which missed economists' expectations of a 0.1% gain. However, September's figure was revised up to 0.2% from 0.1%.

Elsewhere, Durable Goods, New Home Sales, FHFA House Price Index, Jobless Claims, and the Markit US Services PMI data beat expectations, while Personal Spending and University of Michigan Sentiment disappointed.

Personal Income was in-line with consenus, while the Markit Composite US PMI showed an improvement from last month.

On the energy front, the Department of Energy reported smaller-than-expected crude oil inventories, while the Baker Hughes US Rig Count continued its drop.

Even with today's mostly positive data, the Bloomberg Economic Surprise Index, which measures economic performance relative to expectations, remains near historic lows.

The data helped push the US dollar up in early trading, extending its gain against the euro, which was down on the ECB stimulus chatter.

Friday Preview

Markets will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving.  

And there are no major economic data releases or earnings reports scheduled for Friday.

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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