|Total Returns %||
|1 Month||3 Month||1 Yr Avg||3 Yr Avg||5 Yr Avg||
|MSCI All Country World||
Source: Morningstar, Inc. Data through 10-25-10
The major indexes rose for the third straight week. Earnings reports from the financial and technology sectors were mostly all positive. The Fed confirmed that there has been overall growth in the economy, but that it continues to be at a very slow pace; housing has remained weak and unemployment is still too high. Retailers are reporting higher traffic and sales, which shows consumers are regaining confidence and a willingness to spend during the holidays. However, the Fed also warned that most consumers are restricting their purchases to needs (not wants), and they continue to lean towards discount shopping.
The industrial production report showed a slight decline in September, which has brought back fears of a potential slowdown all together. Builder confidence in the housing sector rose for the first month in October after declining the past four months. Housing starts were at their highest levels since the expiration of tax incentives back in April. Unfortunately, building permits declined in September, which is a leading indicator of future housing activity. It appears a rebound in the housing sector is still months away.
Overseas, China continued to impact the entire global economy. China surprisingly raised interest rates for the first time in approximately three years. It’s possible the higher rates will force the undervalued Yuan higher, which would in-turn be a positive for US trade (assuming that the currency wars across the rest of the globe don’t get out of control). China also reported it’s GDP slowed for the second straight month, though they still experienced growth of 9.6%.
This coming week, the first report on the US 3rd quarter GDP is released. New and existing home sales reports, the consumer confidence level report, and the jobless claims report will also be watched closely.
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John P. Chladek, MBA, CFP® is the President of Chladek Wealth Management, LLC, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm specializing in helping families and couples who are not yet retired realize their financial goals. For more information, visit http://www.chladekwealth.com.
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