THE WEEK THAT WAS
Columbus Day Holiday: While the U.S. bond market and financial institutions were closed, stocks were open and saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise 40 points.
Home building stocks were stand-out losers today as mortgage rates of 5.00 percent combined with high home prices were perceived as deterrents to homebuyers. The XHB (S&P Homebuilders EFT) slumped 3 percent and brought the index into bear market territory as it has now fallen 23 percent from its February high. Homebuilder D.R. Horton cut its home sales estimates for 2018. Earlier this month, Lennar cut its 4th quarter forecast due to sluggishness in the housing market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 800 points on Wednesday as stock investors continued to react negatively to higher interest rates. However, the sharp losses eventually caused bond prices to rise (yields fall) on a “flight to quality” bid. Additionally, President Donald Trump blamed the Federal Reserve for the stock market declines.
A lower-than-expected inflation number in the U.S. early Thursday morning turned stock futures positive and bond yields down, which stabilized the markets after Wednesday’s drop. The Consumer Price Index for September was reported at +0.1 percent vs. a +0.2 percent expectation and the Core (Excluding Food and Energy) component also came in at +0.1 percent vs. +0.2 percent expected.
Hurricane Michael’s two-day rampage through southeastern U.S. claimed the lives of 12 people and left 1.2 million customers without power. The Category 4 storm made landfall on Wednesday as one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever strike the U.S., flattening houses and devastating coastal communities.
Banking & Economic News
Saudi Arabia Is Getting Some of the Biggest Names in Tech to Help Build its Mega-city
Learn more (October 10, 2018; cnn.com)
Not Just ‘Loco’ Fed: Why Equities Are Suddenly Selling Off Now
Learn more (October 11, 2018; bloomberg.com)
Daylight Exposes Widespread Destruction in Mexico Beach, Florida, Where Michael Made Landfall
Learn more (October 11, 2018; financialnewsusa.com)
Trump Lashes Out at ‘Loco’ Fed Again, Calling Rate Hikes a ‘Mistake’
Learn more (October 11, 2018; finance.yahoo.com)