- U.S. equities finished positive for the week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed 98 points higher, or rose 0.43%, to 22,872. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) index gained 4 points, or rose 0.15%, to 2,553. The Nasdaq closed last week 0.24% higher at 6,606. Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones posted their fifth straight week of gains.
- U.S. Consumer Prices: Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.5% for the month of September, below expectations of 0.6%, but above the 0.4% increase in August. Last month’s increase marks the highest CPI jump since January, bringing the year-over-year gain to 2.2%. Gasoline prices accounted for about three-fourths of the CPI increase, with gas prices up 13.1%, reflecting the hurricane-related production disruptions at oil refineries in the Gulf Coast. Core CPI (ex-food and energy) rose 0.1% in September, with the year-over-year gain remaining at 1.7% for the fifth month in a row. Inflation remains a major concern for the Fed as its preferred inflation measure (Personal Consumption Expenditures Index, ex-food and energy) persistently remains below the 2% target.
12-month percentage change, Core Consumer Price Index (ex-Food and Energy)
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Key reports/items for the upcoming week include, U.S. Empire State survey (Oct), NAHB Housing Market (Oct), Euro-zone CPI (Sep), U.S. Housing Starts and Building Permits (Sep), Leading Indicators (Sep) and Japan’s snap election to determine the prime minister. Third quarter earnings season continues with results expected from CSX Corp, Grainger, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon and Procter & Gamble among others.