The Independent Market Observer

What Mattered This Week? Progress on Inflation, Markets Bounce

Posted by Brad McMillan, CFA®, CFP®

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This entry was posted on Nov 17, 2023 1:09:12 PM

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markets bounceThis was a week of good news pretty much across the board, which doesn't happen all that often. Congress managed to kick the can down the road again on spending, avoiding a governmental shutdown. Inflation was down across the board. And with both those risks subsiding, interest rates dropped—pushing markets higher. We continue to close in on a soft landing for the economy, and markets keep reacting to that.

Big News on Inflation

The consumer price index (CPI) came out on Tuesday morning and showed that headline inflation was flat on the month, as in zero, and dropped from 3.7 percent to 3.2 percent for the past 12 months. It’s not where the Fed wants it to be, but it is a big step in the right direction. On Wednesday, the producer price numbers ratified the improvement, with even bigger drops down to around the Fed's inflation targets. So, we are making real progress and even getting close to the goal in some respects.

With this much progress on the inflation front, we also saw longer-term interest rates go down. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury dropped significantly, to the lowest level since September. That, in turn, kicked stock valuations up. U.S. markets were up between 2 percent and 3 percent for the week (as I write this), continuing a significant bounce back from the sell-off earlier in the fall.

Progress on the Geopolitical Front

Beyond the economy and markets, we also got some good geopolitical news. The APEC summit had Chinese leader Xi Jinping making nice comments about the partnership between China and the U.S. While there was some room for worries—oil prices were down, which could be seen as a negative signal—overall last week saw good news on many of the biggest worries out there.

That is a great way to end the week. With all the good news out there, we have a lot for which to be thankful as we move on to Thanksgiving. One thing I hope to be grateful for is taking next Friday off (unless something unusual happens). So, have a wonderful holiday with your family, and I will hopefully see you in two weeks.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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