What to Watch
We hope everybody has a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We hope you all have some good quality time with family and friends while staying safe. There’s a lot going on this week in terms of the market and economic news. The U.S. economy has some momentum as we’re seeing great housing and manufacturing numbers. We are starting to see the economy go uphill more. Weekly jobless claims came in last week higher than normal but there was a slowdown in retail sales. So, there’s a conflicting message that the market’s having to digest. Clients have asked us what we look at on a weekly basis in terms of the virus impact. One of the areas we are looking at is the weekly jobless claims because that shows an updated number each week. A lot of the reports we look at are either monthly or quarterly based. It’s something that has started to tick back up and we’d like to see that come down a little bit.
Good News vs. Bad News
The battle continues between the good news with the vaccine and the virus cases and hospitalizations starting to increase. We like to look at weekly updated data, like the employment information but we also like to look at daily numbers. We’re watching the technical levels of the market, mainly the S&P 500, to see how it’s performing after hearing positive news about a vaccine, which shows the light at the end of the tunnel. We also have been watching it to see the reaction of the markets after the news came out about increased shutdowns. The shutdown of the largest school system in the country was recently reported and certain states are rolling back the openings of restaurants and gyms. We are seeing both the good and the bad. We may see some deeper darkness before we see the light of the vaccine sometime early next year. The market’s really battling that right now. How do we see that on a day-to-day basis? We’re watching for an even number of around 3,500 as a support level on the S&P 500. What that means is as long as the market stays above that area, it means that the market is showing confidence. Then there is the reopening and positivity of the future. Then obviously, more importantly, quarterly and annual data from companies are all things we keep an eye on but on a day-to-day basis, we’re watching that 3,500 level on the S&P 500.
As you go through this week and meet with your family for Thanksgiving dinner, I’m sure they would all love to hear about the technical data on where the S&P 500 is set. When you’re sitting down with your family, another thing to discuss is the pricing of your meal. Something we like to look at the Farm Bureau’s data on what the cost of Thanksgiving is. Not everyone is having the normal Thanksgiving get-togethers, but for those that are, the average cost of a 10-person Thanksgiving dinner is down 4% year-over-year. The bulk of that came from a drop in the cost of the turkey. This is the lowest level we’ve seen in the cost of a 10-person Thanksgiving dinner since 2010. The average is about $46.90. While you’re out there shopping on black Friday, maybe drop by your local grocery store and grab a turkey since it’s on sale this year. That may help people during this COVID year, knowing that it’s a little cheaper than normal.
We hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving!
Fi Plan Partners is an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. Fi Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.
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