• Global stock markets dropped during a volatile week, due to global-growth concerns. The culmination of this week’s elections shifted attention back to trade concerns. The U.S. dollar was better against the major currencies for the week. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield ended at 3.18%. Gold prices fell with higher Treasury yields. Oil prices declined for the week, pushing further into bear-market territory. The technology sector trailed the market, whereas consumer staples outperformed.
  • With 90% of S&P 500 companies reporting second-quarter results, 78% have exceeded earnings per share (EPS) expectations, while 61% have beaten sales expectations. As of November 9, 2018, FactSet estimated the S&P 500 index’s second-quarter earnings growth rate at 19.1% and its 12-month forward P/E ratio at 16.0, below the five-year average of 16.4, but above the ten-year average of 14.5. Revlon, Hertz Global and Finisar Corporation impressed this week; General Electric, Wynn Resorts and Yelp disappointed.
  • The IHS Markit Composite PMI for the U.S. was revised to 54.9 in October, higher than the preliminary reading of 54.8, and above September’s reading of 53.9. Both services and manufacturing rose leading to the strongest growth in U.S. private sector activity in three months. The IHS Markit Eurozone Composite PMI registered 53.1 in October, below September’s final reading of 54.1. This was the weakest growth rate in the private sector since September 2016.
  • In September’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, job openings dropped to 7 million, but is still near record high. Demand for workers remains high, and hires and separations were relatively flat.
  • According to the University of Michigan, U.S. consumer sentiment dropped to 98.3, below October’s reading of 98.6. Despite this decrease, the survey’s chief economist noted that the index has remained higher in 2018 than in any previous year since 2000. Prospects for jobs and income expectations continue to improve.

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