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Holiday-Shortened Week Starting Mixed

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Pre-market futures to start a new trading week are mixed this morning, following a strong week that saw indices rise from +1.8% (Dow) to +5.3% (Russell 2000). Economic data left little mystery whether the Fed is finished hiking interest rates (it is) — with the CPI Inflation Rate coming down to +3.2% and Weekly Jobless Claims cranking higher — and this news was well-received by investors. The Nasdaq, in fact, posted its best trading week since June. We’re flattish this morning, with indices seesawing on either side of the zero balance.

After the opening bell, we’ll get a look at new U.S. Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) for November. Expectations are for us to continue to wallow sub-zero after falling precipitously in the latter part of 2022 into 2023, and has stayed there most of the year. This is by design, of course — curbing inflation metrics with higher interest rates have brought LEI to the lowest levels since the brief recession period of the early pandemic. Real GDP, of course, remains positive.

Later in this holiday-shortened week — Thursday we’re off for Thanksgiving Day, and Friday is only half a trading day — we’ll see Existing Home Sales and the minutes of the latest Fed meeting, Durable Goods, PMI Services and Manufacturing, Consumer Sentiment and Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims. These last will be reported Wednesday instead of the normal Thursday, and they will be closely watched. We’re clearly north of 200K on new claims these days, with longer-term claims soaring in recent months from 1.6 million to nearly 1.9 million.

Q3 earnings season also more or less draws to a close this week, with “Magnificent Seven” leader NVIDIA (NVDA - Free Report) putting out quarterly results after the bell Tuesday. The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)-rated graphics processor is expected to report revenue growth of more than +170% year over year, with earnings growth anticipated at a whopping +480% from a year ago. Shares had been trading around $147 per share in early January and are up to nearly $493 per share this morning — a difference of +244% year to date.

Retailers will also be heard from, as October quarter numbers continue to hit the tape this week, including Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Free Report) , Best Buy (BBY - Free Report) , Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS - Free Report) , Nordstrom (JWN - Free Report) and plenty of others. According to Zacks Director of Research Sheraz Mian said last week that Q3 represents the first quarter on earnings growth in the past four. S&P 500 earnings had been on track to increase +2.8% on +1.9% higher revenues.

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