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Successful Cyber Monday; Markets Take Profits

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Another successful Cyber Monday is in the books — well, it still continues past the closing bell, but it has helped keep an otherwise profit-taking trading day from giving too big a sell-off. All four major indices closed the day in the red, though marginally: the Dow was -56 points, -0.16%, the Nasdaq was -0.07%, the S&P 500 -0.20% and the small-cap Russell 2000 -0.35%.

This Cyber Monday saw 77 million U.S. consumers participate in temporary sales on goods, most of which are for the benefit of early holiday shopping. This is in-line with data we saw two years ago. As for the first full week of holiday shopping, both in-store and online, we see a +9.8% increase year over year. This accounts for 76% of all U.S. consumers shopping this past week, up +6% from 2021. This has been especially beneficial to companies such as Affirm (AFRM - Free Report) , which gained +12% today.

New Home Sales for October came out earlier this morning, and even though analysts were looking for a tick-down in headline figures, they fell even lower than predicted: 679K seasonally adjusted, annualized units last month was significantly beneath the 725K expected. The previous month was also higher, even after being revised down ward by 40K units to 719K for the month. These numbers point directly to the reality that the housing market possesses the highest mortgage rates since the start of this century.

The West, the region that showed the highest growth numbers in new home sales for years, continued its precipitous slide, -23.3%, followed by the Midwest coming down -16.4%. The Northeast gained +13.2% and the South managed to eke out a gain, +2.1%. The average sale price for a new home has come down -$56K, and the median price of a new home sold tumbled -$87.5K year over year. This sort of data we will look for once companies like Toll Brothers (TOL - Free Report) , Lennar (LEN - Free Report) and KB Home (KBH - Free Report) report earnings early next year.

Speaking of earnings, we’re not quite done with calendar earnings season just yet. Cybersecurity firm Zscaler (ZS - Free Report) beat expectations in fiscal Q4 on both top and bottom lines: earnings of 67 cents per share outpaced expectations of 49 cents in the Zacks consensus, while revenues of $497 million easily swept past the $473.4 million anticipated.

Further, next-quarter guidance rose to a range of 57-58 cents per share (52 per share was expected) while $505-507 million in next-quarter sales is a higher guide than the $495 million in the Zacks consensus. Yet, after the stock has gained +74% year to date, shares are selling the news after hours, -6%.

Tomorrow morning, more housing data hits the tape with Case-Shiller results for September. We’ll also see Consumer Confidence numbers for November, along with more Fed governors and presidents giving statements about the Fed’s direction ahead. Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data comes out on Thursday morning of this week.

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