Premarket action Monday had all three major U.S. indexes trading slightly higher: the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.35%, the S&P 500 up 0.43% and the Nasdaq 0.51% higher.
All 11 market sectors closed lower again Friday, with real estate (−2.96%) and consumer cyclicals (−1.74%) leading the fall. The materials sector posted the smallest loss (−0.41%).
Friday’s losses reflected concerns that the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation would result in overshooting their target of 2% and plunge the economy into a hard landing that is likely to slash 2023 corporate earnings. Worse, many still believe equities are overpriced, and buying the dip has lost its appeal.
The week ahead is light on corporate earnings reports, but there are several economic data points on the calendar. On Tuesday, the Census Bureau reports November housing starts and new building permits. Both are expected to be lower than October totals. The National Association of Realtors reports November existing home sales on Wednesday, also expected to be lower than in October, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration issues its weekly report on petroleum inventories.
The third and final estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product comes out Thursday and is expected to match the second estimate of 2.9% growth. And to wrap up a busy week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis releases its personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index on Friday. The increase in personal income is expected to slip from 0.7% in October to 0.4%, while the core PCE price index is expected to rise by 0.3%, up from an increase of 0.2% in October. Finally, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index is also due Friday and is expected to decline slightly from 59.1 in the preliminary reading to 58.9.
The U.S. House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol holds its last public meeting Monday and, according to sources, will vote on whether to refer criminal charges to the Department of Justice against former President Donald Trump for insurrection, obstruction of Congress and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
The House committee cannot compel the Justice Department to take any action, nor does the referral have any legal influence.
But there is another vote taking place that may have some influence. On Sunday, Tesla CEO and new owner of Twitter posted a poll asking Twitter users whether he should step down as the head of the social media site. Here is the result of the poll.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
Now what, Mr. Musk?
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