- Stocks End October In The Red
- JOLTs Number Offers A Peek At Employment Situation
- Fed Decision Expected To Leave Rates Unchanged
Stocks eked out gains on Tuesday; however, they ended lower overall for the month. In fact, October marked the third consecutive month of losses for stocks with the S&P 500 dropping 2.2% and Nasdaq Composite falling 2.8%. We’ll see if markets can turn the tide as we enter the holiday season which will kick itself off with today’s Fed announcement.
As I mentioned Monday, it’s a heavy week for earnings and economic data. Overnight, Advanced Micro Devices
After the close today, we’ll hear from Qualcomm
In the commodities space, oil is up nearly 2% in premarket. Much like stocks, oil struggled in October, falling 11% for the month. That has been good news for consumers as gasoline prices fell with oil. According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas is currently $3.46. That compares with a month ago when the average price stood at $3.82.
Gold ended October just below $2000 per ounce, closing Tuesday at $1994.50. On Monday, gold closed at $2005 which was the first time since July it closed above $2000. Unlike pretty much everything else, gold had its best month in October since March, gaining nearly 6%. We also saw the U.S. dollar hit a 33 year high vs. the Japanese yen. Japan warned of a decline in manufacturing, which is something worth keeping an eye on.
Of course, today will be all about interest rates and the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. According to the CME, there is a 97% chance the Fed will leave rates unchanged. However, markets will be significantly more interested in hearing what Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has to say looking forward. Many analysts expect to hear “higher for longer” with respect to rates and the focus will be on any changes to that language.
Later this morning we’ll get the latest report on job openings when the October JOLTs report is released. According to Bloomberg, the forecast is for 9.27M job openings, down from last month’s 9.61M. That number will serve as the lead in for Friday’s monthly employment report which is expected to show 188K new jobs created and an unemployment rate of 3.8%.
If you were worried there would be little to look forward to between today’s Fed decision and Friday’s jobs report, don’t fret. After the close tomorrow, Apple
For today, I expect trading to be a bit sideways heading into the Fed announcement. In premarket activity, stocks are quiet and volatility is flat, but that could all change once Powell begins speaking. As always, I would stick with your investing strategy and long term plans.
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