Your Weekly Blip 11/20/20

Your Weekly Blip 11/20/20

Stocks retreated and investors took money off the table heading into the weekend. At the close the Dow was off 219 points at 29,263. Trading volume was lower for the day. For the week the Dow was down less than one percent and now sits about 2% off its all time high. Both BTS and IBD continue to have a positive outlook on the markets.
There was a rash of retail earnings reports. Hibbett Sports did well as did Buckle. Footlocker reported stronger than expected numbers. Kitchen retailer William “Bill”’ Sonoma had a great report with a 22% revenue gain and earnings soaring 151%. Ross Stores reported a 2% decline in sales and flat earnings. Overall retail earnings were better than expected but going forward retail is caught between lockdowns and the holiday shopping season and it is unclear how this will shake out. Online shopping however should continue its growth trend.
Brian Wesbury, Economic guru at First Trust, University of Montana grad and honorary member of the Westport Mafia, noted that sales of existing homes rose 4.3% in October and are now up 5 months in a row. One big factor are low interest rates which increases affordability. What was interesting about the sales figures however was that October inventories were lower than any other October on record and are down 19.8% from a year ago. The supply of existing homes is now at 2.5 months. Sales are also shifting to high end homes. The number of properties sold worth $1 million or more were up 102.2% year over year. The bottom line is that the data points to continued strength in housing markets.
The Crew hike was called off due to the rising covid cases. Bummer. We are planning a big hike in February to the Washington coast and a place called “Norwegian Memorial”. This is where a Norwegian sailing ship bound for Seattle ran aground in the middle of the night during a storm back in January 1911. Several crew members did not survive the ordeal and in their honor a memorial was built. Troop 100 goes there every couple of years and maintains the memorial.