Last week was a roller coaster as the normally quiet Friday after Thanksgiving turned into a 900 point bloodbath when investors bolted after the outbreak of the new covid variant in South Africa. For the week the Dow was off 1.97% or a net 702 points on lighter trading volume. Due to the low volume session on Friday IBD remains in rally mode with is interesting since I would have expected them to flip to correction mode. Today the Dow rebounded a bit closing up 236 at 35,135. The tech heavy NASDAQ gained 291 points at 15,782.
The Economy and Earnings
Friday’s stock plunge included a 13% selloff in oil prices however today oil rebounded and reports out of Europe indicate strong demand for oil and gas as temperatures are falling. Energy stocks in the natural gas segment to include LNG shipping held up well and were higher today. WTI crude finished today just under $70 per barrel up over 2%.
In a flight to safety US Treasury yields fell Friday but today regained the 1.55% mark as most market gurus seem to think it’s too early to say that the new variant is a game changer or just another phase of the ongoing fight with covid. It seems that while the new variant can spread, the symptoms so far appear to be mild. Shares of Pfizer were higher on Friday since investors figure the new variant may drive demand for its covid pill.
New Home sales in the US rose 0.4% in October despite higher interest rates. This increase was the second month in a row and the pace of sales is still up 9.1% from the June 2021 bottom signaling that housing is stable with upward bias. The lack of supply of completed homes has builders ramping up activity and the total number of single family homes under construction right now is the highest since 2007.
Items of Interest
The Scout Christmas Tree sale is under way and so far so good. It was a challenge getting box trucks to haul the trees in this year but thanks to Handy Andy Truck rental we made it happen. Although the trucks from Handy Andy do not always appear road worthy they do add an element of adventure to the tree run. The scouts appear to be having a fine time and are enjoying being out in the rain. They even made the local TV news.