The unemployment rate ticked up to a two-year high of 3.9%, oddly resulting in the best week of 2023 for stocks and bonds. The S&P 500 Index rallied nearly 6% for the week, while bond prices surged as yields fell to their lowest level since September (bond prices move inversely to interest rates). Notably, the 10-year Treasury yield experienced one of the largest weekly drops since the global financial crisis, ending the week at 4.52%. (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
The softening economic data allowed Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve to continue their pause on interest rate hikes. Powell struck a softer tone on future rate decisions, noting that "it does feel like the risks are more two-sided now". This would be a new wrinkle in the Fed's strategy of fighting inflation at any cost to now taking a more balanced approach, pairing the inflation fight with avoiding a recession. Growing consensus is that the Fed has raised interest rates for the final time this cycle. (Source: Schwab)
This week is light with economic data. The focus will be on the second half of earnings season, including Uber and Disney this week, as 404 S&P 500 Index companies have reported third quarter earnings thus far.
RECORD OIL PRODUCTION - U.S. oil production is at the highest level ever. The four-week moving average of U.S. field production of crude oil reached 13.1 million barrels per day last week. The U.S. has been the largest oil producer in the world since 2018, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. (Source: Reuters)
SAM BANKMAN-FRIED FOUND GUILTY - A jury found former FTX founder Sam-Bankman Fried guilty of all seven counts against him last week, including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX customers and against Alameda Research lenders. He faces up to 115 years in prison. (Source: CNBC)
APPLE MISSES EARNINGS - The largest company in the world experienced its third straight quarter of falling revenue, its longest sales slump since 2016. Still, the company generated $81.8 billion in revenue in the third quarter alone, made up of iPhone sales ($39.7 billion) and services ($21 billion), which includes streaming music and App Store spending. (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
RANGERS WIN FIRST WORLD SERIES - The Texas Rangers won their first World Series in their franchise's 63-year history, defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks. They set a postseason record of 11-straight road wins during this year's playoffs. If you didn’t catch any games you were not alone; the five-game series averaged 9.1 million viewers, the lowest on record for a World Series. (Source: ESPN)
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