Rover's Weekly Market Brief - 12/15/2023

December 15, 2023 Printer Friendly Printer Friendly


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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the consumer price index increased 0.1% in November, this follows seasonally adjust readings of (0.0%), (+0.4%), and (+0.6%) over the previous months. The all items index has increased (+3.1%) over the last 12 months. This compares to (+3.2%), (+3.7%), and (+3.7%) over the previous months. The shelter index which makes up about one-third of the CPI weighting continued to rise (+0.4%) but was offset by a (-6.0%) drop in the gasoline index. The shelter index has now increased 43 consecutive months. The energy index declined (-2.3%), a slight deceleration from the (-2.5%) reading the previous month, with decreases coming from all energy sub-indexes, except for the indexes for natural gas (+2.8%) and electricity (+1.4%). The food index increased (+0.2%) and follows readings of (+0.3%) in October and (+0.2%) in September and August. Core CPI inflation which excludes food and energy increased (+0.3%) in November and follows readings of (+0.2%), (+0.3%), and (+0.3%) over the previous months. The annual rate of core CPI inflation remained at (+4.0%) as compared to (+4.0%), (+4.1%), and (+4.3%) over the previous months, the plateau represents the smallest 12-month change since September 2021. The shelter index increased (+6.5%) year-over-year, accounting for nearly 70% of the total increase in Core CPI. Other indexes with significant increases over the last year include motor vehicle insurance (+19.2%), recreation (+2.5%), personal care (+5.2%), and new vehicles (+1.3%).

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced the it would keep its benchmark federal funds rate in the range of between 5.25% to 5.5%. This is the third consecutive meeting with no increase. Previously the central bank had raised its benchmark borrowing rate 11 times. The FOMC signaled that policy tightening may actually be coming to an end as the FOMC, changed the wording in its statement adding the word “any” before “additional policy firming.” The FOMC statement stated that “The Committee will continue to assess additional information and its implications for monetary policy In determining the extent of any additional policy firming that may be appropriate to return inflation to 2 percent over time”. The FOMC’s latest projections show the economy improving. The FOMC forecast increased the annual GDP growth to 2.6% for 2023 from a 2.1% forecast in September. The unemployment rate is projected to remain at 3.8%. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index was revised down to 2.8% from 3.3%. Core PCE which excludes the more volatile food and energy costs was also revised down to 3.2% from 3.7%. The median projection for the federal funds rate at the end in 2024 was revised down to 4.6% from 5.1%, suggesting that cuts in the benchmark are a likely.

The Commerce Department reported advance U.S. retail and food services sales increased (+0.3%) to $705.7B in November, this follows a downwardly revised (-0.2%) from (-0.1%) drop for October. Retail sales are up (+4.1%) year over year. Total sales for September 2023 through November 2023 were up (+3.4%) year over year. Retail sales are mostly goods and are not adjusted for inflation. Contributing to the increase was a strong (+1.6%) jump in sales at restaurants followed by sporting & hobby (+1.3%), internet retail (+1.0%), home furnishings (+0.9%), personal care (+0.9%), clothing (+0.6%), motor vehicles & parts (+0.5%), and food & beverage (+0.2%). Sales dropped at gas stations (-2.9%), miscellaneous retail (-2.0%), electronics & appliances (-1.1%), building materials (-0.4%), and general merchandise (-0.2%). Core retail sales, a measurement that excludes spending on autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services increased (+0.4%) in November. October’s core retail sales were revised to show sales unchanged instead of (+0.2%).

Upcoming Economic Reports:

Tuesday December 19 – Building Permits (November)

Friday December 22 – Durable Goods Orders (MoM) (November)

Earnings Calendar:


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
FactSet Research
General Mills
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