Last week, the US stock market indices were mixed as the Dow (-1.3%) dropped and the NASDAQ (+1.3%) and S&P 500 (+0.4%) each gained. Meanwhile, taxable and tax-free municipal bonds were roughly flat for the week.
The 3rd quarter corporate earnings season has concluded, with an average gain of 39% profits compared to the same quarter last year. That represents the 3rd largest gain since 2010, with the materials sector leading the way with an astonishing gain of 90%. Additionally, retail sales in October gained 1.7% over the prior month, demonstrating the largest monthly gain since March of this year. We are now heading into the holiday season, with a close eye on retail sales, especially with Black Friday in four days.
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