The November 20 week is effectively a three-day work week with the Federal holiday on Thursday for Thanksgiving and many workers taking leave on Friday to have a four-day weekend afterward. Black Friday is the unofficial kickoff for the holiday shopping season, although the early birds have been out in stores and online for some weeks already. Retailers – brick-and-mortar, online, and hybrid – will be offering deals to tempt consumers and hopefully set the tone for a solid gifting season.
There are a few shifts in the timing of release dates to remember. The Fed will publish the minutes of the October 31-November 1 FOMC meeting a day earlier than usual on Tuesday at 14:00 ET. The Labor Department will release the numbers on initial jobless claims on Wednesday at 8:30 ET. The Fed’s Thursday afternoon reports will appear on Friday at the usual time.
Now that the House has yet again temporarily averted a government shutdown, the focus in the week will be back on the compact data release schedule. There are few potential market movers.
The FOMC meeting minutes will reflect conditions three weeks ago and are likely to only confirm what policymakers have been saying about the path of monetary policy since then. Foremost among them, Chair Jerome Powell is warning that it is too soon to declare that the Fed is done raising rates. The outlook for the December 12-13 meeting will be shaped by a number of important reports yet to come, most of which will provide data for November. In the interim, as was the case at the October 31-November 1 meeting, FOMC participants are going to carefully monitor the numbers and financial market conditions.
October NAR data on sales of existing homes on Tuesday at 10:00 ET should be more of the same – a softening pace of sales and low inventories of homes for sale as current owners hold on to their low mortgage rates, and consequent support for home prices as buyers snap up available units in the more affordable price ranges. Existing homes sold in October will reflect contracts taken out in August and September when the Freddie Mac 30-year rate for a fixed rate mortgage averaged around 7.07 percent and 7.20 percent, respectively. The impact of the jump in the rate to an average of 7.65 percent in October will not yet be visible.
New orders for durable goods in October at 8:30 ET on Wednesday won’t be as strong as the 4.6 percent gain in September, but the transportation component should again boost the total dollar value of orders. Although Boeing orders for commercial aircraft fell 101 to 123 in September, this is solid number to post on the books, especially in advance of the Dubai Airshow set for November 12-16.