Markets Mixed After Volatile Session…..

U.S. equities were mixed in a volatile trading session, as the markets continued to grapple with inflation pressures, as well as supply chain and labor challenges. Uncertainty regarding if the Fed will be forced to speed up its first rate hike following hawkish inflation comments from New York Fed President Williams appeared to stymie conviction. Moreover, concerns appeared to have resurfaced regarding the recent rise in global COVID-19 infections. Treasuries were higher to weigh on yields, and the U.S. dollar fell, while crude oil prices were higher to pare some of yesterday’s tumble and gold lost ground. However, some favorable earnings and economic data provided some positivity to sentiment, with NVIDIA, Macy’s and Kohl’s standout winners today after their results as earnings season gets closer to the finish line, but the Dow was pressured by a drop in Cisco Systems on its mixed results and guidance. The economic calendar showed jobless claims dipped to a new post pandemic low, Philadelphia manufacturing growth jumped for November, but activity in Kansas City moderated slightly, while the October Leading Economic Index rose more than expected and registered its eighth-straight monthly gain. Europe finished to the downside amid the continued grappling with the COVID trends, the supply chain issues and inflation pressures, while markets in Asia were mostly lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 60 points (0.2%) to 35,871, while the S&P 500 Index increased 16 points (0.3%) to 4,705, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 72 points (0.5%) to 15,994. In moderately-heavy volume, 4.2 billion shares of NYSE-listed stocks were traded, and 5.3 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil gained $0.86 to $78.41 per barrel. Elsewhere, the gold spot price fell $9.30 to $1,860.90 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—declined 0.3% to 95.55.

Weekly initial jobless claims came in at a level of 268,000 for the week ended November 13, versus the Bloomberg consensus estimate of 260,000 and compared to the prior week’s upwardly-revised 269,000 level. The four-week moving average decreased by 5,750 to 272,750, and continuing claims for the week ended November 6 fell by 129,000 to 2,080,000, below estimates of 2,120,000. The four-week moving average of continuing claims dropped by 100,000 to 2,157,250.

The Philly Fed Manufacturing Business Outlook Index jumped further into expansion territory (a reading above zero) for November. The index rose to 39.0 versus estimates of a slight increase to 24.0 from October’s 23.8 level. Growth accelerated more than expected as new orders and shipments both saw expansions at faster paces, while delivery times widened and the average workweek rose. However, prices continued to climb and growth in employment slowed.

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) for October rose 0.9% month-over-month (m/m), above estimates calling for a 0.8% gain and September’s downwardly-revised 0.1% increase. The LEI was positive for the eighth-straight month due largely to the positive net contribution from jobless claims. Other components that helped the index were, the interest rate spread and building permits, and ISM new orders, which more than offset negative contributions from consumer expectations and average workweek.

The November Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity Index declined more than expected but remained comfortably at a level depicting expansion (a reading above zero). The index fell to 24.0 from October’s 31.0 reading, and compared to forecasts calling for a decrease to 28.0.

Treasuries were higher, as the yield on the 2-year note dipped 1 basis point (bp) to 0.50%, while the rates on the 10-year note and the 30-year bond declined 3 bps to 1.57% and 1.97%, respectively.

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