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Dow Catnaps While Economic Data Dump Bludgeons Recession Fears

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:18 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:18 PM
  • The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 remained flat during the last full trading day of November.
  • A slew of economic data releases beat estimates, bludgeoning recession warnings.
  • The stock market will be closed on Thursday and only partially open on Friday.

US stock exchanges will be closed tomorrow for Thanksgiving, but the Dow threatened to begin its holiday weekend a day early.

Investors have grown immune to the oscillations of the trade war carrousel, and not even a deluge of bullish economic data could shake the Dow out of its pre-Thanksgiving catnap.

Dow Hesitates During November’s Final Full Trading Day

The Thanksgiving weekend has historically been a bullish one for US stocks . That trend mostly continued on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average bounced around its previous day close. At last check, the Dow had dipped 25.22 points or 0.09% to 28,096.46.

dow jones industrial average chart
The Dow struggled to nudge higher into record territory on Wednesday. | Source: Yahoo Finance 

The S&P 500 rose slightly, adding 3.71 points or 0.12% to trade at 3,144.30.

The Nasdaq climbed even further, jumping 20.71 points or 0.24% to 8,668.64.

US Economic Data Come in Stronger Than Expected

Wednesday brought a slew of vital data releases, and the US economy ran the table – at least on the five major releases published before the opening bell. None of the data were spectacular, but all five prints beat economist estimates .

Today’s data dump was headlined by preliminary third-quarter GDP, which revealed that the US economy had grown at a rate of 2.1%  over the summer. That’s a significant dropoff from the first quarter’s 3.1% reading – not to mention the 4.2% reading from Q2 2018. Nevertheless, it’s stronger than expected; economists had predicted the US would sputter to growth of just 1.9%.

Here’s a roundup of other data:

  • The GDP Price Index came in at 1.8%, slightly above the consensus forecast of 1.7%.
  • Durable goods orders also surpassed estimates, rising 0.6% versus an expected decline of 0.5%. Core durable goods also increased 0.6%, compared to a forecast of 0.2%.
  • Finally, US jobless claims came in lower than expected, declining to 213,000. Economists had anticipated 223,000 Americans would file initial unemployment claims.

Those pre-bell releases bode well for the economy, but data scheduled for later in the session could muddy that picture.

  • Chicago PMI will be released at 9:45 am ET, and this business sentiment indicator is expected to contract for the third consecutive month.
  • Fifteen minutes later, investors will receive a handful of consumer data statistics, including the Core PCE Price Index, as well as Personal Spending and Personal Income readings.
  • Finally, crude oil inventories data will be released at 10:30 am ET, which could impact Dow Jones energy stocks like Chevron and Exxon Mobil.

Wednesday will be the last full trading day of November. The stock market won’t open at all on Thursday, and it will close at 1 pm ET on Friday.