General Commentary

On the whole, the most recent economic data portends a slight lessening of domestic growth. While employment trends are positive, the ISM manufacturing data suggests a marginally lower growth rate. Lower inflation readings also suggest less demand pressure on prices in the near term. This will no doubt be well received at the Federal Reserve, which is in the process of shedding hundreds of billions of assets on its outsized balance sheet.

Net Change in U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls

Non-farm payrolls rebounded last month as the dampening effect of September’s natural disasters receded. In a related development, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.1%, reflecting a continued strengthening in the workforce.

U.S. & World Equity Indexes; 10/31/17; YTD Return S&P 500; 2,575; 15.00% Dow Jones Industrials; 23,377; 18.30% NASDAQ Composite; 6,728; 28.71% Shanghai Composite (China); 3,410; 9.90% S&P BSE Sensex (India); 33,478; 25.70% Nikkei Stock Avg (Japan); 22,416; 17.30% CAC 40 (France); 5,366; 10.40% DAX (Germany); 13,167; 14.70% FTSE 100 (U.K.); 7,411; 3.80%
Selected Interest Rates; 10/31/17; 9/30/17 15-Year Mortgage; 3.31%; 3.19% 30-Year Mortgage; 3.95%; 3.88% 5-Year Treasury Bond; 2.11%; 2.05% 10-Year Treasury Bond; 2.36%; 2.42% 30-Year Treasury Bond; 2.76%; 2.92%
Key Economic Statistics; Most Recent; Prior Month National Producer Price Index; 0.40%; 0.40% Consumer Price Index; 0.10%; 0.50% Unemployment Rate; 4.10%; 4.20% ISM Manufacturing Index; 58.70; 60.80 ISM Services Index; 60.10; 59.80 Change in Non-Farm Payroll Emp.; 261,000; -33,000 New York State Consumer Price Index - NY, NJ, CT; -0.20%; 0.50% Unemployment Rate; 4.80%; 4.90% NYS Index of Coincident Indicators; 1.00%; 3.10%


Inflation at the consumer level has increased since June 2017 to 2% annualized, which is the level targeted by the Federal Reserve.

Equity Market Statistics; Most Recent; Prior Month Dow Jones Industrials Dividend Yield; 2.28%; 2.37% Price/Earnings (12 Mth Trailing); 20.78; 19.96 Price/Earnings (Projected); 19.03; 18.48 S&P 500 Index Dividend Yield; 1.95%; 1.98% Price/Earnings (12 Mth Trailing); 23.30; 23.30 Price/Earnings (Projected); 18.34; 17.89

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