The Markets (as of market close November 3, 2023)
Wall Street ended a two-week bear run as stocks enjoyed their best week of the year. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid gains, while bond yields declined, dragged lower by escalating bond prices. Investors may have seen slowing job growth (see below) as more reason for the Federal Reserve to maintain, if not lower, interest rates in the near future. The Fed kept interest rates at their current levels following last week’s meeting (see below). Third-quarter corporate earnings have been mixed, with about 49% of the companies of the S&P 500 reporting earnings that are 7.7% above estimates, which is below the five-year average of 8.5% but above the 10-year average of 6.6%. Crude oil prices fell for the second straight week as supply concerns driven by tensions in the Middle East waned. The dollar declined to a six-week low, while gold prices advanced.