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“Common sense is not so common.” – Voltaire

Morning stock market summary

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Outside of a number of retail-related earnings reports with some mixed results, it’s been a quiet morning so far with little in the way of earnings results.  The only major report on the calendar today is Existing Home Sales at 10 AM, and that will be followed by the minutes from the latest FOMC meeting at 2 PM.  Perhaps the most notable event for today (and the rest of the week for that matter) is NVIDIA’s (NVDA) earnings report after the close.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans traveling by car this weekend, filling up the car has become a lot less painful than it was in the summer.  Since Labor Day, the national average price of a gallon of gas has cratered for a total decline of just over 15% through yesterday, and that includes 54 straight days of declines since 9/28. After being up by more than 20% on a YTD basis back in mid-September, average gas prices throughout the country are now up less than 3%.  Now, that’s something to be thankful for!

While prices are down sharply since Labor Day, the 13.5% decline isn’t unprecedented.  As shown in the chart below, it’s typical for prices to fall at this time of year.  Since 2004, the national average price has only risen between Labor Day and Thanksgiving six times, and the average change has been a decline of 8.3%.  This year’s decline though is the largest since 2015 and ranks as the sixth-largest decline during this period of the last 20 years.

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