Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 9-14-2020

 

  • On a holiday-shortened week, economic data included a tick upward in producer and consumer inflation, although levels remain tempered. Employment data remained mixed.
  • U.S. equity markets declined last week, as profit-taking in certain higher-growth stock groups continued. Foreign stocks outperformed domestic stocks slightly, along with improved economic prospects. Bonds gained due to inflows from riskier assets, led by investment-grade debt. Commodities were mixed to lower, as priced for crude oil and natural gas continued to show weakness.

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Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 9-8-2020

 

  • Economic data last week included mixed but generally pointed to expansion for manufacturing and services releases, as well as a better-than-expected employment situation report for August.
  • U.S. and foreign equities both fell back last week, as growth stock strength reversed. Bonds ticked up slightly, although stronger economic data sustained interest rates. Commodities fell broadly, led by lower pricing for crude oil and demand continues to remain weak.

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Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 8-31-2020

  • Economic data for the week included higher than expected durable goods orders, continued strength in house prices and new home sales, and largely stable elevated levels of jobless claims.
  • Global equity markets gained last week upon hopes of Covid therapeutics and a ramped-up vaccine timeline, as well as decent economic news. Bonds lost ground as outflows caused interest rates to tick higher. Commodities were mixed, despite spikes in natural gas prices due to hurricanes affecting the Gulf Coast.

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Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 8-24-202

  • Economic data for the week included strength in a variety of housing metrics, continued improvement in a broad index of leading economic indicators, but a pullback in several regional manufacturing indexes.
  • U.S. equity markets gained upon continued stronger economic data and hopes for a near-term vaccine, while foreign stocks lost ground due to continued uncertainty over global trade relations and a virus uptick. Bonds fared well as interest rates ticked downward again. Commodities were mixed, with little change in oil prices, while natural gas prices again spiked.

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Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 8-17-2020

 

  • Economic data for the week included further gains in retail sales, and industrial production, among other measures. Consumer sentiment and jobs results also showed improvement, all of which look to a stronger showing for the third quarter over the second.
  • Global equities experienced gains last week as investors look ahead to economic growth beyond Covid, especially as prospects for a vaccine improve (and Russia approving a vaccine). Bonds fell back, however, as interest rates crept up along with this same news. Commodities gained, with price increases for agriculture and natural gas, and less so for crude oil, which has been more stable as of late.

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Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 8-10-2020

  • Economic data for the week included strength in ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing surveys, a better-than-expected employment situation report for July, and a slight improvement in jobless claims.
  • Global equity markets inched higher last week with improved economic data and investor sentiment. Bonds were little changed, in keeping with minimal changes in the yield curve. Commodities gained with price increases for metals and natural gas.

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Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 8-03-2020

  • Economic data for the week included the Federal Reserve keeping monetary policy unchanged and accommodative, GDP for the 2ndquarter came in showing historical weakness as expected, jobless claims remained elevated, while housing data showed signs of life with building activity picking up and prices steady due to tight market inventory.
  • U.S. equity markets gained, while foreign stocks experienced mixed results, as returns were largely sector-dependent. Bonds gained as interest rates ticked downward, especially outside of the U.S. as the dollar declined last week. Commodities were mixed, with energy down and metals higher.

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Fed Note

The Federal Reserve made no key policy changes in their July meeting, as expected, keeping the fed funds rate at the lower bound of 0.00-0.25%. Earlier this week, the pandemic-based emergency liquidity/lending programs were extended until at least the end of 2020, and dollar swap lines for longer.

The formal statement noted some pickup in economic activity, but noted continued concerns over the human and economic risks posed by Covid. They expect to maintain this target level until substantial repair has occurred. At the risk of stating the obvious, the Fed’s opinion is best summarized by the newly-added comment, ‘The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus.’

The official indicators remain little changed since the pandemic began:

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Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 7-27-2020

  • Economic data for the week included stronger results for housing prices and sales activity, some of which was due to continued tight inventories. The index of leading economic indicators also showed signs of improvement. However, jobless claims rose, which disappointed relative to expectations.
  • U.S. equity markets lost ground last week, while developed foreign markets offered mixed results, and emerging markets rallied a bit. Bonds also fared well as interest rates declined further. Commodities rose on the back of energy and precious metals.

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Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 7-20-2020

  • Economic data last week included rebounds in retail sales, industrial production, and housing. Inflation metrics also showed a small creep up on prices for certain goods. Manufacturing data was mixed, while consumer sentiment weakened slightly.
  • Equities in developed nations around the globe generally gained, with hopes for a trough in economic growth and stock earnings, in addition to positive Covid vaccine tests. U.S. treasury bonds were flattish, while corporate credit and foreign bonds rallied. Commodities were little changed for the week on net.

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Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 7-13-2020

  • A light calendar of economic data for the week included a record increase in non-manufacturing, lower producer prices, and stronger job openings.
  • Global equity markets rose last week, as stronger economic data outweighed mixed results of pandemic infections around the world. Bonds fared well with credit spreads contracting in the U.S., and weaker dollar helping foreign bonds. Commodities were generally higher due to strength in industrial metals, while crude oil prices were little changed.

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Weekly Economic Update

Economic Update 7-6-2020

 

  • On a shortened holiday week, economic data included sharp improvement in manufacturing, as well as in the June employment situation report. Housing and consumer confidence also showed promise, as a variety of data points appear to be rebounding from extremely low levels.
  • Global equity markets gained, with stronger economic news; U.S. stocks outperformed those abroad. Bonds were mixed to higher as interest rates were little changed, but credit outperformed. Commodities rose broadly, including increases in the prices of crude oil and natural gas.

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