Stock market volatility settled down somewhat this week and the US markets ended with modest gains. International markets performed better as China stocks bounced. The US now has a record number of job openings and producer prices are flat both good signs for the US economy. Treasury yields rose modestly while prices declined. Industrial metals prices rose while precious metals and oil fell. The dollar finished the week lower. The focus this next week will be on the FED meeting and the possible rate increase. There is no certainty in how the markets will react to the FED’s action or inaction.
In economic news this week:
- The Federal Reserve reported that consumer credit (non-mortgage debt) expanded at a 6.7% annual rate in July. Consumer credit has expanded every month of nearly four years.
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that oil production in August fell by 140,000 barrels a day. Production hit its highest level since 1971 in April and has declined each month since then. The agency predicted production will continue to decline until August 2016.
- The Labor Department reported:
- Import prices fell 1.8% in August mainly due to weakness in oil prices and the strong dollar.
- First time claims for unemployment in the prior week fell 6,000 to 275,000. The week before that was revised from 282,000 to 281,000. The four week moving average of claims rose 500 to 275,750. First time claims have been below 300,000 now for 27 straight weeks, the longest period in over 40 years.
- The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed job openings rose 430,000 to 5.75 million in July, the highest on record since the survey started in 2000.
- Producer prices (for goods and services) were unchanged in August following a 0.2% decline in July. Excluding the volatile food and energy costs, producer prices rose 0.3% in August. From a year ago producer prices were down 0.8% and core prices were up 0.9%.
Please call us if you have any questions.
Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF® Erik Smith
Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management 269-441-4143
77 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 140
Battle Creek, MI 49017
Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091
Toll Free: 800-513-8180
Visit our Website: www.genfinplan.com
Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management are separate companies and are not affiliated.
These are the opinions of Loren Rex and Erik Smith and are not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.