PHONE: (425) 483-7351  |  INFO@SWAGERTYGARDNER.COM

 Button_AccountLogin.png

Our Two Cents Worth

Weekly Economic Update for October 7, 2013

WeeklyMarketUpdate.jpgWALL STREET FEELS EFFECTS OF SHUTDOWN

Even with the federal government mostly out of commission last week and a debt ceiling battle brewing, stocks didn’t fall too far. The NASDAQ actually rose 0.69% in five trading days, marking its fifth straight weekly advance; the S&P 500 lost only 0.07%. The CBOE VIX, unsurprisingly, rose 9.25% last week to settle at 16.89 Friday. COMEX gold hit its lowest level since August on Tuesday, and the dollar touched a one-month low against the yen on Thursday. The week ended with no resolution to the budget impasse. Last week, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde cautioned that U.S. GDP could slip below 2% this year if the debt ceiling is not raised.1,2

  

ADP REPORT GAINS GREATER SIGNIFICANCE

As the Labor Department’s September employment report didn’t come out last week, the ADP National Employment Report took center stage. ADP said private payrolls expanded by 166,000 jobs last month; economists polled by Reuters had forecast an increase of 180,000. ADP compiles its report off of available data, as opposed to the fresh data presented by the Labor Department on the first Friday of each month. The official September jobs report will likely appear on the Friday after the federal government reopens.3,4

    

MANUFACTURING EXPANDS IN SEPTEMBER

The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing manager index for the factory sector came in at a healthy 56.2 for September, up from 55.7 in August. The Institute’s non-manufacturing PMI fell 4.2 points in September to 54.4; even so, it showed the service sector growing for the 45th straight month.5

Weekly Economic Update for September 30, 2013

WeeklyMarketUpdate.jpgHOUSEHOLDS BOOST THEIR SPENDING

August saw a 0.3% gain in personal spending, and the Commerce Department also noted a 0.4% rise in personal income – the largest monthly increase since February. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of GDP, and analysts widely expect about 2% growth in Q3; Q2 growth was pegged at 2.5% last week in the federal government’s final estimate. In other economic news out of Washington, durable goods orders rose 0.1% in August, a nice change from the 8.1% dive in July.1,2

  

NEW HOME SALES UP, PENDING HOME SALES DOWN

July was the worst month for new home buying since October 2012, so the 7.9% sales gain in August was welcome. New home inventory rose 3.6% in August to the highest level since March 2011, the Commerce Department noted. The National Association of Realtors reported a 1.6% decline in pending home sales in August. July’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a 12.4% yearly rise in home values across 20 cities – the best 12-month increase since February 2006.3,4

    

ASSESSMENTS OF CONSUMER SENTIMENT DIFFER

September’s Conference Board consumer confidence index came in at 79.7, down notably from the August reading of 81.8. The University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for the month offered a 77.5 reading, the lowest mark for the index in almost five months; even so, it beat the final August mark of 76.8 and the Briefing.com consensus forecast of 77.0.2,5

     

STOCKS DIP DURING ANXIOUS WEEK

With a last-minute showdown over the federal budget looming in Congress and consumers and business owners trying to learn more about the healthcare exchanges slated to open October 1, there was a lot to concern Wall Street and Main Street last week. The Dow (-1.25 to 15,258.24) and S&P 500 (-1.06% to 1,691.75) made weekly retreats, but the NASDAQ rose 0.18% in five days to settle at 3,781.59 Friday.5

Weekly Economic Update for September 23, 2013

WeeklyMarketUpdate.jpgNO TAPERING YET...BUT COULD IT HAPPEN SOON?

The DJIA hit an all-time high Wednesday after the Federal Reserve decided not to reduce its $85 billion monthly stimulus effort. Friday, the index lost 185 points on the heels of comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard (who said that QE3 could be tapered next month) and Kansas City Fed President Esther George (who said that the decision not to taper created confusion in the markets). So investors wonder: is an “Octaper” ahead? This week is data-heavy, and investors will be keeping an eye on federal budget talks in addition to any comments from Fed officials. The September FOMC minutes come out on October 9; the next Fed policy announcement occurs on October 30.1,2

  

RISING INTEREST RATES PROMPT HOMEBUYING

Existing home sales hit a six-year peak in August, rising 1.7% for the month in the estimate of the National Association of Realtors. The big reason? Buyers ran to lock in interest rates on mortgages before they increased further. The median price of an existing home in August was $212,100 – 14.7% higher than in August 2012. Housing starts rose 0.9% in August, according to the Commerce Department.3

 

CPI BARELY BUDGES IN AUGUST

Consumer inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) ticked up 0.1% last month. The core CPI also rose 0.1%. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected 0.2% August gains for both the headline and core indices.4

 

Weekly Economic Update for September 16, 2013

WeeklyMarketUpdate.jpgHOUSEHOLDS BUY CAUTIOUSLY

Retail sales rose an underwhelming 0.2% in August, the Commerce Department noted Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.4% advance, which would have matched the July gain for the indicator. Analysts were left wondering if the subdued buying hinted at slower economic growth in the third quarter.1

  

INTEREST RATES WEIGH ON CONSUMER SENTIMENT

September’s preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index came in at 76.8, the poorest reading since April. Why did it descend so much from the final August reading of 82.1? Survey director Richard Curtin cited a “cooling housing market” and “growing concerns that higher interest rates will diminish the pace of economic growth as well as job gains.”2

   

WHOLESALE INFLATION UP 0.3% IN AUGUST

This gain in the Producer Price Index exceeded the 0.2% rise forecast by economists surveyed by Reuters. The core PPI was flat for August. Annualized wholesale inflation was running at just 1.4% last month.1,3

 

 

Weekly Economic Update for September 9, 2013

 WeeklyMarketUpdate.jpgBENEATH THE SURFACE, A DISQUIETING JOBS REPORT

In August, the U.S. unemployment rate declined to 7.3% with the economy adding 169,000 jobs. Not bad, but details in the Labor Department’s latest report also raised caution flags: the jobless rate fell only because more people gave up the hunt for work, as the labor force participation rate of 63.2% was the poorest in 35 years. June and July hiring was revised downward, with just 104,000 new jobs in July (the weakest hiring in 13 months) and just 148,000 per month from June through August, compared to 184,000 per month in the preceding 12 months. Will the Federal Reserve postpone tapering after jobs data like this?1

  

FURTHER FACTORY & SERVICE SECTOR GROWTH

Both of the Institute for Supply Management’s August purchasing manager indexes showed robust sector expansion. The August non-manufacturing PMI surged 2.6% to 58.6; analysts polled by MarketWatch forecast it to dip 1.0% to 55.0. As for the Institute’s factory-sector PMI, it rose another 0.3% in August to 55.7.2

   

NEW BEIGE BOOK: LARGELY “MODERATE” EXPANSION

In its latest anecdotal survey of economic conditions, that very adjective was used to characterize growth in three-quarters of Federal Reserve districts. In the big picture, the Beige Book noted solid auto and home buying that fostered an increase in consumer spending, but also “weakened” lending.3

Weekly Economic Update for August 19, 2013

WeeklyMarketUpdate.jpgCONSUMER PRICES RISE 0.2% IN JULY

That was exactly the increase that analysts surveyed by Briefing.com expected, and it was a relief after the 0.5% rise in the Consumer Price Index for June. As for July’s Producer Price Index, it was flat – a welcome contrast to June’s 0.8% jump.1

  

RETAIL SALES IMPROVE

July didn’t see as much car and truck buying as in spring, so the gain was 0.2% compared to 0.5% in May and 0.6% in June. The impressive news was the 0.5% rise in core retail sales (excluding auto, gas and construction purchases). That particular indicator hadn’t been so positive since December.2

   

HOUSEHOLD SENTIMENT SLIPS

Analysts polled by Briefing.com expected August’s preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment index to be unchanged from the final July reading of 85.1. Instead, it dropped to 80.0 – a 4-month low.1,3,4

Weekly Economic Update for August 12, 2013

 WeeklyMarketUpdate.jpgIMPRESSIVE SERVICE SECTOR GROWTH

Last month saw solid expansion in U.S. service industries, according to the July non-manufacturing PMI from the Institute for Supply Management. ISM’s latest service sector PMI came in at 56.0 compared with 52.2 in June. July’s new orders index rose 6.9% to 57.7, and July’s business activity index climbed 8.7% to 60.4.1

  

OBAMA: FANNIE MAE & FREDDIE MAC SHOULD GO

Last week in Phoenix, the President said that “private capital should take a bigger role in the mortgage markets” and advocated the passage of bipartisan legislation circulating in the Senate that would “end Fannie and Freddie as we know them” and create a Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation to regulate the home financing system. Even though winding down Fannie and Freddie has widespread support, mortgage interest rates would likely rise without their credit guarantees.2,3

   

HOW DOES EARNINGS SEASON LOOK SO FAR?

The short answer: it looks better than many analysts had expected. Just after Friday’s close, Bloomberg reported that 447 firms in the S&P 500 had reported quarterly results; 72% of them had beaten the profit projections of analysts and 56% had exceeded sales forecasts.4

Weekly Economic Update for August 5, 2013

 WeeklyMarketUpdate.jpgJOBS REPORT SENDS MIXED SIGNALS

Unemployment sank to a 4½-year low of 7.4% last month, even as the pace of hiring declined a bit from spring. The Labor Department’s July report showed non-farm payrolls expanding by 162,000 jobs, with retail, bar and restaurant hires accounting for most of the gain. The ranks of the self-employed grew 2.6% last month. With jobs data like this, some analysts are wondering if the Federal Reserve will reconsider its plan to reduce asset purchases later this year.1

  

HOUSEHOLD SPENDING MEETS EXPECTATIONS

Consumer spending rose 0.5% in June, matching the consensus forecast of economists polled by Reuters; consumer incomes grew 0.3%. The Commerce Department also said the economy grew at a 1.7% annual pace in Q2, up from 1.1% in Q1. July’s Conference Board consumer confidence index came in at 80.3 last week; economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a reading of 81.1.2,3

   

ISM FINDS JUMP IN MANUFACTURING GROWTH

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index hit 55.4% in July, much improved from 50.9% in June. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had anticipated a 52.0 reading.3

 

QUARTERLY ECONOMIC UPDATE FOR Q2, 2013

Icon_QuarterlyEconomicUpdate_Q22013.jpgTHE QUARTER IN BRIEF

Stocks advanced for the third quarter out of the last four: the S&P 500 rose 2.36% in three months and climbed to a new record close of 1,669.16 on May 21. While the Federal Reserve threatened to let the air out of the rally as the quarter wound down, key indicators largely showed improvement even as the effects of the sequester cuts presumably trickled down to Main Street. The dollar strengthened and gold was hit hard, though oil pushed toward $100 a barrel. The housing recovery continued undeterred.1,2

 

DOMESTIC ECONOMIC HEALTH

When Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke mentioned on June 19 that the central bank might reduce its easing effort later this year and end QE3 altogether in mid-2014, global markets tumbled and the S&P 500 ended up having its first losing month in several (-1.50%). While this was the major event affecting investors in Q2, there were many other consequential economic developments.1,3  

 

Weekly Economic Update for July 29, 2013

WeeklyMarketUpdate.jpgCONSUMER SENTIMENT CONTINUES TO RISE

In 12 months, the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment has gained almost 13 points. At 85.1, July’s final edition of the index was up 1.0 points from the final June reading. Two notable details: the percentage of respondents saying their home values had increased hit a six-year peak, and more respondents expected their inflation-adjusted incomes to rise in the coming year than at any time since 2007.1

  

TWO DIFFERENT HOME SALES STORIES

Existing home sales declined 1.2% in June with shrinking inventory, but the median sale price was up 13.5% from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. Even as supply fell short of demand, anticipation of rising mortgage rates no doubt contributed to an 8.3% jump in new home buying in June, as well as the greatest yearly improvement in new home sales since 1992 – a 38.1% annual gain.2

   

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS UP 4.2%

June’s impressive overall advance didn’t tell the whole story. Minus the oft-volatile transportation category, core hard goods orders were flat last month.3

 

Syndicate content

Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Cetera is not affiliated with any other named entity.

This site is published for residents of the United States only. Financial Advisors of Cetera Advisor Networks may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site may be available in every state and through every advisor listed. For additional information please contact the advisor(s) listed on the site, visit the Cetera Advisor Networks site at www.ceteraadvisorrnetworks.com.               

Online Privacy Policy | Privacy Promise | Business Continuity | Important Disclosures | Order Routing

Website Design For Financial Services Professionals | Copyright 2018 AdvisorWebsites.com. All rights reserved