In this week’s recap: households buy more but feel less upbeat about the near future, the Dow rises, and homebuilders start more projects.
Weekly Economic Update | Presented by Tim Flick | August 20, 2018
MID-SUMMER MEANT BUYING FOR CONSUMERS
According to new Census Bureau data, retail sales were 0.5% improved in July. Core retail sales (all categories except car and truck buying) rose 0.6% last month. The only sour note was the revision the Bureau made to June’s headline and core retail sales advances. The overall June retail sales gain was reduced to 0.2% from 0.5%; the core gain, to 0.2% from 0.4%. 1,2
HOUSEHOLD SENTIMENT GAUGE DISAPPOINTS
In its initial August edition, the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment fell 2.6 points to 95.3. That was a miss: analysts polled by Briefing.com expected a reading of 97.8. This preliminary August reading was also an 11-month low for the index. 1,2
A MINOR JULY GAIN FOR HOUSING STARTS
A new federal government report showed residential construction activity up 0.9% last month. Building permits increased 1.5% after three months of retreats. 3
DOW LEADS THE WAY ON WALL STREET
Ascending 1.41% over five market days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Friday’s trading session at 25,669.32. The S&P 500 also had a positive week, advancing 0.59% to 2,850.13. The same was not true for the Nasdaq Composite. The tech-heavy benchmark lost 0.29% last week to finish at 7,816.33, Friday. Also notable: gold’s weekly loss of 2.9%. A strong dollar has put pressure on the yellow metal of late, and this past week was gold’s worst on the COMEX in 15 months. 2,4
T I P O F T H E W E E K
Many people plan for retirement without giving much thought to life expectancy . What if you live much longer than you think you will? As you near retirement, take this possibility into account.
On Monday, Estee Lauder presents second-quarter results. | Tuesday’s earnings roll call includes announcements from Coty, Kohl’s, La-Z-Boy, Medtronic, J.M. Smucker, and Urban Outfitters. | Analog Devices, Lowe’s, Stein Mart, and Target offer earnings on Wednesday; in addition, investors will consider minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting and July existing home sales figures. | July new home sales data is out Thursday, plus the latest initial claims report and earnings from Alibaba Group, Gap, Hormel Foods, HP, Intuit, and Toro. | Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gives a speech on monetary policy Friday morning at the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole economic policy symposium; away from Jackson Hole, Foot Locker announces quarterly earnings and data on July hard goods orders arrives.
Q U O T E O F T H E W E E K
“ Nature does nothing uselessly.”
|% CHANGE||Y-T-D||1-YR CHG||5-YR AVG||10-YR AVG|
|REAL YIELD (%)||8/17RATE||1 YR AGO||5 YRS AGO||10 YRS 67O|
|10 YR TIPS||0.79||0.42||0.68||1.43|
Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 8/17 /18 4,5,6,7
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.
T H E W E E K L Y R I D D L E
What is ready when you add a letter at its end?
LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: A cargo truck hauling a load of lumber can carry 2 tons. It approaches a bridge with a sign, which notes that the bridge can support up to 2 tons of weight. The driver sees the sign and reckons that the bridge should hold up under the weight of the truck. Is the driver right?
ANSWER: No, the driver is wrong. If the truck carries no load, it might make it across. The lumber the truck is carrying, however, will push the weight above 2 tons.
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1 – briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2018/08/13-17 [8/17/18]
2 – marketwatch.com/story/weaker-gold-heads-for-3-weekly-drop-2018-08-17 [8/17/18]
3 – reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-housingstarts/us-housing-starts-rise-less-than-expected-in-july-idUSKBN1L11FI [8/16/18]
4 – markets.wsj.com/us [8/17/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F17%2F17&x=0&y=0 [8/17/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F17%2F17&x=0&y=0 [8/17/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F17%2F17&x=0&y=0 [8/17/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F16%2F13&x=0&y=0 [8/17/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F16%2F13&x=0&y=0 [8/17/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F16%2F13&x=0&y=0 [8/17/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F18%2F08&x=0&y=0 [8/17/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F18%2F08&x=0&y=0 [8/17/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F18%2F08&x=0&y=0 [8/17/18]
6 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [8/17/18]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [8/17/18]