The stock market finished mostly up as U.S. large-cap stocks rows on news that tariffs on Chinese goods will be phased in more slowly than expected.  However, the tech heavy Nasdaq and the small/mid-cap Russel 2000 index struggled.  Interest rates continue to move higher as the 10-year treasury yield jumped 8 basis points to 3.07%.  The spread between the 10-year treasury yield and the 2-year treasury yield widened by 4 basis points to 0.27%.  The price of gold reversed its 3-week downward trend by rising a moderate 0.37% to $1,203.40 an ounce.  The price of crude oil jumped 2.74% to $70.85 a barrel after OPEC signaled it would be comfortable with oil prices above $80 a barrel.  The U.S. dollar index dropped from 94.98 to 94.19.

 

Index Started Week Ended Week Change Change % YTD %
DJIA 26,154.67 26,743.50 588.83 2.25% 8.19%
Nasdaq 8,010.04 7,986.96 -23.08 -0.29% 15.70%
S&P 500 2,904.98 2,929.67 24.69 0.85% 9.58%
Russell 2000 1,721.72 1,712.32 -9.40 -0.55% 11.51%

 

THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

 

  • Housing starts jumped 9.2% in August to a 1.28 million annualized rate. However, housing permits fell 5.7% to an annualized rate of 1.23 million.  It should be noted that both housing starts and permits are volatile, and despite that, the overall trend of the two has been downward as of late.

 

  • Initial unemployment claims dropped by a marginal 3,000 to a total of 201,000 for the week ending September 15th. Continuing unemployment claims dropped a significant 55,000 to 1.65 million.  Both initial and continuing unemployment claims are at historical lows.

 

  • The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rebounded to 22.90 in September, coming off its 20-month low in August. Much of the increase was driven by significant rises in both new orders and shipments.

 

  • After falling for 4 consecutive months, existing home sales was unchanged in August at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million. Supply of existing homes was also unchanged for the month, holding at an annual rate of 1.92 million.  However, existing home prices dropped 1.70% to a median of $264,000.

 

RECOMMENDED READING

 

This article focuses on the importance of maintaining a long-term investment horizon and how even a humble start can lead to incredible results.

https://ofdollarsanddata.com/nothing-into-something/

 

TIDBIT

The British pound fell on Friday as Prime Minister Theresea May says Brexit talks are at an “impasse”, and warns of a no-deal outcome.  Assuming there will be no referendum, Britain is set to leave the European Union (EU) on March 29, 2019 and must be fully withdrawn from the EU by 2020.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Americans are getting stronger.  Twenty years ago, it took two people to carry ten dollars’ worth of groceries.  Today, a five-year-old can do it.”

– Henry Youngman

 

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