The U.S. stock market ended the week higher as China announced plans to exempt certain U.S. products from tariffs and President Trump postponed additional tariffs on Chinese goods. As a result of the positive trade news, as well as strong retail sales data, interest rates jumped higher with the 10-year treasury yield rising from 1.55% last week to 1.90% today. The price of gold fell 1.28% on the week to $1,495 an ounce, which can also primarily be attributed to trade optimism and strong retail sales data. The price of crude oil dropped by 2.8% to $54.94 a barrel as President Trump discussed easing oil sanctions on the highly oil dependent country of Iran.
This Week's Economic Highlights
- The producer price index (PPI), a measure of wholesale inflation, inched 0.1% higher in August. Meanwhile, core PPI, which excludes the volatile food and energy prices, rose a sharper 0.4%. Over the past year PPI has risen at a rate of 1.8% while core PPI has risen at a rate of 1.9%.
- The consumer price index (CPI), a measure of retail inflation, rose 0.1% in August. However, core CPI, which excludes the volatile food and energy prices, rose by a stronger 0.3%. Over the past year CPI has risen at a relatively low 1.7% while core CPI has risen at a much steeper 2.4%.
- Initial unemployment claims dropped by a rather large 15,000 to 204,000 for the week ending September 9th. However, the more stable four-week average of initial claims only fell by 5,250 to 212,500. Continuing unemployment claims, which lag initial claims by a week, dropped by a slight 4,000 to 1.67 million.
- U.S. retail sales rose by a strong 0.4% in August, marking its 6th consecutive rise and 7th rise of the year. However, excluding sales of automobiles, which tend to have inconsistent month-to-month demand, retail sales were flat.
“If you’re on the right side of the issue, just keep driving until you hear glass breaking. Don’t quit.”
– Boone Pickens
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