The Market Week in Review

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. 

Quote

“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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