The Market Week in Review

The U.S. stock market fell lower on the week amid the release of a phone transcript of President Trump asking Ukraine’s president to probe democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.  Interest rates also moved lower on the week as the 10-year treasury yield dropped from 1.75% to 1.69%.  Meanwhile the spread between the 10-year treasury yield and the 2-year treasury yield remains nearly flat at 0.06%.  The price of gold fell by 1.38% to $1,503 an ounce despite a rise in political uncertainty.  The price of crude oil fell by 3.35% to $56.14 a barrel due to reports of Saudi Arabia ceasing fire on Yemen.

This Week's Economic Highlights

  • New home sales approached a twelve-year high after jumping 7.1% in August.  Falling mortgage rates continue to be the driving force in demand for homes as they bridge the affordability gap.  That said, the sales price of new homes also continues to grow, rising from $312,800 in July to $328,400 in August.
  • Initial jobless claims rose by a marginal 3,000 to 213,000 for the week ending September 21st.  However, the more stable four-week average of initial claims fell by 750 to 212,000.  Continuing jobless claims, which lag initial claims by a week, dropped by 15,000 to 1.65 million.
  • The U.S. trade deficit in goods widened by a slight 0.5% in August to a total of $72.8 billion as the near 15-month trade war between the U.S. and China hinders trade.  More specifically, imports rose by $500 million to $210.6 billion while exports rose by $200 million to $137.8 billion.
  • New orders of durable goods rose by a slight 0.2% in August after jumping 2.0% in July.  Much of the rise in August’s orders came from an increase in military-related orders, otherwise new orders would have fallen by 0.6%.
  • Consumer spending rose by a moderate 0.1% in August as consumers saved more.  Meanwhile, a 0.4% increase in personal income suggests that consumer spending could rise at a more than moderate rate.

Quote

“In Buddhist teaching, the primary obstacles that prevent us from ascending to a higher state are ignorance, greed, and anger.  This trio of poisons not only keeps us from evolving as people but also as investors.”

     – Nicolas Rabener

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