The S&P500 closed at new all-time highs every day last week. This 5 for 5 pushed the S&P above 3500 for the first time ever. The Dow will look slightly different this week as Salesforce, Amgen, and Honeywell will replace Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, and Raytheon Technologies prior to today’s market open.


Fixed Income

The spread between 30 and 10-year yields is poking up and look set to break out above 80bps. Fed Chair Powell outlined a shift towards an average inflation target this week. Under the new framework, the central bank would allow PCE inflation to run moderately beyond 2.0% over time to make up for years when it ran below 2.0%. This is the link to the update. Longer Run Goals August 2020

7/29 Statement     Credit, Liquidity and Balance Sheet     June FOMC Meeting Minutes     Federal Reserve Dot Plots     US Debt Measurement    US Corporate Debt Almost 7 Trillion yields    FOMC Policy Normalization Statement


Global Bond Yields

Daily US Treasury Yields 

Foreign Exchange Market

Energy Complex

The Baker Hughes rig count was flat this week. There are 254 oil and gas rigs operating in the US – Down 650 over last year.

  • Brent Crude Oil gained 3.29% this week closing at $45.81/bbl
  • WTI Crude Oil gained 1.49% this week to close at $42.97/bbl
  • Heating Oil gained 0.98% this week closing at $1.24/gallon
  • Natural Gas gained 3.26% this week closing at $2.66 per million BTUs
  • Unleaded Gas gained 2.76% this week closing at $1.25/gallon

Metals Complex

  • Gold gained 1.43% this week closing at $1974.00/oz
  • Silver rose 3.96% on the week closing at $27.79/oz
  • Palladium gained 2.35% this week closing at $2231.50/oz
  • Platinum gained 1.50% this week closing at $940.00/oz
  • Copper gained 3.50% this week closing at $3.02/lb


Employment Picture 

Weekly Unemployment Claims – Released Thursday 8/27/2020 – Initial jobless claims for the week ending August 22nddecreased by 98k to 1.006 million. The 4-week moving average was 1.068 million, a decrease of 107k.

Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey JOLTS – Released 8/10/2020 – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number and rate of job openings increased to 5.9 million on the last business day of June. Over the month, hires increased to 6.7 million and separations increased to 4.8 million.  Within separations, the quits rate increased to 1.9%. The layoffs and discharges rates unchanged at 1.4%. 

July Jobs Report –  BLS Summary – Released 8/7/2020 – The US Economy gained 1.8 million nonfarm jobs in July and the Unemployment rate declined to 10.2%. Average hourly earnings increased by 7 cents.  Hiring highlights include Leisure and Hospitality +592k, Government +301, Retail Trade +215, Professional and Business Services +170k.

  • Average hourly earnings increased by 7 cents in July to $29.39.
  • U3 unemployment rate declined to 10.2%. U6 unemployment rate declined to 16.5%.
  • The labor force participation rate was negligible standing at 61.4%.
  • Average workweek decreased by 0.1 hours to 34.5 hours.

Employment Cost Index – Released 7/31/2020 – Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.5% for the 3-month period ending in June 2020. The 12 month period ending in June 2020 saw compensation costs increase by 2.7%, same as the 12 month period ending June 2019. Wages and salaries increased 2.9 percent over the year and increased 2.9 percent for the 12-month period ending in June 2019. Benefit costs increased 2.2 percent for the 12-month period ending in June 2020. In June 2019, the increase was 2.3 percent. This report is published quarterly.

This Week’s Economic Data

Links take you to the data source

Personal Income – Released 8/28/2020 – Personal income increased $70.5 billion or 0.4 percent in July according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $39.9 billion or 0.2 percent and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $267.6 billion or 1.9 percent. 

Second Estimate of 2nd Quarter 2020 GDP – Released 8/27/2020 – Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 31.7 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to the second estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The decline in GDP seen in the second quarter marks the worst quarterly decline in GDP to date. This GDP estimate is based on data that are more complete than that of the data of the advance estimate. The advance estimate saw GDP declining 32.9 percent in the second quarter. The second estimate, private inventory investment and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased less than previously estimated. The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by an increase in federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

Durable Goods – Released 8/26/2020 – New orders for manufactured durable goods in July increased for the third consecutive month up $23.2 billion or 11.2% to $230.7 billion. Transportation equipment led the increase rising $19.6 billion or 35.6% to $74.7 billion.  

Consumer Confidence Released 8/25/2020  The Consumer confidence index decreased 6.90% in August following a decrease in July. The Index now shows a reading of 84.8, down from 91.7 in July. 

New Residential Sales – Released 8/25/2020 – Sales of new single-family homes increased 13.9% to 901k, seasonally adjusted, in July. The median sales price of new homes sold in July was $330,600 with an average sales price of $391,300. At the end of July, the seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale was 299k. This represents a supply of 4.0 months at the current sales rate.


Recent Economic Data

Links take you to the data source 

Existing Home Sales – Released 8/21/2020 – Existing home sales increased in July following a strong rebound in June. Sales increased 24.7% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.86 million in July. Sales are currently up 8.7% from one year ago. Housing inventory sits at 1.50 million units. Down 2.6% over last month. Down 21.1% over last year. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.1 month supply. The median existing home price for all housing types was $304,100.

Housing Starts – Released 8/18/2020 – New home starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.496 million; up 22.6% above June and 23.4% below last July’s rate. Building Permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.495 million, up 18.8% compared to June and up 9.4% over last year. 

Retail Sales – Released 8/14/2020 – U.S. retail sales for July increased 1.2% to $536.0 billion. U.S. retail sales are up 2.7% year/y. 

Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization – Released 8/14/2020 – In July Industrial production increased 3.0%. Total Industrial production is still 8.4% below its pre-pandemic February level. Manufacturing increased 3.4%. Motor vehicles and parts saw the largest gain at 28.3%. Total industrial production was 100.2% of its 2012 average which is 8.2% lower in July than a year ago.  Total capacity utilization increased 2.1% to 70.6% in July which is 9.2% below its long-run average. 

Consumer Price Index – Released 8/12/2020 – The Consumer Price Index increased 0.6% in July. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy also increased 0.6%. The monthly changes left total CPI up 1.0% year-over-year and core CPI up 1.6%. 

Producer Price Index – Released 8/11/2020 – The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.6% in July. PPI less food and energy increased 0.3% in July.  

Consumer Credit  Released 8/7/2020 – In June, consumer credit decreased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.75%. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 31.75 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent. Total Outstanding consumer credit is currently at $4.125 trillion.

PMI Non-Manufacturing Index (ISM Services) – Released 8/5/2020 – Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in July for the second consecutive month. ISM Non-Manufacturing registered 58.1 percent, which is 1.0 percentage point above the adjusted June reading of 57.1 percent. 

U.S. Trade Balance  Released 8/5/2020 –  According to the U.S. Census Bureau of Economic Analysis the goods and services deficit decreased in June by $4.1 billion to $50.7 billion. June exports were $158.3 billion, $13.6 billion more than May exports. June imports were $208.9 billion, $9.5 billion more than May imports. The goods and services deficit decreased $23.1 billion or 7.8% year-to-date, from the same period in 2019. Year – over – year exports and imports decreased $199.1 billion or 15.7% and decreased $222.3 billion or 14.2% respectively.

PMI Manufacturing ISM Index – Released 8/3/2020 – July PMI increased 1.6% to 54.2% from June’s reading of 52.6%. The New Orders Index was up 5.1% from June’s reading of 56.4% to 61.5%. The Production Index registered 62.1%, up 4.8%.

U.S. Construction Spending – Released 8/3/2020 – Construction spending declined 0.7% in June measuring at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,355.2 billion. The June figure is 0.1% above the June 2019 estimate. Private construction spending was 0.7% below the revised May estimate at $1,001.9 billion. Public construction spending was 0.7% below the revised May estimate at $353.3 billion.

US Light Vehicle Sales – Released 8/3/2020 – U.S. light vehicle sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 13.053 million units in July.

Chicago PMI Released 7/31/2020  Chicago PMI increased 15.3 points increasing to 51.9. This marks the highest level since May 2019 and ends eleven consecutive months in contraction. The increase in July comes as Covid-19 related shutdowns have eased resulting in increased business activity.  Nevertheless, companies noted continued uncertainty amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Among the main five main indicators, New Orders and Production saw the largest monthly gains, while Supplier Deliveries eased. 

Next week we get data on Chicago PMI, US Light Vehicle Sales, U.S. Construction Spending, ISM Services, the PMI Manufacturing ISM Index, the U.S. Trade Balance, and the August Jobs Report. 

Data Sources:

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED Charts)

CME Fed Watch
U.S. Treasury – Yields
U.S. Census Bureau
Institute for Supply Management (ISM)
Weekly DOL Employment Data
BLS Monthly Jobs Report

US Energy Admin (EIA)
BLS Consumer Price Index CPI
BLS Producer Price Index PPI
Atlanta Fed GDPNOW
NY Fed Nowcast GDP
US Census Bureau Housing Starts

Consumer Credit
USCB Retail Sales
Construction Spending
Federal Reserve Dot Plots
NY Empire Index
Philadelphia Federal Reserve
P/E Ratio Data -Yardeni Research

Technical Analysis Info: – Financial Charts
Exponential vs Simple moving average

Other Links:

1973 Arab Oil Embargo
Hunt Brothers Silver
Long-Term Capital bailout



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