Investors appear to have brighter expectations going into the third quarter, with the S&P 500 having its best week in three months. The market rose four of the five days, and every sector in the S&P 500 ended the week in positive territory. The materials (+5.1%), energy (+5.0%), information technology (+4.6%), and utilities (+4.6%) sectors advanced more than 4.0%, while the real estate sector underperforming with a 1.4% gain.

The one day the market closed lower was when President Trump said he called off stimulus negotiations until after the election. Presumably, he got spooked by the swift market selloff (the S&P500 fell almost 2% in the hour after his tweet) and later that day came out in favor of standalone bills for airlines, small businesses, and households. By the end of the week the administration had upped their stimulus offer from $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion. The markets of course liked the fact that there was actual progress being made and the remainder of the week was all positive.

The FOMC Minutes for the September 15-16 meeting didn’t contain any headline fireworks, although they did convey a feeling among committee members that the economic recovery would be prolonged without additional, and more timely, fiscal support.

3rd quarter earnings get rolling in earnest this coming week with reports from IBM, Lockheed, Netflix, Verizon, Microsoft and Amazon, just to name a few. Just 69 companies in the S&P 500 have issued earning guidance for the quarter. Profits among companies in the S&P 500 are still expected to decline sharply from last year, but analysts have been lifting their estimates over the course of the quarter.





Fixed Income



9/16 FOMC Statement     Credit, Liquidity and Balance Sheet    Federal Reserve Dot Plots     US Debt Measurement     US Corporate Debt Almost 7 Trillion yields    FOMC Policy Normalization Statement     Longer Run Goals August 2020

Global Bond Yields


Daily US Treasury Yields 

Foreign Exchange Market

Energy Complex

The Baker Hughes rig count gained 3 this week. There are 269 oil and gas rigs operating in the US – down 587 over last year.

  • Brent Crude Oil gained 9.12% this week closing at $42.85/bbl
  • WTI Crude Oil gained 9.58% this week to close at $40.60/bbl
  • Heating Oil gained 9.98% this week closing at $1.19/gallon
  • Natural Gas gained 12.43% this week closing at $2.74 per million BTUs
  • Unleaded Gas gained 7.09% this week closing at $1.20/gallon

Metals Complex

  • Gold gained 0.98% this week closing at $1926.20/oz
  • Silver gained 4.49% on the week closing at $25.11/oz
  • Palladium gained 5.94% this week closing at $2463.20/oz
  • Platinum gained 0.33% this week closing at $894.30/oz
  • Copper gained 3.53% this week closing at $3.08/lb

Employment Picture 

Weekly Unemployment Claims – Released Thursday 10/8/2020 – Initial jobless claims for the week ending October 3rd decreased by 9k to 840k. The 4-week moving average was 857k, a decrease of 13k.

Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey JOLTS – Released 10/6/2020 – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number and rate of job openings was little changed at 6.5 million on the last business day of August. Over the month, hires increased to 5.9 million and separations decreased to 4.6 million.  Within separations, the quits rate decreased to 2.0%. The layoffs and discharges rates decreased to 1.0%. 

September Jobs Report –  BLS Summary – Released 10/2/2020 – The US Economy gained 661k million nonfarm jobs in September and the Unemployment rate declined to 7.9%. Average hourly earnings were steady at $29.47.  Hiring highlights include Leisure and Hospitality +318k, Retail Trade +142k, Professional and Business Services +89k.

  • Average hourly earnings increased held steady in September at $29.47.
  • U3 unemployment rate declined to 7.9%. U6 unemployment rate declined to 12.8%.
  • The labor force participation rate decreased 0.3% to 61.4%.
  • Average work week increased by 0.1 hours to 34.7 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 on 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

Consumer Credit  Released 10/7/2020 – In August, consumer credit decreased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 2.0%. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 11.25 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 0.75 percent. Total Outstanding consumer credit is currently at $4.145 trillion.  

U.S. Trade Balance – Released 10/6/2020 – According to the U.S. Census Bureau of Economic Analysis the goods and services deficit increased in August by $3.7 billion to $63.4 billion. August exports were $171.9 billion, $3.6 billion more than July exports. August imports were $239.0 billion, $7.4 billion more than July imports. The goods and services deficit increased $22.6 billion or 5.7% year-to-date, from the same period in 2019. Year – over – year exports and imports decreased $296.1 billion or 17.6% and decreased $273.5 billion or 13.1% respectively.   

PMI Non-Manufacturing Index (ISM Services) – Released 10/5/2020 – Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in September for the fourth consecutive month. ISM Non-Manufacturing registered 57.8 percent, which is 0.9 percentage points above the adjusted August reading of 56.9 percent.


Recent Economic Data

Links take you to the data source 

PMI Manufacturing ISM Index – Released 10/2/2020 – September PMI declined 0.6% to 55.4% from August’s reading of 56.0%. The New Orders Index was down 7.4% from August’s reading of 67.6% to 60.2%. The Production Index registered 61.0%, down 2.3%.

U.S. Construction Spending – Released 10/1/2020  Construction spending increased 1.4% in August measuring at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,412.8 billion. The August figure is 2.5% above the August 2019 estimate. Private construction spending was 1.9% above the revised July estimate at $1,061.4 billion. Public construction spending was 0.1% above the revised July estimate at $351.4 billion. 

Personal Income – Released 10/1/2020 – Personal income decreased $543.5 billion or 2.7 percent in August according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $570.9 billion or 3.2 percent and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $141.1 billion or 1.0 percent.

Chicago PMI Released 9/30/2020  Chicago PMI increased 11.2 points climbing to 62.4. This marks three consecutive months above the 50-mark following a full year under it. It also marks the highest reading since December 2018. All five main indicators saw monthly gains in September, with Production and New Orders leading the way. On a quarterly basis, Supplier Deliveries was the only category to see a decline. 

Third Estimate of 2nd Quarter 2020 GDP – Released 9/30/2020 – Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 31.4 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to the third 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 and second estimate. The upward revision with the third estimate primarily reflected an upward revision to personal consumption expenditures (PCE) that was partly offset by downward revisions to exports and to nonresidential fixed investment. 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. 

Consumer Confidence Released 9/29/2020  The Consumer confidence index increased 15.5% in September following an decrease in August. The Index now shows a reading of 101.8, up from 86.3 in August. 

Durable Goods – Released 9/25/2020 – New orders for manufactured durable goods in August increased for the fourth consecutive month up $1.0 billion or 0.4% to $232.8 billion. Machinery led the increase rising $0.5 billion or 1.5% to $31.2 billion.

New Residential Sales – Released 9/24/2020 – Sales of new single-family homes increased 4.8% to 1.011 million, seasonally adjusted, in August. The median sales price of new homes sold in August was $312,800 with an average sales price of $369,000. At the end of August the seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale was 282k. This represents a supply of 3.3 months at the current sales rate.

Existing Home Sales – Released 9/22/2020 – Existing home sales increased in August making three consecutive months of positive sales gains. Sales increased 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.0 million in August. Sales are currently up 10.5% from one year ago. Housing inventory sits at 1.49 million units. Down 0.7% over last month. Down 18.6% over last year. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.0 month supply. The median existing home price for all housing types was $310,600.

Housing Starts – Released 9/17/2020 – New home starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.416 million; down 5.1% below July but 2.8% above last August’s rate. Building Permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.470 million, down 0.9% compared to July and down 0.1% over last year.

Retail Sales – Released 9/16/2020 – U.S. retail sales for August increased 0.6% to $537.5 billion. U.S. retail sales are up 2.4% year/y. 

Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization – Released 9/15/2020 – In August Industrial production increased 0.4%. Total Industrial production is still 7.3% below its pre-pandemic February level. Manufacturing increased 1.0%. Mining production declined 2.5% due to severe weather from Tropical Storm Marco and Hurricane Laura. Total industrial production was 101.4% of its 2012 average which is 7.7% lower in August than a year ago.  Total capacity utilization increased 0.3% to 71.4% in August which is 8.4% below its long run average.

Consumer Price Index – Released 9/11/2020 – The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% in August. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy also increased 0.4%. The monthly changes left total CPI up 1.3% year-over-year and core CPI up 1.7%. 

Producer Price Index  Released 9/10/2020 – The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.3% in August. PPI less food and energy also increased 0.3% in August.  

US Light Vehicle Sales – Released 9/4/2020 – U.S. light vehicle sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 15.193 million units in August. 

Next week we get data on the PPI, CPI, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, and Retail Sales.

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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