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Weekly Economic Update

Posted: August 20, 2018

Mid-Summer Meant Buying for Consumers

According to new Census Bureau data, retail sales were 0.5% improved in July. Core retail sales (all categories except car and truck buying) rose 0.6% last month. The only sour note was the revision the Bureau made to June’s headline and core retail sales advances. The overall June retail sales gain was reduced to 0.2% from 0.5%; the core gain, to 0.2% from 0.4%.1,2

Household Sentiment Gauge Disappoints

In its initial August edition, the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment fell 2.6 points to 95.3. That was a miss: analysts polled by expected a reading of 97.8. This preliminary August reading was also an 11-month low for the index.1,2

A Minor July Gain for Housing Starts

A new federal government report showed residential construction activity up 0.9% last month. Building permits increased 1.5% after three months of retreats.3

Dow Leads the Way on Wall Street

Ascending 1.41% over five market days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Friday’s trading session at 25,669.32. The S&P 500 also had a positive week, advancing 0.59% to 2,850.13. The same was not true for the Nasdaq Composite. The tech-heavy benchmark lost 0.29% last week to finish at 7,816.33, Friday. Also notable: gold’s weekly loss of 2.9%. A strong dollar has put pressure on the yellow metal of late, and this past week was gold’s worst on the COMEX in 15 months.2,4

Tip of the Week

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This Week

On Monday, Estee Lauder presents second-quarter results. | Tuesday’s earnings roll call includes announcements from Coty, Kohl’s, La-Z-Boy, Medtronic, J.M. Smucker, and Urban Outfitters. | Analog Devices, Lowe’s, Stein Mart, and Target offer earnings on Wednesday; in addition, investors will consider minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting and July existing home sales figures. | July new home sales data is out Thursday, plus the latest initial claims report and earnings from Alibaba Group, Gap, Hormel Foods, HP, Intuit, and Toro. | Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gives a speech on monetary policy Friday morning at the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole economic policy symposium; away from Jackson Hole, Foot Locker announces quarterly earnings and data on July hard goods orders arrives.

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1 - [8/17/18]
2 - [8/17/18]
3 - [8/16/18]
4 - [8/17/18]


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