U.S. and World News
- Saudi Arabia has approved a plan to reduce public spending and to generate income without depending on oil. The plan is expected to boost non-crude revenues to $141 billion by 2020, create 450,000 non-government jobs, and help fund a large part of production of goods and services worth $72 billion.
- The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that will assist Puerto Rico with its debt crisis ahead of a $1.9 billion debt payment that it may not be able to pay. The bill consists of the U.S. putting a federal control board in charge of managing the restructuring of Puerto Rico’s $70 billion in debt. The bill now requires the Senate’s approval and will be started in the next few weeks.
- A proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for every person living in Switzerland has been rejected by the country. Only 23.1% of the voters were for the proposal with the argument that a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs per citizen would promote dignity and public service, while 76.9% were against it saying that it would cost too much and cause damage to the economy.
- Equity markets were flat again this week. The S&P 500 was down 0.15% for the week and closed at 2096. The Dow Jones dipped 0.33% and closed at 17,865. So far in 2016, the S&P is up 2.55% and the Dow is up 2.53%.
- Interest rates moved lower further this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.17% and 1.64%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil gained 0.66% this week to close at $48.98 per barrel. WTI Crude is up 18.44% in 2016.
- The spot price of Gold gained 2.43% this week, closing at $1,274.43 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are up 20.10%.
- Initial jobless claims came in at 264,000 which was a decrease from last week’s reading of 267,000 reaching a post crisis low. The Labor Department noted no special factors in the data. The four week moving average for claims moved down to 270,000.
- The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment dropped to 94.3 from 94.7 in the June preliminary release which was in line with consumer expectations.
- Consumer sentiment remains new post-crisis highs, despite the negative jobs report last week.
Fact of the Week
- Of the 10 largest cities in the United States, only Chicago has seen its population decline since the year 2000. 8 of the 10 largest cities have experienced population gains of at least +100,000, growth that only the cities of Chicago and Philadelphia were unable to achieve. (Source: Census Bureau).
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