U.S. and World News
- Eurozone officials have approved a €2.8 billion tranche of financial aid for Greece after the debt-laden country delivered the needed economic reforms to unlock the latest round of cash. The reforms included progress in pension restructuring, bank governance and revenue collection. So far, Greece has received €31.7 billion of its €86 bailout granted in July 2015, its third bailout since 2010.
- The People’s Bank of China is making changes to its Macro Prudential Assessment risk program to broaden its regulatory oversight to include wealth management products sold by banks and not counted on their balance sheets. The move marks another step in the PBOC’s efforts to control rising leverage in China’s financial system and highlights the worries that many have that unsustainable debt levels could derail an already slowing economy.
- This week the S&P 500 dropped 0.67% and closed at 2,126. The Dow Jones rose 0.09% and closed at 18,161. So far in 2016, the S&P is up 5.81% and the Dow is up 6.37%.
- Interest rates climbed higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.33% and 1.85%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil was down 4.35% this week to close at $48.64 per barrel. WTI Crude is up 21.45% in 2016.
- The spot price of Gold rose 0.71% this week, closing at $1,275.47 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are up 20.20%.
- Initial jobless claims came in at 258,000, a decrease from last week’s reading of 260,000. The Labor Department noted that claims may have been distorted by a bounce back from the effects of Hurricane Matthew which led to closures of filing offices in affected regions in previous weeks. The four week moving average for claims moved up to 253,000.
- The Case-Shiller home price index showed an increase of 0.2% for August, more than consensus expectations of 0.1%. Of the 20 cities included in the index, 15 showed higher prices in the month. Over the last 12 months, home prices have risen 5.1% as measured by the index.
- Real Gross Domestic Product rose 2.9% (annualized) during the 3rd quarter, beating expectations of 2.6% growth.
- The Employment Cost Index (ECI, measure of wage growth) increased by 0.6% in the 3rd quarter, in line with expectations. On a year over year basis, total compensation has risen by 2.2%
Fact of the Week
- The U.S. economy has been growing for the last 87 months (ie. no recession), an expansion exceeded in length only 3 times since 1900. (Source: National Bureau of Economic Research)
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