U.S. and World News
- The price of oil soared this week reflecting a new cap on oil production of 32.5 million – 33 million barrels a day agreed upon by OPEC. That is a 750,000 barrel a day drop from August and the first time oil output has been capped since the financial crisis. This came as a surprise after most of the past OPEC meetings have resulted in no deal which also leads to some skepticism of the current deal.
- In order to defend U.S. personnel overseas from the possibility of being sued by citizens of other countries, Barrack Obama has vetoed a bill that would allow Saudi Arabia to be sued for involvement in the September 11th terrorist attacks. The White House and Saudi Arabia have been lobbying to override the veto, but the effort did not pass congress.
- After there were an insufficient amount of votes to pass a funding bill that would avoid a federal government shutdown, congress sent President Obama a bill to continue government operations until December 9th and $1.1 billion in long-delayed funding to help fight the Zika virus. Also included in the bill is $500 million to help restore Louisiana after they have endured mass flooding, and to assist the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
- This week the S&P 500 rose 0.20% and closed at 2,168. The Dow Jones rose 0.26% and closed at 18,308. So far in 2016, the S&P is up 7.73% and the Dow is up 7.10%.
- Interest rates edged down slightly this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.15% and 1.60%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil was up 7.87% this week to close at $47.98 per barrel. WTI Crude is up 10.78% in 2016.
- The spot price of Gold declined 1.54% this week, closing at $1,317 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are up 24.12%.
- Pending home sales fell 2.4% in August. Pending home sales by region were down in the West (-5.3%), the South (-3.2%), and the Midwest (-0.9%) while they were up in the Northeast (+1.3%).
- New single-family home sales declined by 7.6% in August which was better than consensus expectations for a decline of 8.6%. New home sales by region were a decline in the South (-48k), Northeast (-12k), and Midwest (-2k), and an increase in the West (+12k).
- Top-line Q2 GDP growth was revised up by 30 basis points to +1.4%, more than consensus estimates. The revision reflected a smaller drag from inventories and trade, and higher business fixed investment than previously estimated.
- The headline PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) price index rose by 0.14% in August and the core PCE index (excluding food and energy) was up 0.18%. This was a lower increase than expected as food an energy prices continued to fall.
Fact of the Week
- 24% of 1,000 pre-retirees surveyed in the first quarter of 2016 believe they will need to accumulate at least $1 million in order to “live comfortably” during their retirement years, up from 15% in 2005 (source: Employee Benefit Research Institute Retirement Confidence Survey).
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