U.S. and World News
- The first round of sanctions on Iran by the United States has taken effect which includes a restriction on sales of the U.S Dollar to Iran’s government, trade restrictions on precious metals and industrial metals, and a ban on the purchase of Iranian sovereign debt. These new measures are expected to lead to higher prices on almost everything for Iranians. On November 5th, more severe sanctions will take effect if Iran fails to comply with U.S orders. These measures will entail an obstruction of Iran’s oil exports and tough sanctions on shipping.
- California’s largest-ever wildfire has grown to the size of Los Angeles as dry weather, high winds, and location have made it very difficult to contain. President Trump has declared a “major disaster” in California, ordering federal funding to assist in containing the fire. The fire that currently spans over 470 square miles has burned through 283,800 acres is not expected to be fully contained by firefighters until September.
- President Trump announced that the United States will double the tariff rate on steel and aluminum imported from Turkey, sending the Turkish lira down 20% against the U.S Dollar. This sparked a global market selloff as Turkey is in debt to many different banks. President Erdogan told Turks to sell all U.S Dollars that they own in an attempt to stabilize the plummeting Turkish currency.
- Stocks pared their gains at the end of this week closing lower. The S&P 500 fell by 0.18% and closed at 2,833. The Dow Jones declined by 0.44% and closed at 25,313. Year to date, the S&P is up 7.16% and the Dow Jones is up 3.79%.
- Yields were volatile this week, but also ended the week lower as investors piled into bonds. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.75% and 2.87%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil continued its slide this week, losing 1.11% and closing at $67.73 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 14.66%.
- The spot price of Gold fell 0.27% this week, and closed at $1,211.67 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 6.99%.
- Initial jobless claims fell by 5,000 to 213,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims moved down by 1,000 to 214,000. Jobless claims rose by 3,000 in California and fell by 4,000 in Kentucky. The pace of layoffs remains very low.
- The producer price index (PPI) was flat in July versus expectations of a 0.2% increase reflecting lower food and energy prices as well as lower retail margins.
- The producer price index ex-food and energy rose 0.1% in July versus expectations for a 0.2% increase.
- Wholesale inventories rose 0.1% in June versus expectations of no change.
- The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.17% month-over-month in July and the year-over-year rate rose 0.1% to 2.4%, the fastest pace in six months. Consensus expectations were for 0.2% month-over-month and 2.3% year-over-year.
- Core CPI rose 0.24% month-over-month and 2.35% year-over-year versus expectations of 0.2% and 2.3% respectively.
Fact of the Week
- The number of US homeowners grew 1.8 million in the 12 months ending 6/30/18. That is double the 0.9 million total homeowners added in the decade ending 6/30/17. (Source: Census Bureau)
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