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Markets: After setting record highs at the beginning of the month, Markets have been melting down a touch. It’s more like the Markets are taking a breather and moving sideways thus far. Pondering the headwinds and tailwinds.
The S&P roller coaster last week: up, down, up a lot, down, and down a lot.
Inflation: Last week we got the Wholesale inflation number (the PPI) coming in at 8.3% (it started the year at 0.8%). This week we got the Consumer inflation number (the CPI). It dropped a tick from 5.4% down to 5.3% (it started the year at 1.4%). Both numbers are well above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%.
Jobless claims: The weekly number came in at 332,000.
Radio: Bill and I chatted about inflation last Friday. Click on our Podcasts page to listen. You can normally hear us most Fridays at 6:38a, 7:38a, and 8:38a on 1100AM.
Retail sales: Coming off a -1.1% number for July, the August consensus was for another drop of -0.8%. The actual number came in a +0.7%. Retail sales are up +15% YOY.
First Focus of the week: As I write this, futures are down pretty significantly this morning. And Markets have been down the last couple of weeks. But some perspective is needed I believe. Coming off of all-time highs the Dow is only down -2.2% this month. The S&P is down -2.0%. The Nasdaq is down only -1.4%. That said it looks like it could be a bumpy day. Time will tell if we are moving into a correction timeframe, or just a sideways movement.
Second Focus: It will come on Wednesday afternoon at the conclusion of the sixth Fed FOMC meeting of the year. A statement from the result of their meeting will come out at 2p. Then Fed Chair Jerome Powell will give his regular press conference. There are two things we are looking for clarification on. First, will the Fed give any more information about when they will begin raising interest rates? At this point the expectation is the end of 2022. Second, when will tapering begin on their asset purchases? The consensus is the end of this year, but there have been no details on how much and how quickly. Inquiring minds (mine for sure) want to know. J
Indicator focus: Housing starts (Tue); FOMC meeting statement, Fed Chair press conference, existing home sales (Wed); jobless claims (Thu); and new home sales (Fri).