U.S. equities were mixed with investors eyeing the impact of Hurricane Harvey, as well as the continued decline in the U.S. dollar following Friday’s uneventful speeches from Fed Chair Yellen and ECB President Draghi in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Energy stocks were lower as crude oil prices fell, despite a rise in gasoline prices as refineries in Houston are offline. Treasuries were nearly unchanged and gold was solidly higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined 8 points to 21,806, the S&P 500 Index inched a point higher to 2,444, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 17 points (0.3%) to 6,283. In moderate volume, 704 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.5 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil fell $1.30 to $46.57 per barrel and wholesale gasoline rose $0.03 at $1.57 per gallon.
Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price jumped $19.87 to $1,311.07 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.6% lower at 92.21. The advance goods trade deficit widened more than expected to $65.1 billion in July, from the upwardly revised $64.0 billion in June, and compared to the Bloomberg expectation of $64.5 billion.
Preliminary wholesale inventories rose 0.4% month-over-month (m/m) in July, versus forecasts for a 0.3% increase, and following June’s downwardly revised 0.6% rise.
The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity Index nudged further into a level depicting expansion (a reading above zero). The index improved to 17.0 in August, from 16.8 in July, matching forecasts.
Treasuries were nearly unchanged, as the yields on the 2-year note and the 30-yield were flat at 1.33% and 2.74%, respectively, while the yield on the 10-year note was 1 basis point (bp) higher at 2.16%. For our latest analysis of the bond markets, check out Schwab’s Chief Fixed Income Strategist Kathy Jones’ article,
Treasury yields and the U.S. Dollar Index saw some pressure on Friday, with the latter extending losses to more than a two-year low, as the markets digested speeches by Fed Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi at the Fed’s highly-anticipated annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Both central bank leaders held off on offering new insight to monetary policy changes. The Fed is expected to begin shrinking its behemoth $4.5 trillion balance sheet next month and uncertainty remains whether it raises rates one more time this year. The ECB is expected to begin discussing the possibility of tapering its stimulus efforts later this year.
This week, low volume, politics and the geopolitical front will likely remain sources of volatility, but a robust back-end loaded U.S. economic calendar is poised to garner attention, headlined by Friday’s August nonfarm payroll report. A look at August Consumer Confidence will get the ball rolling tomorrow, with economists anticipating a level of 120.3, slightly lower than the 121.1 posted in July, followed by Wednesday’s second read (of three) on Q2 GDP and July personal income and spending data, while August releases of the ISM Manufacturing Index, final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and auto sales will join the labor report to close out the week.
Some housing data is also on tap for tomorrow, with the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index slated for release, forecasted to show home prices in the 20-city composite rose 0.3% m/m on a seasonally-adjusted basis, and 5.8% y/y.
Schwab Center for Financial Research – Market Analysis Group
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