The Markets (as of market close September 9, 2016)
Equities indexes rebounded early last week as lackluster economic reports in the labor and manufacturing sectors, coupled with a falling dollar, appear to be fueling speculation that the Fed won’t be raising interest rates following its meeting later this month. Energy shares made some positive headway early in the week, contributing to positive market returns. At BWFA, we continue to maintain exposure in the energy sector while focusing our investment decisions on the strongest companies in the sector.
By end of week, stocks and bonds posted their largest losses since the Brexit vote in June with fears that central banks would not continue further economic stimulus. First, the European Central Bank refused to commit to further stimulus. Then a few members of the Federal Reserve intimated that the time may be ripe for an interest rate increase.
The price of crude oil (WTI) closed at $45.71 a barrel last week, up from $44.36 per barrel the previous week. The price of gold (COMEX) gained, closing at $1,331.80 by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week’s price of $1,328.50.
Last Week’s Headlines
- The number of job openings increased to 5.9 million on the last business day of July, an increase of 228,000 from June. Most of the job gains occurred in the professional and business services and durable goods manufacturing, but overall little changed from June.
- Non-manufacturing business activity, new orders, employment, and prices each decreased in August from July. According to the report, the ISM® Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) fell to in August from July. The non-manufacturing sector grew in August, but at a slower pace compared to the previous month.
Eye on the Week Ahead
Several key economic reports are released this week ahead of next week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Inflationary trends may be gleaned from the perspective of both the seller (producer prices and retail sales) and the consumer (consumer prices). Although there are many eyes on the Fed we will continue to focus on BWFA’s investment process and apply that individually to each client’s portfolio. Have a great week!