Weekly Economic Update: August 27, 2018

The Markets (as of market close August 24, 2018)

Despite a week that included tariff trepidations and negative political headlines, investors celebrated last Friday as several indexes hit new highs. The S&P 500 reached its first record since January, and some are claiming this to be the longest bull run in history. The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 also broke records. Stock investors seemed to be reassured by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s optimistic comments during Friday’s conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The price of crude oil (WTI) fell again last week while the price of gold (COMEX) rose by early Friday evening, up from the prior week.


  • The National Association of Realtors® reported that existing home sales fell for the fourth straight month in July to their slowest pace in over two years.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that sales of new single-family homes also dropped in July, however, year over year, the rate of new home sales grew by nearly 13%.
  • New orders for durable goods decreased 1.7% in July according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s advance report on manufacturers’ shipments, inventories, and orders.
  • In the week ended August 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased from the previous week.


The latest report on the second-quarter gross domestic product is out this week. The initial report, based on incomplete source data, showed the economy grew at an annualized rate of 4.1%. However, with more complete data available, this report may not be quite as positive, although it is expected to be very favorable nonetheless.