Weekly Economic Update: July 30, 2018

The Markets (as of market close July 27, 2018)

Tech stocks and small caps took a hit last week as both the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 lost value. The large caps of both the S&P 500 and the Dow closed in positive territory following a turbulent week of trading. Of note last week was the descent in value for Facebook, which lost over $120 billion in market value. Even with the loss, the company’s value remains one of the highest in the world, and still a BWFA long term recommended company. Trade tensions between the United States and the European Union were eased somewhat last week as negotiations between the economic giants are ongoing. Conversely, relations between China and the United States remain cool. Long-term Treasury prices fell last week, sending yields higher as reports intimated that more restrictive monetary policies of some major central banks are in the offing.


  • The advance estimate for the second-quarter gross domestic product projected economic growth at 4.1%.
  • Sales of existing homes continued to slow in June.
  • Sales of new single-family homes also dipped in June, nevertheless, new home sales are still up over their June 2017 estimate.
  • Orders for long-lasting goods increased in June following two consecutive monthly decreases, with transportation driving much of the gain last month.
  • The goods trade deficit was $68.3 billion in June, up $3.6 billion, or 5.5%, from May. Exports dropped $2.2 billion for the month, while imports increased $1.3 billion.


The last few days of July into August is a period that includes several important economic events. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets for the first time since the second week of June when the Committee voted to increased interest rates by 25 basis points. Will the FOMC be influenced by the United States Executive branch’s appeal to refrain from another rate hike this summer? Employment figures for July are also available next week. There were 213,000 new jobs added in June; wages, meanwhile, increased by an average of only 0.2% for the month, but are up 2.7% over the past 12 months.