Weekly Economic Update: October 8, 2018

The Markets (as of market close October 5, 2018

Another tough week on Wall Street as stocks and long-term bond prices fell, pushing yields higher. While the major stock benchmark indexes lost value last week, the large caps of the Dow and S&P 500 held up better than the tech stocks of the Nasdaq and the small-cap Russell 2000. With the continuing rise in oil prices, energy stocks and utilities fared well as did financial shares, which benefited from a spike in interest long-term rates. On the other hand, tech stocks fell, dropping the Nasdaq to its worst week since early spring. Economic news continues to be somewhat encouraging, making another Fed interest rate hike likely. Speaking of interest rates, they’ve been on the rise, pushing long-term bond prices lower and yields higher. The price of crude oil (WTI) continued to surge and the price of gold (COMEX) rose as well.


  • The September unemployment rate fell to its lowest rate since 1969, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • While the effects of trade tariffs may still be unknown, the trade deficit continues to expand.
  • Generally, production and employment increased in September.
  • Growth in the non-manufacturing sector is at an all-time high since the inception of the composite index in 2008. Business activity, new orders, employment, and prices all increased in September over their August totals.


While consumer spending has risen, price inflation has been slow. Out this week are both the Producer Price Index and the Consumer Price Index for September, which are expected to show only marginal price increases.