Weekly Economic Update: September 17, 2018

The Markets (as of market close September 14, 2018)

Tech and foreign stocks led the way as the market rebounded from the prior week’s decline. The prospect of renewed trade talks between China and the United States eased investor concerns.

Large caps outperformed small caps as both the Dow and S&P 500 outpaced the Russell 2000. Soft inflation data also helped drive investors to stocks while spurning long-term bonds as prices for 10-year Treasuries plummeted, pushing yields to 3.0%.

The price of crude oil (WTI) climbed for the first time in several weeks, but the price of gold (COMEX) continued to fall.


  • While wage inflation may motivate the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at the end of the month, prices for consumer products and services have been relatively stagnant.
    Producer prices in August fell for the first time in over a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • According to the Census Bureau, retail sales increased slightly in August following a
  • The federal deficit grew in August and sits at $898 billion, or 33.3% higher than the deficit over the same period last year.
  • Job openings reached a new high of 6.9 million in July, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
  • Import prices fell in August, the largest monthly drop since prices fell in January 2016. For the 12 months ended in August, import prices have advanced 3.7%.
  • The latest report from the Federal Reserve indicates that industrial production rose in August for its third consecutive monthly increase.
  • In the week ended September 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 204,000, the lowest level for initial claims since December 6, 1969, when it was 202,000.


The housing sector is in the news next week with reports for August on housing starts and sales of existing homes.

BWFA has clients in over 30 states in the U.S., as well as abroad. We are thinking particularly this week about those clients living directly in the path of hurricane Florence, including some areas nearby our office in Maryland who may experience some flooding this week. Be safe everyone!