The economic data reports were mixed and had a limited impact on the financial markets. Investors were generally optimistic about potential progress in trade talks and mostly ignored the turmoil in Washington.

The Consumer Confidence Index fell sharply in the initial estimate for September. “The escalation in trade and tariff tensions in late August appears to have rattled consumers,” according to the Conference Board. New home sales rose sharply in August, helped by low mortgage rates. Personal income and spending figures for August were roughly in line with expectations. Durable goods orders posted a modest gain, as an unexpected jump in defense aircraft orders offset an expected decline in civilian aircraft orders. Ex-transportation, orders were mixed but generally lackluster. Orders for nondefense capital goods ex-aircraft fell 0.2%, trending flat in recent months.

Next week, fresh September figures arrive, with a focus on the ISM surveys and the employment report. The ISM surveys are diffusion indices and do not measure actual activity, but the trends can suggest the general direction of the economy. The two surveys were split in August, reflecting weakness in manufacturing, but moderate strength in the overall economy – and we can expect similar mixed results for September. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have risen moderately, but the school year adds uncertainty (prior to seasonal adjustment, we can expect to add about 1.5 million education jobs and shed about 800,000 summer jobs).

Indices

  Last Last Week YTD return %
DJIA 26891.12 27094.79 15.28%
NASDAQ 8030.66 8182.88 21.03%
S&P 500 2977.62 3006.79 18.78%
MSCI EAFE 1889.93 1905.01 9.89%
Russell 2000 1533.33 1561.47 13.70%

Consumer Money Rates

  Last 1 year ago
Prime Rate 5.00 5.00
Fed Funds 1.80 1.91
30-year mortgage 3.75 4.80

Currencies

  Last 1 year ago
Dollars per British Pound 1.235 1.317
Dollars per Euro 1.094 1.174
Japanese Yen per Dollar 107.77 112.73
Canadian Dollars per Dollar 1.327 1.302
Mexican Peso per Dollar 19.566 18.843

Commodities

  Last 1 year ago
Crude Oil 56.49 71.57
Gold 1512.30 1199.10

Bond Rates

  Last 1 month ago
2-year treasury 1.66 1.54
10-year treasury 1.70 1.52
10-year municipal (TEY) 2.26 1.95