Blog Post

Stock Mostly Lower Despite Cooler Inflation and Better Retail Sales

Most stock indices ended the week lower with the exception of the small company Russell 2000.

Consumer prices rose at a slower pace in August lending credence to the belief that the higher inflation will be transitory. 

Treasury yields were mixed with the 30-year bond yield closing at 1.911% and the 10-Year note closing at 1.376%.  Crude oil rose to $71.97 a barrel and natural gas rose to $5.073 per MMBTUs.  The U.S. dollar index rose to 93.21 and gold fell to $1752.40 an ounce.

In the economic numbers:

*             China reported

                *             Retail sales rose 2.5% in August from a year earlier following an 8.5% year over year increase in July as the economy took a hit from the delta variant.

                *             Home sales by value fell 19.7% in August from a year ago. 

                *             Construction starts fell 3.2% year to date in August from a year earlier.

*             The Census Bureau reported that American incomes fell 2.9% in 2020 to a median of $67,500 due to the pandemic.

*             The Treasury Department reported that the U.S. budget deficit, for 11 months through August was $2.7TN, down from $3.0TN this time last year.  Outlays increased 4.0% while revenue increased by 18% as people returned back to work.

*             The Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 0.7% in the month of August.  This came despite a big drop in car sales due to chip shortages and shipping issues.  Excluding cars, retail sales rose 1.8% in August.  Year to date through August retail sales have risen 15.1%.  Food service sales, including restaurants were flat in August.

*             The Federal Reserve reported:

                *             Industrial Production rose 0.4% in August.

                *             Manufacturing rose 0.2% in August.

                *             Utility output rose 3.3% due to unseasonably warm temperatures.

                *             Mining output, including oil and gas fell 0.6% due to Hurricane Ida.

                *             It is believed that Hurricane Ida subtracted 0.3% off the total industrial production in August.

*             The Labor Department reported: 

                *             Consumer prices rose a more modest 0.3% in the month of August, down from 0.5% in July and 0.9% in June.  From a year earlier consumer prices rose 5.3%.  Used vehicle prices fell sharply and hotel and air travel costs also fell. 

                *             A seasonally adjusted 332,000 workers filed initial claims for unemployment in the week ending September 11th, up 20,000 from a revised 312,000 the week before.  

                *             The 4-week moving average of claims, designed to smooth out volatility, fell to 335,750.

                *             Continuing claims fell from 2.8MM to 2.7MM in the week ending September 4th.

                *             A broader measure of claims including extended benefits, pandemic assistance and other programs rose from 12.0MM to 12.1MM in the week ended August 28th.

                *             For the full unemployment report go here: .

*             The EIA weekly oil report is here: .  Also, the EIA reported in the prior week:

                *             Field production of crude oil rose from 10.0MMBPD to 10.1MMBPD as Gulf of Mexico production recovers slowly.

                *             Natural gas storage rose 83BN cubic feet and is below the 5 year average at this time of year.

*             Baker Hughes reported the number of active oil rigs rose to 411.  The number of active natural gas rigs fell to 100.

Please call us if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Loren C. Rex, CFP®, MA                                                            Erik A Smith AIF®

President                                                                                  Managing Partner

Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management        269-441-4143

77 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 140

Battle Creek, MI  49017

Tel 269-441-4090

Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091

Toll Free: 800-513-8180

Fax 866-381-2301

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Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Cambridge and Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management are separate companies and are not affiliated.

These are the opinions of Loren Rex and Erik Smith and are not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.  The Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.


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