Blog Post

Stocks Mixed As Traders Weigh Lower Inflation Against a Looming Government Shutdown

Major stock indices ended the week mixed.  Higher bond yields and the looming government shutdown kept a lid on stocks despite a lower-than-expected PCE inflation number on Friday.  Overall, September lived up to its reputation as being a negative month.  Looking ahead to October, college loan payments resume which may curtail consumer spending.  Also, 3rd quarter corporate earnings will start to be released and will influence stock prices.

Treasury bond yields rose with the 30-year bond yield at 4.703% and the 10-Year note at 4.579%.  Freddie Mac reported that the average 30-year mortgage rate rose to 7.31%.  Crude oil rose to $90.77 a barrel and natural gas rose to $2.93 per MMBTUs.  The U.S. dollar index rose to 106.17 and gold fell to $1,864.60 an ounce.

  • The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index rose 1.0% in July from a year ago.  This was up from no change year over year in June.
  • The Commerce Department reported:
    • New home sales in August fell a seasonally adjusted 8.7% from July but were 5.8% above last August.
    • The median sales price of a new home $430,300.
    • Durable goods order rose 0.2% in August following a 5.6% decline in July.
      • Excluding transportation, durable goods order rose 0.4%.
      • Excluding defense, durable goods orders fell 0.7%.
    • Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.4%in August inline with the increase in PCE price index, meaning consumption was unchanged.
      • Excluding volatile food and energy, core prices, rose 0.1% in August, the lowest since late 2020.
      • From a year ago the PCE price index rose 3.5% and 3.9% excluding food and energy.
      • Personal incomes rose 0.4%.
      • The personal savings rate rose to 3.9%.
  • The Labor Department reported:
    • Seasonally adjusted first-time claims for unemployment were 204,000,  a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 202,000.
      • The 4-week moving average of claims, designed to smooth out volatility, was 211,000, a decrease of 6,250 from the previous week’s revised level. 
      • 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 was unchanged at 12.9MM BPD.
    • Natural gas storage rose 90BN cubic feet and is above the 5-year average at this time of year.
  • Baker Hughes reported the number of active oil rigs fell 5 to 502.  The number of active natural gas fell 2 to 116.

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

Founder / Emeritus                                                                            President & C.E.O.                                  

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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