August 15, 2016
RETAIL SALES WEAKEN
July was the first month since March without a gain in U.S. retail purchases. The Census Bureau’s latest report showed retail sales were flat last month, a disappointment in the wake of June’s 0.8% climb. Car and truck sales advanced 1.1% during July, but, minus auto buying, retail sales were actually down 0.3% for the month.
HOUSEHOLD SENTIMENT INDEX IMPROVES
The University of Michigan’s monthly consumer sentiment index rose to 90.4 last week in its preliminary August edition. It had ended July at a mark of 90.0. A consensus forecast of economists at Briefing.com had projected a 90.2 reading.
WHOLESALE INFLATION RETREATS
The federal government’s Producer Price Index moved 0.4% lower in July as declining energy costs lessened inflation pressure. The core PPI fell 0.3%. In June, the headline PPI rose 0.5%; the core PPI, 0.4%.
OIL RALLIES, NASDAQ CLOSES AT RECORD HIGH
August 8-12 was oil’s best week since early April: WTI crude settled at $44.67 on the NYMEX Friday after futures ascended 6.4% in five days. A 0.23% weekly gain led the Nasdaq Composite to a record close of 5,232.89 Friday. History was also made Thursday when the Nasdaq, S&P 500, and Dow Jones Industrial Average each settled at all-time highs – the first time that had happened since 1999. The Dow advanced 0.18% for the week; the S&P, 0.05%. The Dow settled Friday at 18,576.47; the S&P, at 2,184.05.
THIS WEEK: Sysco announces earnings on Monday. On Tuesday, the July CPI arrives, plus reports on July building permits, groundbreaking and industrial output, and earnings from Advance Auto Parts, Cree, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Home Depot, Popeye’s, TJX Companies, and Urban Outfitters. Wednesday, Wall Street considers the minutes from the July Federal Reserve policy meeting and earnings announcements from Agilent, American Eagle Outfitters, Analog Devices, Cisco, L Brands, Lowe’s, NetApp, NetEase, Staples, and Target. A new initial claims report appears Thursday, along with the Conference Board’s latest leading indicators index, and earnings from America’s Car-Mart, Bon-Ton Stores, Gap, Hormel Foods, Perry Ellis, Ross Stores, Stage Stores, Toro, and Walmart. On Friday, Deere & Co., Estee Lauder, Foot Locker, Stein Mart, and Tuesday Morning present earnings.
Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 8/12/163,4,5,6
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