Each of the market indices fell last week, as the Dow (-2.1%), NASDAQ (-1.6%), and S&P 500 (-1.7%) recorded down days EVERY day last week. Fortunately, it was a short week, and each of those losing days weren’t all that bad. Taxable and tax-free bonds were basically flat last week, or lost a fractional amount of about 0.1%. There was no real news that would have caused bonds to increase or decrease in value much last week.
On the economic data front, the August Producer Price Index (PPI – one of a few measure of inflation) was up 8.3% for the past year, the largest increase since 2010. However, if there was any good news under the hood, it increased by 0.7% since the prior month, while the two previous months were both 1.0%. While one data point is not a trend, we hope this is the beginning of inflation slowing down, as noted by Fed Chairman Powell, and my TV show guest, Herb Morgan, from 2 weeks ago.
Last week’s unemployment report showed that initial unemployment claims reached a new pandemic low. However, from the “this doesn’t make sense” department, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that there are 10.9 million job openings in the US, which is remarkably similar to the 11.9 million continuing unemployment claims. With the ending of the supplemental unemployment benefits, let’s hope that each of those numbers start going down.
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