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Economic Update 08/03/15

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DIPS WITH STOCK DECLINES

July brought an 8.9-point drop for the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index; it fell to 90.9. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index held up better, losing 3.0 points in July to descend to a mark of 93.1.

PENDING HOME SALES SLIP; PRICE INDEX TICKS UP

The National Association of Realtors announced a 1.8% fall for pending home sales in June; analysts polled by MarketWatch saw a 0.6% gain. May’s S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed an overall 4.4% yearly rise, up from 4.3% in April.

Q2 GDP ESTIMATED AT 2.3%

While the first Bureau of Economic Analysis estimate of Q2 growth fell 0.5% short of a MarketWatch consensus forecast, it bettered the 0.6% growth tallied in Q1. The Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index showed just 0.2% Q2 growth in wages and benefits, however. Headline hard goods orders rose 3.4% in June.

STATUS QUO IS GOOD FOR WALL STREET

As expected, the Federal Reserve left interest rates alone last week. Could the tiny Q2 wage gain change the Fed’s mind about a September rate hike? The market took comfort in that thought even as earnings disappointed: on the week, the S&P 500 rose 1.16% to 2,103.84, the Nasdaq 0.78% to 5,128.28 and the Dow 0.69% to 17,689.86. NYMEX crude lost 2.9% Friday, settling at $47.12; it sank 21% in July.

THIS WEEK: June consumer spending figures and ISM’s factory PMI arrive Monday, plus earnings from Allstate, AIG, Clorox, CNA, Tyson Foods, Noble Energy, Loews, and Omega Healthcare. Tuesday, the Street awaits a June factory orders report and earnings from Aetna, Archer Daniels Midland, Beazer Homes, Coach, Caesars Entertainment, CVS Health, Genworth Financial, HealthNet, Hyatt Hotels, KBR, Kellogg, Parker Hannifin, Red Lion Hotels, Sempra Energy, Sprint, USANA, and Walt Disney. Wednesday brings ISM’s services PMI, July’s ADP jobs report and earnings from Alamo Group, Herbalife, Chesapeake Energy, DISH Network, Dun & Bradstreet, Motorola Solutions, Progressive, Prudential Financial, Questar, Ralph Lauren, Rosetta Stone, SodaStream, Spectra Energy, Sunoco, Tesoro, Time Warner, Transocean, Valero Energy, Wendy’s, and GoDaddy. Thursday provides earnings from Allergan, Alliance HealthCare, Kemper, AMC Networks, Brinker International, ConEdison, Duke Energy, Jamba, Lions Gate, LoJack, Marathon Oil, Michael Kors, Molson Coors, Monster, Nvidia, Orbitz, Universal Corp., and Zynga plus new initial claims numbers and the July Challenger job cuts report. The Labor Department’s July jobs report arrives Friday plus results from Scripps Co., Hershey, and Sotheby’s.

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