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Economic Update 09/23/13


The DJIA hit an all-time high Wednesday after the Federal Reserve decided not to reduce its $85 billion monthly stimulus effort. Friday, the index lost 185 points on the heels of comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard (who said that QE3 could be tapered next month) and Kansas City Fed President Esther George (who said that the decision not to taper created confusion in the markets). So investors wonder: is an “Octaper” ahead? This week is data-heavy, and investors will be keeping an eye on federal budget talks in addition to any comments from Fed officials. The September FOMC minutes come out on October 9; the next Fed policy announcement occurs on October 30.


Existing home sales hit a six-year peak in August, rising 1.7% for the month in the estimate of the National Association of Realtors. The big reason? Buyers ran to lock in interest rates on mortgages before they increased further. The median price of an existing home in August was $212,100 – 14.7% higher than in August 2012. Housing starts rose 0.9% in August, according to the Commerce Department.


Consumer inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) ticked up 0.1% last month. The core CPI also rose 0.1%. Economists surveyed by had expected 0.2% August gains for both the headline and core indices.


A bad Friday still left the Dow at 15,451.09 at the end of the week. Across a volatile five days, it rose 0.49%; the S&P 500 (+1.30% to 1,709.91) and NASDAQ (+1.41% to 3,774.73) both outperformed it last week.

THIS WEEK: On Monday, Goldman Sachs, Nike and Visa join the DJIA (replacing Alcoa, Bank of America and Hewlett-Packard); Red Hat announces Q2 results. July’s S&P/Case-Shiller home price index and FHFA home price index appear Tuesday, along with the Conference Board’s September consumer confidence survey and earnings from Lennar, CarMax and KBHome. Wednesday, the Census Bureau issues August new home sales figures, the August durable goods orders report arrives, and Bed Bath & Beyond and AutoZone report earnings. Thursday brings the last estimate of Q2 GDP from the federal government, NAR’s report on August pending home sales, new initial jobless claims numbers and Q2 results from Accenture and Nike. Friday offers the University of Michigan’s final September consumer sentiment index, the August consumer spending numbers and earnings from Blackberry.

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About the Independent Financial Advisor

Robert Pagliarini, PhD, CFP®, EA has helped clients across the United States manage, grow, and preserve their wealth for the past 25 years. His goal is to provide comprehensive financial, investment, and tax advice in a way that was honest and ethical. In addition, he is a CFP® Board Ambassador, one of only 50 in the country, and a real fiduciary. In his spare time, he writes personal finance books, finance articles for Forbes and develops email and video financial courses to help educate others. With decades of experience as a financial advisor, the media often calls on him for his expertise. Contact Robert today to learn more about his financial planning services.

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