Last Week:

  • U.S. equities finished negative for the week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed 184 points lower, or fell 0.84%, to 21,675. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) index lost 16 points, or fell 0.65%, to 2,426. The Nasdaq closed last week 0.64% lower at 6,217. Although the market started the week reversing some of the pullback from the previous week, stocks ended down on geopolitical concerns.
  • U.S. Consumer Data: Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported sales at retailers and restaurants increased 0.6% for the month of July from the previous month, and rose 4.2% compared to the same period last year. Excluding auto sales, retail sales increased 0.5%. Internet sales contributed to last month’s strong gains with “non-store retailers” growing 1.3%, the highest rate since December 2016. The July retail sales number was above economists’ expectations of 0.4%, and goes to support the financial stability and rising confidence of the U.S. consumer. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index reported last week also rose to 97.6 in August, beating economists’ expectations of 94 and almost reached peak levels recorded in 2017.

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index (1966 Base Year = 100)

Source: University of Michigan Survey of Consumers 2017

Look Ahead:

  • Key reports/items for the upcoming week include The Chicago Fed National Activity Index, New and Existing Home sales data (Jul), and Durable Goods Orders data (Jul). Fed Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will also be speaking at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium towards the end of the week.