Last Week:

  • U. S. equities finished positive for the week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed 179 points higher, or rose 0.82%, to 21,988. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) index gained 32 points, or rose 1.32%, to 2,477. The Nasdaq closed last week 2.42% higher at 6,435.
  • August Jobs Report: Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in August, missing economists’ expectations of 180,000 jobs. However, economists expect an upward revision to this month’s jobs number given a well-known bias in the BLS estimate due to vacation and other hiring peculiarities of the month. The unemployment rate edged up slightly to 4.4%, with wages barely growing. Average hourly earnings rose 2.5% during the month of August, compared to the same period last year. It is noteworthy that, Hurricane Harvey did not impact the Jobs report for this month and is expected to have a modest impact on the next few months.

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Over-the-Month Change)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Over-the-Month Change)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (August 2017)

Look Ahead:

  • Key reports/items for the upcoming week include ISM nonmanufacturing index (Aug), a series of Fedspeak during the week (Lael Brainard, Neel Kashkari, Robert Kaplan and William Dudley, among others), and the Consumer Credit report (Jul). The highlight of the week will be the European Central Bank meeting and interest rate decision.