EXISTING HOME SALES IMPROVE The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales rose 7.6% in August, a rebound from July’s record low. Separately, the Commerce Department said new home sales were flat in August (and 28.9% below year-ago levels). The inventory of unsold new homes decreased 1.4% last month to 206,000 – the smallest number since August 1968.1
MARKET SEES UPSIDE IN DURABLE GOODS DATA Overall durable goods orders declined 1.3% in August, but that was better than the 1.4% drop forecast by economists polled by Briefing.com. Minus transportation orders, durable goods orders were up 2.0% last month, far better than the 0.5% rise analysts expected. That news helped fuel a 198-point DJIA rally on Friday.2
ECONOMISTS SAY RECESSION DONE; BUFFETT SAYS NO The National Bureau of Economic Research now says the “Great Recession” ended in June 2009. But Warren Buffett disagrees. Last week, the “oracle of Omaha” told CNBC: “I think we’re in a recession until real per capita GDP gets back up to where it was before … we’re not gonna be out of it for a while, but we will get out of it.”3,4
LEADING INDICATORS ADVANCE 0.3% IN AUGUST Last month, the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Indicators Index had its best increase since May. This is the second monthly advance in a row for the LEI.5
GOLD TOPS $1,300 FRIDAY The Federal Reserve hinted at more quantitative easing last week, which helped gold futures. Gold rose above $1,300 in intraday trading Friday on the COMEX and settled at $1,298.10 per ounce. Silver ended the week at another 30-year peak: $21.40 per ounce after a 2.8% weekly advance.6
DOW PUSHES TOWARD 11,000 The DJIA advanced for a fourth straight week, closing Friday at 10,860.26. On the week, it advanced a healthy 2.38%. The S&P 500? Up +2.05% last week to 1,148.64 at Friday’s close. The NASDAQ? Up +2.83% last week to finish at 2,381.22 Friday.7
COMING NEXT WEEK:Tuesday, a new Case-Shiller home prices report & the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index; Thursday, the third 2Q GDP estimate & initial claims; Friday, August consumer spending, the University of Michigan’s final September consumer sentiment survey, the September ISM manufacturing index & new auto sales and construction spending figures.
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly.
These returns do not include dividends.
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Anthony Robbins
If you’re trying to save money or track your spending, consider using cash. Cash is real. You can see it, and you know when you’re out of it. Money becomes more abstract when you use a credit or debit card, leaving you more open to financial choices you may later regret.
I have no heart or mind, but I do have two legs. Yet they only touch the ground when I am not carrying things around. What am I?
Last week’s riddle: It is passed from hand to hand and pocket to pocket, yet whoever takes it doesn’t know it. Whoever knows it doesn’t want it. And whoever makes it makes sure never to mention it. What is it?
Last week’s answer:
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A degreed engineer (in a past life) business owner, business development coach, project manger, and organizational strategist with a strong background in surveillance, ES&H redesign, project management, process engineering, organizational operations, management, business law, and ISO internal auditing. Am an organzing member of NSBE-AE, Organizing Board member Greenwood Festival Chorale, former Omega Psi Phi Graduate Chapter President (Baselius) a former Shelter BOD Chair, a former Regional Chair, former Lander Board of Visitors Member, former Chamber BOD member, as well as many other organizational leadership positions. Owner Spearman Enterprises and Managing Partner Top Flight LLC.