Financial News for the Week Ending August 24th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US equities were flat to slightly up over the past week as a mix of concerns over future Fed policy, some positive earnings news and weaker than expected economic reports grabbed the headlines.  The S&P 500 rose 0.5% and the Dow sank 0.5%.  Europe also was down 0.5%, while Japan eked out a 0.1% gain for the week.  The 10 year Treasury yield reached as high as 2.94% on Friday, the highest level since July 2011, before ending the week at 2.816%. The yield is down slightly from the previous week.   Article

The NASDAQ stock exchange suffered a technical glitch, which shut the market down for over 3 hours on Thursday.

A preliminary gauge of manufacturing activity in China in August showed a return to growth, a reassuring sign from the second largest economy.

The Fed’s minutes from their July meeting were released and gave little direction about the timing and size of their future moves.  They still said they expected to begin to curtail bond purchases later this year, but showed a less enthusiastic tone for economic growth in the third quarter.  Article

Europe posted its quickest rise in business activity in two years primarily driven by Germany adding to improved economic data out of the country bloc. 

July had new home sales of 394K, well below the estimate of 490K and down significantly from June’s 455K. 

Home Depot profits soared 17% in its most recent quarter end and same store sales jumped at a double digit rate as the housing rebound had positive effects on the home improvement store.  It raised its outlook for the year.   Article

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced he would be stepping down within the next twelve months.  Microsoft’s stock price jumped on the news as the company’s recent growth prospects have fallen.   Article


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