Weekly Market Commentary September 4th to September 8th 2023
The holiday-shortened trading week was short on economic releases.
Factory Orders for July were reported at -2.1%, significantly lower than the previous month of 2.3% but better than the -2.5% estimate.
Durable Goods Orders, (goods with a lifespan of 3 years or more) were reported at 5.2% for the month of July. This was identical to the prior month and the estimate.
Later in the week the ISM Services Index (based on surveys of 400 non-manufacturing firms across 60 sectors) was released. Where a reading greater than 50 signifies growth, the number for August was 54.5. This was a surprise, beating both the estimate of 52.5 and the previous month’s reading of 52.7. While not the highest reading over the past 24 months, it does signify that the consumer is still spending on services. With roughly two-thirds of the US economy being service based, this suggests that there is more strength in the economy than expected.
The final noteworthy data released was the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims figure. The report came in at 216k, lower than the previous week’s figure (which was revised to 229k) and the 233k estimate.
The S&P 500 finished the week lower by 1.3% at 4,457, while the Nasdaq was off by -1.9%. The yield on the bellwether 10-Year U.S. Treasury increased to 4.26% this week from 4.18% the prior week.
Key economic releases next week include the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Producer Price Index (PPI), and Retail Sales.