Markets Fall Amid Additional Turmoil Weekly Update – September 28, 2015

Image courtesy of Miles

Image courtesy of Miles

Stocks continued their rollercoaster ride last week, dogged by worries from Washington and a plunge in biotechs that pushed the major indexes lower. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 1.36%, the Dow fell 0.43%, and the NASDAQ dropped 2.92%.

Government Roadblocks Ahead?

Amid concerns about an October government shutdown, House Speaker John Boehner announced that he would resign his position next month to avoid leadership turmoil. While many analysts believe that his departure reduces the risk of an October shutdown, it could increase the risk of an end-of-year standoff. Republicans and Democrats are squaring off again over fiscal policy and the added drama of next year’s elections could cause the fight to drag out to the end of the year. Will the Fed have to consider Washington politics in its rate decision? We’ll see.

Fed Clarifies Rate Thinking (Somewhat)

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen clarified the Fed’s position on rate hikes in a speech on Thursday. She emphasized that the Fed is likely to raise rates this year, and that she is personally committed to that strategy. However, the decision will continue to rely on economic data and a rate hike is not yet certain. Her statement adds much-needed context to the Fed’s decision to keep rates steady and will hopefully give investors more certainty this week.

Q2 Growth Accelerated to 3.9%

We also got our final report on second-quarter economic growth, which showed that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew faster than originally expected. The revised data shows that the economy grew at an accelerated rate of 3.9% last quarter, driven by stronger consumer spending and construction. Hopefully, the increased pace of consumer spending – which drives two-thirds of economic activity – held into the third quarter.

Week Ahead Packed with Data

Looking at the week ahead, analysts will be closely watching the September jobs report, which could sway the debate on interest rate hikes one way or the other. Investors will also be watching Washington to see how Boehner’s resignation will affect the budget battle. With several Fed officials giving speeches that could shed additional light on their internal debates, this week promises plenty of headlines for markets to digest.


Monday: Personal Income and Outlays, Pending Home Sales Index, Dallas Fed Mfg. Survey

Tuesday: International Trade, S&P Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence

Wednesday: ADP Employment Report, Chicago PMI, EIA Petroleum Status Report, Janet Yellen Speaks 2:00 PM ET

Thursday: Motor Vehicle Sales, Jobless Claims, PMI Manufacturing Index, ISM Mfg. Index, Construction Spending

Friday: Employment Situation, Factory Orders



Durable goods orders drop in August. The latest data shows that orders for long-lasting manufactured goods dropped by 2% last month. However, exclusive of the volatile transportation category, durable goods orders remained flat, indicating that the drop might be temporary.

Consumer sentiment falls to lowest level since October 2014. A survey of how Americans feel about the economy found that consumers lost confidence in September amid worries about China and the global economy. Since consumer spending makes up a large part of economic activity, a drop in confidence could affect growth this quarter.

Weekly jobless claims rise slightly. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly by 3,000 claims last week, though the underlying trend still shows the economy adding jobs.

Existing home sales drop in August. After previous months of gains, existing home sales dropped sharply last month, falling 4.8%. However, monthly data can be volatile and sales are still up 6.2% from one year ago.

Fed Cites These 3 Factors Behind Last Week’s Decision Weekly Update – September 21, 2015

Image Courtesy of Miles

Image Courtesy of Miles

Uncertainty about the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates weighed on markets last week, pushing the Dow and the S&P lower. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 0.15%, the Dow fell 0.29%, while the NASDAQ gained 0.10%.

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve voted to hold interest rates steady at near zero for at least another month. Did the Fed choke or are officials just being cautious? It’s hard to say, but we now know that recent global economic events are an official problem for the U.S. Though the Fed economists believe the labor market and other sectors of the U.S. economy are doing well, they cited three factors in their decision to keep rates low:

  1. Weakening inflation pressure because of falling oil and gasoline prices, as well as a stronger dollar.
  2. Recent global events like China’s surprise Yuan devaluation and recent economic reports that raise concerns about slowing worldwide.
  3. Financial developments like the recent stock market correction.

Investors read the decision as a vote of no confidence in the economy on the part of the Fed and reacted with another selloff. However, much like the run-up to Y2K or the panic surrounding the tapering of quantitative easing, we think that a lot of the recent headlines are simply hyperbole.

The Fed doesn’t feel a lot of pressure to raise interest rates because inflation is still quite tame, and the risk of an overheated economy is low. Right now, the Fed’s main concern is risk management; central bankers don’t want to risk tightening too soon in an environment of slowing global growth. Instead, they’d rather commit to a slow, gradual approach that gives them plenty of wiggle room to adjust to changing conditions.

Relax. A rate hike is coming. Some think it will happen in December while others think the Fed will hold off until early 2016. What’s important is that our domestic economy is looking solid, and the Fed doesn’t want to act hastily. Realistically, we can expect market volatility to continue for the near future as investors price in the uncertainty.

The week ahead will be highlighted by a speech by Fed chair Janet Yellen as well as another report on second-quarter GDP. Analysts will be looking for more clarity about the Fed’s path to higher interest rates. Chinese President Xi Jinping will also be visiting the U.S. and analysts hope that he’ll provide some insight into how China plans to tackle their growth problem.


Monday: Existing Home Sales

Wednesday: PMI Manufacturing Index Flash, EIA Petroleum Status Report

Thursday: Durable Goods Orders, Jobless Claims, New Home Sales, Janet Yellen Speaks 5:00 PM ET

Friday: GDP, Consumer Sentiment


Greek exit polls show left-wing win. Projections suggest that the left-wing Syriza party responsible for the debt showdown likely won Sunday’s elections. The win could mean that further austerity fights are in store for Greece’s creditors.

Housing starts fall more than expected.  Groundbreaking on new houses dropped more than projected in August, though permits for new construction rebounded, pointing to underlying strength in the housing market.

Weekly jobless claims fall to multi-month low. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since mid-July, suggesting that the labor market continues to improve, though the data may be volatile due to the Labor Day holiday.

Consumer prices fall. Prices on a range of U.S. goods and services fell last month as gasoline prices dropped again and the U.S. dollar gained strength. Falling inflation complicates the Fed’s decision on interest rate raises.

Will Interest Rates Go Up for the First Time in Nearly a Decade? Weekly Update – September 14, 2015

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Image courtesy of

Stocks rebounded during the holiday-shortened week as gains in overseas stock markets spurred buying activity, giving the Dow its best week since March. Despite the buying pressure, investors curbed their enthusiasm ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting next week. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 2.07%, the Dow grew 2.05%, and the NASDAQ gained 2.96%.

China’s Growth Sputters

Fresh data out of China showed that factory output missed expectations, supporting the view that China’s economic growth may dip below 7% for the first time since the global recession. Infrastructure investment also fell, leading many experts to believe that China’s central government may be forced to roll out new measures to boost economic growth.

All Eyes on the Fed

This week, the eyes of the world will be on the Federal Reserve as the Open Market Committee votes on whether to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. The FOMC meets Wednesday and Thursday and will issue their official statement Thursday afternoon. The most recent Wall Street Journal survey of private economists shows that experts are split. Last month, a whopping 82% of economists thought that the Fed would pull the trigger this week; now, just 46% think the Fed will act this month.


There are strong arguments to make on both sides of the issues. On the pro-rate-hike side are the opinions that too much easy money may fuel asset bubbles. Near-zero-rates also leave the Fed without ammunition in the event of another downturn.

On the hold-rates-steady side is the opinion that recent market volatility and ongoing concerns about global economic growth could spark another spate of selling if the Fed moves to raise rates now.

Realistically, if the Fed moves this week to raise rates, they will likely announce a quarter-point raise to target interest rates in the 0.25%-0.50% range. How will markets react to a rate decision? It’s hard to say. Investors might view an increase as a vote of confidence in the economy and rally. Alternately, sentiment might sour on fears of a new economic downturn. As always, we’re keeping an eye on the situation and will update you as necessary.


Tuesday: Retail Sales, Empire State Mfg. Survey, Industrial Production, Business Inventories

Wednesday: Consumer Price Index, Housing Market Index, EIA Petroleum Status Report, Treasury International Capital

Thursday: Housing Starts, Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, FOMC Meeting Announcement, FOMC Forecasts, Fed Chair Press Conference



Jobless claims drop by 6,000. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week in the latest sign of health in the labor market. Though weekly claims are notoriously volatile, they have held at historic lows for months now.

Consumer sentiment falls to one-year low. A gauge of Americans’ opinions about the economy fell to the lowest level since last September. Americans are concerned about both current and future conditions.

Import-export prices plummet. The prices of U.S. imports fell by the largest amount in seven years as falling gasoline prices and a strong dollar chipped away at import costs. Export prices also fell, possibly because of weaker global demand.

Job openings hit new record high. July job openings hit a new record high of 5.29 million. The rate of voluntary job separations (‘quits’), held steady, indicating that Americans feel confident enough to leave their jobs in search of greener pastures.

What Choice Could Signal Fed Faith in Economy? Weekly Update – September 8, 2015

Image courtesy of krishnan

Image courtesy of krishnan

Stocks slid after another turbulent week, buffeted by more worries about China. Investors chose to remain cautious ahead of the long Labor Day weekend and a raft of fresh data out of China. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 3.40%, the Dow fell 3.25%, and the NASDAQ dropped 2.99%.

Markets stayed pessimistic last week as traders decided to stay cautious during a four-day Chinese holiday and ahead of the U.S. Labor Day market holiday. This week is packed with more economic data out of China that may shed more light on the current situation. China’s central bank governor hinted at possible stimulus measures designed to help boost economic activity, suggesting that Chinese leaders are ready to get aggressive about their economic woes.

On the domestic side, the August jobs report showed that the economy added 173,000 new jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate to 5.1%. While the job creation number is lower than expected, the silver lining is that wage growth is increasing. After posting tepid gains earlier this year, wages increased by 2.4% in August, suggesting that employers are nudging paychecks higher to attract workers. If the trend persists, it could indicate that the labor market recovery is on track.

Next week’s Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting could kick the market out of its volatile pattern. The big question everyone is asking is: Will the Fed make a move on interest rates when markets are so uncertain? Even with all the recent volatility, a recent survey of economists shows that the vast majority think the Fed will hike rates at next week’s meeting. Last week’s jobs report could give the Fed the ammunition it needs to raise interest rates. On the other hand, Fed officials could wait longer to give markets more time. If a rate move happens, it will signal that the Fed believes the U.S. economy is on the right path, regardless of what may be happening overseas.


Right now, markets are in turmoil because of uncertainty. Investors hate uncertainty and tend to react by selling first and asking questions later. Hopefully, once the dust around China settles, investors will see that the U.S. economy has legs and will start making decisions that are based on logic and not fear. While we can hope that a decision by the Fed will give investors the certainty they seek, it’s possible that markets could be in for more turbulence. As always, we’ll be keeping a very close watch on market movements.


Monday: U.S. Markets Closed for Labor Day Holiday

Wednesday: JOLTS

Thursday: Jobless Claims, Import and Export Prices, EIA Petroleum Status Report

Friday: PPI-FD, Consumer Sentiment, Treasury Budget



Motor vehicle sales surge in August. Despite a late Labor Day (cutting into August sales numbers), U.S. automakers posted big gains, achieving the strongest results since July 2005.

 Construction spending booms in July. Spending on construction activity reached a seven-year high in July, increasing by 13.7% as compared to July 2014.

 Factory orders increase in July. New orders for U.S. manufactured goods rose for a second straight month in July, indicating that demand remains strong despite a higher dollar and soft global demand.

 Mortgage applications soar on rate dip. The broad selloff in the stock market briefly pushed interest rates lower, sparking a surge in mortgage applications. Application volume surged 11.3% as compared to the week prior, putting applications up by 30% as compared to the same time last year.

Hixon Zuercher September 2015 Monthly Market Update

Thriving During Volatility Weekly Update – August 31, 2015

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Image courtesy of

After a tumultuous week with many ups and downs, markets regained ground to close in the black. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.91%, the Dow grew 1.11%, and the NASDAQ added 2.60%.

It’s hard to watch your portfolio value fluctuate, especially when the money involved represents a lifetime of hard work and a comfortable future. If you’re at or nearing retirement, you might be feeling especially emotional about market movements.

Right now, U.S. markets are experiencing a period of significant volatility with rapid selloffs followed by powerful rallies. High stock valuations and concerns about global economic growth are contributing to the swings in investor sentiment.

During volatile times it’s very easy to get spooked and start questioning the logic behind your portfolio strategies. While it may seem tempting to pull out of the market and wait out the volatility, making investment decisions based on fear is usually the worst thing you can do. Behavioral economists have found that people feel the effect of market losses more than twice as powerfully as market gains. Losses hurt.

However, we can’t have the possible gains without the losses. It’s the nature of markets to move up and down, sometimes very rapidly. Trying to time markets is extremely difficult, and you’re unlikely to get the result you want by jumping in and out of markets.

So, what can you do when markets swing?

Use your head, not your gut. It’s natural to feel emotional about your hard-earned money. However, making emotional investing decisions can be very costly because you’re likely to buy and sell at the wrong time, potentially locking in your losses and losing out on gains.

Take a step back. We know that it’s hard to tune out the noise when media headlines scream that the sky is falling. Even when you know intellectually that pullbacks are normal, it’s natural to worry about whether this time is different. However, we recommend that you focus on the big questions:

  • Have your goals changed?
  • Has your investment timeframe changed?
  • Are your investments still in line with your goals?

Talk to us. If you’re worried about how recent market movements may affect your personal situation, we want to hear from you. Before making any decisions, give us a call to discuss your personal situation.


Monday: Chicago PMI, Dallas Fed Mfg. Survey

Tuesday: Motor Vehicle Sales, PMI Manufacturing Index, ISM Mfg. Index, Construction Spending

Wednesday: ADP Employment Report, Productivity and Costs, Factory Orders, Beige Book

Thursday: International Trade, Jobless Claims, ISM Non-Mfg. Index, EIA Natural Gas Report, EIA Petroleum Status Report

Friday: Employment Situation


HEADLINES:Notes: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. Sources: Yahoo! Finance and International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Corporate bond performance is represented by the DJCBP. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

Q2 GDP growth surprises. The second estimate of second-quarter Real Gross Domestic Product growth surprised by coming in at 3.7%. The first estimate showed 2.3% growth after 0.6% growth in the first quarter.

Consumer sentiment falls in August. A measure of consumer optimism about the economy fell this month, reaching the lowest level since May. However, economists still believe personal spending is on track.

Oil prices bounce back. Global oil prices experienced their biggest one-day rally since 2009 on Thursday. Prices rose on the back of stronger-than-expected GDP data, a pipeline outage in Nigeria, and higher equity markets.

Consumer spending rises in July. Rising wages led to a healthy increase in consumer spending, which rose 0.3% last month. Americans also stepped up their savings rate.

Volatility, Black Mondays, and Keeping Your Cool Special Update – August 26, 2015

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Image courtesy of

Stock markets around the world have been in tumult for days. Last week, stock markets around the world plummeted on fresh fears about how a slowing Chinese economy might affect the global economic outlook. Stocks remained volatile on Monday and Tuesday, falling further before regaining ground, and then reversing to end Tuesday in the red again.

What’s behind recent market movements? A few things:

  • Stocks have been trading near historic highs for months. A pullback was all but guaranteed and is a very normal part of market cycles. What gave investors a fright was the speed at which the pullback occurred.
  • Emotion is in the driver’s seat. The opposing emotions of fear and greed are putting stocks all over the map. Savvy investors are watching and waiting for opportunities to snap up bargains.
  • Fears about China are probably overrated. Slumping exports, currency devaluations, and shrinking smartphone sales have triggered dire warnings about the state of the Chinese economy. Let’s put China in perspective: Exports to China are worth 0.7% of U.S. GDP. Even if China slips into a recession, it may not be the end of the world. Some U.S. companies that sell a lot of goods in China may feel the pinch, but most of U.S. growth is driven by what we consume at home.

 How long will the correction last? No one knows for sure, but it’s probably not a repeat of 2008 again. The financial crisis was driven by fundamental factors like a housing market crash and the ensuing mortgage meltdown. We can say that fundamentals for U.S. stocks remain positive. Here’s what we’re looking at:

 Keep Calm and Carry On

Now, all of this is to say: keep cool, keep calm, and focus on your own goals. While it’s stressful to see portfolio values swing so wildly, the data behind the recent volatility doesn’t indicate any fundamental reasons to worry. Go outside, take a walk, play some golf. We’re keeping a very close eye on what’s happening in markets and will be in touch as conditions warrant.

4 Things You Shouldn’t Do Right Now Weekly Update – August 24, 2015

Image courtesy of Miles

Image courtesy of Miles

U.S. stocks ended a defensive week in the red as investor sentiment deteriorated in the face of fresh worries out of China. For the week, the S&P 500 fell 5.77%, the Dow lost 5.82%, and the NASDAQ slid 6.78%.

When markets take a dive, it’s natural to worry about what’s happening and where markets will go next. However, part of being a stock investor is taking market swings in stride. Now is the time to stay cool-headed and focused on your long-term goals. On that note, here are 4 things that you definitely should not do after last week’s market pullback:

Don’t listen to the talking heads. The selloff is happening in the middle of a seven-year bull market. As of Friday, the S&P 500 has gone 1,418 calendar days without a 10%+ drop (between 10/3/11 and 8/21/15).[i]

Regardless of what the media is saying, the S&P 500 is down just 7.51% since its peak in mid-May. Markets experienced a similar selloff in September and October of last year. However, the talking heads have taken this widely anticipated pullback and made it sound like 2008 all over again. Remember – the media’s goals are not aligned with yours. They want to keep viewers glued to their televisions and newspapers, waiting for the sky to fall. Out in the real world, we’re taking a look at the numbers behind the selloff and making prudent adjustments where we feel it’s necessary.

Don’t panic and hit the eject button. Corrections are a normal part of market cycles. Since 1927, the S&P 500 has experienced pullbacks of 5% or more about every 3.5 months. While the past can’t predict the future, research shows that panicking and exiting the market is often the worst thing you can do when markets swing. Investors are notoriously terrible at picking market tops and bottoms; since periods of high growth often occur during turbulent times, investors who sell off and sit on the sidelines frequently miss out on the good days.

For example, an investor who stayed fully invested in the S&P 500 between 1995 and 2014 would have experienced a 9.8% annualized return. However, if they had traded in and out of the market, missing just the 10 best days of the market, their return would have plummeted to just 6.1%. Six of the 10 best days of the S&P 500 fell within two weeks of the 10 worst days.

Don’t think like a day trader instead of an investor. Stock markets are driven by fear and greed. Right now, traders are in full-on fear mode and are selling off indiscriminately at any hint of bad news. Long-term investors are taking a look around and seeing what opportunities the pullback is offering.

Don’t get complacent. Pullbacks offer you the chance to ask yourself if you’re honestly prepared for a correction. If you can sleep well at night knowing that you have a prudent strategy and a well-diversified portfolio, then you’re better prepared for a potential correction. We don’t know whether the current selloff is a short-term blip that will reverse in a few days or the beginning of a deeper slide. However, domestic indicators are trending positively, and we believe that there is room for a resurgence.

We are keeping a very close eye on markets worldwide and will update you as needed during the evolving situation. While we can’t predict where markets will go in the next days and weeks, we specialize in helping clients protect and grow their wealth in many market environments.


Tuesday: S&P Case-Shiller HPI, New Home Sales, Consumer Confidence

Wednesday: Durable Goods Orders, EIA Petroleum Status Report

Thursday: GDP, Jobless Claims, Pending Home Sales Index

Friday: Personal Income and Outlays, Consumer Sentiment



Weekly jobless claims rise more than expected. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than projected last week, though the underlying trend is consistent with continued labor market improvement and the previous week’s claims were revised downward.

Housing starts boom. Groundbreaking on new homes rose in July to the highest level in nearly eight years. Builders ramped up activity on single-family homes, indicating that they expected significant demand later this year.

Inflation rises steadily. A measure of inflation, the general increase in the cost of goods and services, rose slightly in July, supporting expectations of an interest rate hike this year.

Existing home sales rocket to eight-year high. Resales of U.S. homes increased more than expected in July, rising 2.0%, and indicating that the housing market has legs.

[i] Source: Mike Higley, By The Numbers (8/17/15)



Stocks Gain on Greek Deal & Data Weekly Update – August 17, 2015

Image courtesy of krishnan

Image courtesy of krishnan

Despite significant volatility, stocks ended last week higher after a finalized Greek bailout deal and some upbeat domestic economic data. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.67%, the Dow grew 0.60%, and the NASDAQ added 0.09%.

Greece finally clinched a third bailout from creditors when its parliament approved the deal and Germany backed off its opposition to the terms. The deal isn’t perfect and the International Monetary Fund is refusing to participate until there is an agreement on debt relief from Greece’s Eurozone creditors. However, U.S. investors greeted the news that Greece will remain in the monetary union with a sigh of relief. Is the Greek drama finally over? Probably not for long.

China added significant uncertainty last week when the Chinese government unexpectedly devalued the yuan against the dollar by the largest amount in two decades. While China claims that the move isn’t designed to lower export prices and boost demand, the move came after a series of depressing export reports that suggest China’s economy is in trouble. At any rate, China has been under immense pressure to devalue its currency as part of market reforms. Investors are worried that a currency war could put pressure on the dollar and hurt U.S. manufacturers.

Despite panicky media headlines that claimed that the sky is falling, the devaluation really isn’t a big deal. Here’s why:

The Chinese yuan dropped about 3.5% against the dollar in the past year. However, the Euro is down 16.4%, the Canadian dollar is down 15.8%, and the Japanese yen is down 17.0%. All told, the U.S. dollar has gained significant ground against the currencies of most of our trading partners. A stronger U.S. dollar means that Americans can afford to buy more foreign products. As First Trust’s chief economist says, “The idea that the Chinese devaluation is going to send ripples of catastrophe across the world is nothing more than a Chicken Little story.”

A cheaper yuan is like a sale on Chinese goods. Right now, the Chinese economy is showing weakness, and a cheaper currency will hopefully help stoke growth in the world’s second-largest economy. If the move is successful in boosting growth, it will be a big help to the global economy. A more expensive dollar relative to the yuan means that Chinese consumers might end up importing fewer U.S. goods (potentially causing some U.S. firms to suffer in the short term). However, if it’s a sign that China may be allowing the market (instead of its central bank) to set the value of its currency, it’s a net win for global consumers in the long term.

Looking at the week ahead, all eyes will be on China to see whether last week’s currency devaluation will continue. Analysts will also be digging through the official minutes from the latest Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting for more hints about how the Fed plans to handle potential threats to economic growth.

P.S. You may have seen Chinese currency called the yuan or the renminbi in media reports and wondered if there was a difference. They are essentially interchangeable terms. Renminbi (meaning “people’s currency” in Mandarin) is the formal term used by Chinese officials, while the yuan is the actual unit of the currency.


Monday: Empire State Mfg. Survey, Housing Market Index, Treasury International Capital

Tuesday: Housing Starts

Wednesday: Consumer Price Index, EIA Petroleum Status Report, FOMC Minutes

Thursday: Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, Existing Home Sales

Friday: PMI Manufacturing Index Flash




Consumer sentiment flags in August. Though American consumers don’t seem to be concerned about inflation or current economic conditions, the latest survey indicates some concerns about their future finances. Dips in consumer sentiment could translate into lower spending this quarter.

Nationwide home rental prices are sky high. The cost of renting a home has risen to record highs. A study found that renters can now expect to pay about 30% of their income in rent, as compared to the 15% buyers pay toward a mortgage. Hopefully, unaffordable rents will contribute to housing market activity.

Weekly jobless claims rise again. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week. Though claims have risen for three straight weeks, they are still below the 300,000 mark and still support a strengthening job market.

Business inventories rise. U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles of goods by the most in two years, indicating that they expect demand to increase in the coming months. Analysts hope that a stronger job market will boost consumer spending.

Hixon Zuercher August 2015 Monthly Market Update