The following economic awareness entry is based on short-term events and therefore should not be taken as information towards making investment decisions, which are of a long-term nature. It is only meant to provide clarity regarding current economic events, as there is often a large degree of incorrect information dispersed through the media or other sources.
The Week on Wall Street
Friday, the S&P 500 settled above 3,000 for the first time, after rising 0.78% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average chalked up a milestone of its own: the blue chips ended the week above 27,000.
Stocks rallied at midweek with help from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's congressional testimony on monetary policy, plus the latest Fed meeting minutes.
Jerome Powell's Statements
Monday, July 15 will mark the start of the next earnings season. Money-center banks report first, followed by companies from a variety of industries. As Wall Street gets ready for their results, we will take a moment to recap Q2 index performance and the quarter's two biggest news developments.
On the same day, the Fed presented the minutes of its June policy meeting. The record shared the belief of some Fed officials that "a near-term cut in the target range for the federal funds rate could help cushion the effects of possible future adverse shocks to the economy."
Overall Inflation Remains Muted
The June Consumer Price Index, released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, measured only 1.6% yearly inflation. The Federal Reserve uses the Bureau of Economic Analysis' Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index as its inflation barometer; in its latest edition, it showed just a 1.5% year-over-year rise.
Currently, the Fed has a yearly inflation target of 2.0%. In the past, it has often raised interest rates in response to increasing inflation, which can potentially slow growth and affect hiring and employment levels. Absent significant inflation pressure, such a response may not be forthcoming.
All eyes are on corporate earnings this week, as prominent banks and about two dozen other S&P 500 firms report second-quarter results. Market participants have much to consider in terms of profits, revenue, and guidance.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
As the quarter gets underway, traders are wondering if an interest rate adjustment and a U.S.-China trade deal are in store for the summer; there is also some ambiguity about the economy's momentum. Investors will have plenty to consider in the coming weeks.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: Fed chair Jerome Powell delivers a speech on monetary policy at the G7 summit in France, and the Census Bureau releases its June retail sales report.
Friday: The University of Michigan presents its preliminary July consumer sentiment index, measuring consumer confidence and perceptions of the economy.
Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, July 12, 2019
The Econoday and MarketWatch economic calendars list upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Citigroup (C), J.B. Hunt (JBHT)
Tuesday: Goldman Sachs (GS), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC)
Wednesday: Bank of America (BAC), Netflix (NFLX), Novartis (NVS), Abbott Labs (ABT)
Thursday: Microsoft (MSFT), UnitedHealth (UNH)
Friday: American Express (AXP)
Source: Zacks, July 12, 2019
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