The Week on Wall Street
Stocks ended the week roughly where they began as investors digested a mixed set of new economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.12%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.16%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.39% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, added 1.23%.1,2,3
Stocks Struggle for Direction
Stocks traded around the flatline without any catalyst in either direction. On Thursday, investors welcomed the European Central Bank, signaling its rate-hiking campaign may be nearing its conclusion and a successful IPO that revived optimism in the capital markets. Investors also cheered a stronger-than-forecast retail sales report and a modest increase in core producer prices, overlooking a higher-than-expected headline number.
But sentiment quickly reversed on Friday as a drop in consumer confidence, troubling news in the semiconductor space, and a labor strike at the nation’s major automakers dented Thursday’s optimism, sending major averages to a mixed close for the week.
Inflation Progress Stalls
Surging gasoline prices drove August’s inflation rate to its highest monthly rate this year, rising 0.6%, while the year-over-year Consumer Price Index posted a 3.7% increase, up from July’s 3.2% annual rate. Core inflation (excludes energy and food) was more encouraging, rising 4.3%– down from July’s reading of 4.7%.4
Producer prices also came in higher than expected, rising 0.7% in August, above the estimate of a 0.4% increase and the biggest monthly gain since June 2022. The year-over-year increase was a more modest 1.6%. Gasoline prices significantly contributed to the month’s jump; excluding food and energy, prices aligned with forecasts, ticking up 0.2% in August.5
How can you turn the Roman numeral for 9 (IX) into 6 by merely drawing a single, continuous line?
Last week’s riddle: Take a left-handed glove and turn it inside out. Which of your hands will it now fit – the left or the right?
Answer: It will fit your right hand.
Know someone who could use information like this?
Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)