Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through August 28th

US stocks ended the week at all-time highs after comments from Fed Chief Powell that the Fed wouldn’t move quickly to reduce support for the economy. The S&P 500 was up 1.5% and Dow rose 1.0% for the week. Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US gained 2.6% for the week. Oil prices jumped 10.3% over the week to $68.74 a barrel on reduced stock piles, fears on the impact of hurricane Ida and an increase in activity in China. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose over the week to finish at 1.31%. Bitcoin rose above $50,000 for the first time since May.

In a highly anticipated speech, Fed Chair Powell said he expected to begin reducing its bond purchase program later this year and expected that the current surge in inflation will abate over time. He stressed the Fed shouldn’t overreact to the recent jump in prices.

US previously owned home sales rose 2% in July picking up pace from June and home prices were up 18%.

Service sector activity showed its slowest rate of growth in eight months and factory activity eased to its lowest rate of growth in four months.

US GDP was revised up to 6.6% for the second quarter.

US Jobless claims were 353,000 for the past week slightly up from the previous reading.

Consumer spending rose 0.3% in July, slower than projected and much slower than June’s pace.

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