Financial News for the Week Ended August 23rd

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks finished the week just off records set earlier in the week.  More positive economic data powered the rally.  The S&P 500 rose 1.7% and the Dow gained 2.0% for the week.  Internationally, Japan advanced 1.4% and Europe was up 2.1%.  The yield on the 10 year Treasury bond rose over the week to finish at 2.41%.  Oil continues to sink dropping to $93.65 a barrel, its lowest level since January.  Article

With world banking leaders meeting in Jackson Hole the Fed reiterated its previous guidance on rates, and the ECB chief stated they were willing to do more to support Europe.

The CPI-U rose 0.1% in July and is up 2.0% from a year earlier.  This continues the trend of low price gains and provides the Fed more leeway on the timing of any interest rate increases.  Article

New housing starts jumped 15.7% in July from June well above expectations.  Sales of previously owned homes rose 2.4% in July to the highest level in 10 months.  Article

Home Depot and H-P posted better than expected results, while Target and Sears posted weaker numbers over the most recent quarter.

Bank of America has agreed to pay just under $17 billion to settle issues over its mortgage lending resulting from its purchase of Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial.  Goldman agreed to settle a lawsuit by the FHFA for $1.2 billion related to mortgage bond claims.



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