Thought Leadership

The Week Ahead – The Home Stretch

Welcome to “The Week Ahead” where each Friday we take a moment to provide our thoughts on what we can expect in markets and the economy for the upcoming week.

Welcome to the end of the third quarter; we’re in the home stretch!

 

This week we saw U.S. Real GDP for the second quarter revised upward to 3.1 percent (annual rate). A strong reading after the first quarter’s reading of 1.2 percent. We expect third quarter GDP to be negatively impacted due to hurricanes with following quarters benefiting from growth associated with rebuilding damaged buildings and infrastructure. Fed Chair Yellen gave a speech earlier this week where she noted that “the Fed should be wary of moving too gradually” while also acknowledging that some of the key assumptions around the 2 percent inflation baseline target might be wrong and that we could see inflation below the 2 percent baseline for an extended period of time. This posturing probably accounts for the collective yawn that the market gave as a weaker Core PCE (inflation) reading was reported on Friday. Adjusted for inflation, consumer spending slipped 0.1 percent in August, the first drop since January. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note started the quarter off yielding 2.35 percent and will come close to ending the quarter right back around there, currently 2.33 percent. Amazing, as just a few short weeks ago the 10-year U.S. Treasury was on the cusp of breaking 2.00 percent.

 

A few items to focus on for next week: The first is the ISM manufacturing index which saw the highest reading of the year in last month’s August reading, 58.8 percent. It was also highest reading since April 2011, when the index registered 59.1 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting. So far 2017 is averaging 56.7. The unemployment rate and earnings will be monitored closely as well. We’ve seen the unemployment rate alternate back and forth from 4.3 percent and 4.4 percent since April.

 

Looking ahead at the home stretch, a few ponderings: Does the Fed go through with the third interest rate hike? Will there be a Brexit plan agreed upon by the United Kingdom and the European Union? Will tax reform be accomplished? Do investors start aggressively taking profits? What will drive volatility, fundamentals or macro events?

 

Data deck for September 30 – October 6:

 

Date

Indicator

Period

October 2

Construction Spending

August

October 2

ISM Manufacturing

September

October 3

Total Vehicle Sales

September

October 4

ADP Employment

September

October 5

Initial Jobless Claims

----

October 5

Trade Balance

August

October 5

Factory Orders

August

October 6

Non-Farm Payrolls

September

October 6

Private Payrolls

September

October 6

Unemployment Rate

September

October

Average Earnings

September

  

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