The strength of the United States economy continues to surprise.
If you have ever been camping, you may have banked your campfire by covering the hot coals with ash. It’s a process that keeps the coals burning low so the fire can be easily rekindled. The U.S. Federal Reserve has been trying to bank the fire of U.S. economic growth – and it’s proving to be challenging.
There are signs that U.S. economic activity is burning less brightly. For example, economic growth declined during the last two quarters, the U.S. housing market appears to be cooling, and consumer sentiment is low, reported Colby Smith of Financial Times. However, last week’s data suggested some parts of the economy are still ablaze.
The jobs numbers added fuel to the debate about whether the U.S. is in a recession. “The labor market in the first seven months of 2022 looks nothing like the labor market in most recessions. Friday’s jobs report was unambiguous. Far from losing steam, the labor market recovery has been firing on all cylinders,” wrote labor economist Julia Pollak in a Barron’s opinion piece.
“The blended…earnings growth rate for the second quarter is 6.7% today,” reported FactSet. “Six of the 11 sectors are reporting year-over-year earnings growth, led by the Energy, Industrials, and Materials sectors. On the other hand, five sectors are reporting a year-over-year decline in earnings, led by the Financials, Consumer Discretionary, and Communication Services sectors.”
Last week, major U.S. stock indices delivered mixed performance, while U.S. Treasury yields rose, reported Jack Denton of Barron’s.
|Data as of 8/5/22||1-Week||Y-T-D||1-Year||3-Year||5-Year||10-Year|
|Standard & Poor's 500 Index||0.4%||-13.0%||-6.4%||13.4%||10.8%||11.5%|
|Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index||-0.2||-17.7||-19.5||2.1||-0.1||2.7|
|10-year Treasury Note (yield only)||2.8||N/A||1.2||1.7||2.3||1.6|
|Gold (per ounce)||1.1||-2.6||-1.5||6.6||7.1||1.0|
|Bloomberg Commodity Index||-3.3||18.8||23.7||15.4||7.1||-1.9|
S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance; MarketWatch; djindexes.com; U.S. Treasury; London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN IT’S REALLY HOT OUTSIDE? In the United Kingdom, they’re cooling off by eating ice cream. It has been hot in England this summer. Temperatures reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time ever. Asphalt buckled at airports and on roads, and the British government recommended that people stay home, reported Becky Sullivan of NPR.
Those who ventured out could visit a pop-up store offering a unique treat: ice cream flavored to taste like savory sauces, condiments, breakfast cereals, and other foods that might be found in a British pantry. The adventurous could pick up pints of ice cream flavored to taste like:
“’There's lots of weird flavors and...me and my sister were very excited to try lots of them," one nine-year-old customer told Natalie Thomas of Reuters.
What’s do you like to do when it’s hot outside?
Weekly Focus – Think About It
“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.”
—Franz Kafka, novelist
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-05/women-drive-job-gains-as-us-labor-market-surges-back-in-july (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/08-08-22_Bloomberg_Women%20Drive%20Job%20Gains%20as%20US%20Labor%20Market%20Surges%20Back%20in%20July_3.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/recession-strong-labor-market-jobs-51659707296?mod=hp_LEAD_1_B_4 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/08-08-22_Barrons_This%20Labor%20Market%20Looks%20Nothing%20Like%20Most%20Recessions_4.pdf)
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-03/u-s-services-gauge-unexpectedly-advances-to-a-three-month-high (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/08-08-22_Bloomberg_US%20Services%20Gauge%20Unexpectedly%20Climbs%20to%20a%20Three-Month%20High_7.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-today-51659691152?mod=hp_LEAD_2 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/08-08-22_Barrons_Dow%20Wavered%20After%20Jobs%20Report_8.pdf)