Existing home sales fell 2.0 percent in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. That was a slightly larger decrease than analysts expected but the miss was mainly a result of the previous month’s gain being revised higher.
10/8/21 8:00 AM
For more than a year, the markets have been fueled by low interest rates, quantitative easing (the Federal Reserve injecting money into the economy) and stimulus and relief legislation from the Federal government aimed at easing the cost of the shutdown following COVID. About two months ago, the Fed began signaling that both quantitative easing and low rates would begin reverse course, and further stimulus from the Federal government seemed to be stalled with the much-debated Infrastructure Bill being bogged down in Congress. Both sources of easy money seemed to be running out of steam to keep the engine of the economy and the stock market running in high gear. Consequently, the market has been choppy over the last month or so, with more down days than up.
The Federal Reserve recently released the Flow of Funds (Z.1) data for the second quarter of 2021. Among the many things contained within the report, the Fed revealed that U.S. household (and non-profit group) net worth rose by $5.8 trillion in Q2 to a total of $141.7 trillion, a 4.3 percent quarter-over-quarter jump and a new all-time high.
Small business owner optimism rebounded in August, according to the latest NFIB survey. Specifically, the headline sentiment gauge rose to 100.1 last month, the 2nd-highest reading of 2021 to date.
8/30/21 8:00 AM
The latest regional job report from the U.S. Department of Labor revealed that non-farm employment in America increased in 38 states in July, decreased nowhere, and was essentially unchanged everywhere else. As for joblessness, the unemployment rate fell in 17 states in July and was stable elsewhere.
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Consumer spending has cooled recently, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Specifically, retail and food services sales totaled $617.7 billion in July, down 1.1 percent from the previous month and much worse than the 0.2 percent decline analysts anticipated.