HOUSEHOLDS ARE FEELING OPTIMISTIC
Unemployment is at a 16-year low, and the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index is near a 16-year high. It reached 121.1 in July, rising 3.8 points; analysts polled by MarketWatch expected a reading of 116.9. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose to 93.4.
HAVE HOME SALES REACHED A PLATEAU?
Last week, the National Association of Realtors announced a 1.8% June retreat for existing home sales. New home buying only advanced 0.8% for June by Census Bureau calculations. Analysts point to tight supply limiting resales and a scarcity of affordably priced new developments discouraging new home shoppers.
GROWTH PICKED UP IN THE SECOND QUARTER
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.6% in Q2, with the yearly personal spending rate at 2.8%. As it presented its Q2 estimate, the BEA also revised Q1 consumer spending up from 1.1% to 1.9%.
The DOW LEADS THE WAY ON WALL STREET
Ascending 1.16% in five days, the Dow Industrials closed at 21,830.24 Friday. In contrast, both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite staged minor weekly retreats. The S&P declined 0.02% to 2,472.08; the Nasdaq, 0.20% to 6,374.68.