Dow Jones: 18,146.70 (+1.10%)
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Gold: 1,365.80 (+2.00%)
Copper: 212.45 (-4.17%)
Crude Oil: 45.24 (-7.65%)
Tuesday’s report on May international trade showed the trade deficit widening to $41.1B from April’s $37.4B, a jump of almost 10%. Due in large part to the strong dollar, exports of both goods and services fell slightly, while imports rose 1.9% on top of April’s 2.3% increase. Although the trade deficit subtracts from GDP, it signals that the US economy is continuing to gain strength.
An interest rate hike is unlikely, per the June Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes. Whereas in April’s meeting, some FOMC members were still discussing a rate hike, this meeting had a 10-0 vote against a rate hike. Concerns about May’s feeble employment report and the Brexit vote (which had not yet occurred) were cited as reasons to hold the federal funds rate steady.
Thursday’s report on jobless claims showed claims to be down again, meaning layoffs are on the decline. Initial claims dropped sharply by 16,000 to 254,000 while continuing claims also shrunk by 44,000 to 2.124M. While this does not equate to a rise in employment, it is a “strongly favorable signal.” Note that results from 5 states and Puerto Rico were estimated, which could add volatility to next week’s revisions.
Wednesday July 13 — EIA Petroleum Status Report (important global commodity)
Thursday July 14 — Jobless Claims (a gauge of job market strength)
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