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The Commerce Department reported advance U.S. retail and food services sales increased (+0.7%) to $696.4B in July, this follows an upwardly revised (+0.6%) increase for June. Retail sales are up 3.2% year over year. Retail sales are mostly goods and are not adjusted for inflation. Total sales for May 2023 through July 2023 were up 2.3% year over year. Spending on autos and parts declined (-0.3%) in July. Excluding auto sales, retail sales were up (+1.0%). Increases in retail sales were broad-based with increases in internet retail (+1.9%), sporting goods (+1.5%), food services (+1.4%), clothing (+1.0%), grocery (+0.8%), and building materials (+0.7%). When sales for gas stations and autos are excluded, retail sales increased (+1.0%). Core retail sales, a measurement that excludes spending on autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services increased (+1.0%) in July. June’s core retail sales were revised down to show sales increasing (+0.5%) instead of (+0.6%).
The U.S. Census Bureau reported new residential building permits were up 0.1% in July to a seasonally adjusted 1.441M, (-13.0%) below the July 2022 rate of 1.658M. Single-family permits were up (+0.6%) to 930K, from an upwardly revised June figure of 924K. Single-family permits more than offset declines in permits for 2 to 4 units (-7.7%) and 5 units or more (-0.2%). Single-family permits increased in the Midwest (+3.6%) and South (+1.4%); the West reported flat (0.0%); and the Northeast reported a decrease (-10.5%). Privately-owned housing starts rose (+3.9%) to 1.452M, from a downwardly revised June estimate of 1.398M, and (+5.9%) above the July 2022 rate of 1.371M. Single-family starts were up (+6.7%) to 983K, as single-family homebuilding increased in the West (+28.5%) and Midwest (+12.5%); while the Northeast (-3.4%), and South (-1.3%) saw decreases. June’s reading was revised lower to show single-family starts at 921K units, instead of previously reported 935K. Privately-owned housing completions reported at 1.321M, down (-11.8%) from Junes upwardly revised 1.498M reading, and down (-5.4%) over July 2022. Single-family housing completions reported in at 1.018M, a (+1.3%) increase from the Junes upwardly revised rate of 1.005M, up (+1.4%) from July 2022.
The Labor Department reported a decrease in initial jobless claims for the week ending August 12th. The seasonally adjusted initial claims reported in 239,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility, was 234,250, an increase of 2,750 from the previous week’s upwardly revised average. For the week ending August 5th, the insured unemployment rate increased (+0.1%) to 1.2%. The total number of unemployment claims for the week ending August 5th reported at 1.716M up 32,000 from the previous week’s level. The continuing claims’ 4-week moving average was 1.693M, a decrease of 8,250 from the previous week. According to the unadjusted data for the week ending August 12; California (-3,519), Texas (-1,768), and Pennsylvania (-1,254) led the way in decreases for initial claims. Virginia (+1,055), Iowa (+978), and Illinois (+866) led the way in increases. Of the 53 states and U.S. territories, 43 reported a drop in initial claims and 10 reported an increase. For the week ending July 29th, 1.834M people were receiving jobless benefits through state or federal programs, a decrease of 17,633 from the previous week. There were 1.481M weekly claims filed for the comparable week in 2022.
Tuesday August 22 – Existing Home Sales (July)
Thursday August 24 – Durable Goods Orders (MoM) (July)
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