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10/05/2015
Market Update

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The U.S. labor market remained tight, as manufacturing data was modestly positive and the services sector continued to be a source of economic strength. Overseas, manufacturing in the U.K., eurozone and Japan stumbled, while it edged further into contraction in China.
This Week
  • The U.S. labor market remained tight, as manufacturing data was modestly positive and the services sector continued to be a source of economic strength. Overseas, manufacturing in the U.K., eurozone and Japan stumbled, while it edged further into contraction in China.
  • Durable goods orders declined 2% in August, but this was skewed by weakness in the volatile transportation sector — particularly sharp declines in aircrafts and autos orders. Performance was unchanged for the month when excluding transportation, but still 3.9% lower in the year over year.
  • U.S. manufacturing growth remained sluggish in September, according to advance survey findings from Markit. Services growth continued at healthy levels despite moderating slightly.
  • U.S. jobless claims rose by 3,000 to 267,000 for the week ending September 19, beating projections for higher claims and resulting in a reduction to the four-week moving average (which evens out volatility). Continuing claims (reflecting delayed data) expanded by 3,000 to 2.24 million in the week ending September 12.
  • Following six months of strength, U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly slowed by 4.8% to a four-month low. However, year-on-year median sales and prices remained positive.
  • A 5.7% climb in August new-home sales exceeded estimates, while July sales were revised upward and year-over-year sales surged by 22%. However, tighter inventory did not translate to significant price gains, which only grew 0.3% over the past year.
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported a pickup in home prices in July, which rose by a higher-than-anticipated 0.6% — the largest gain since February. Prices also gained 5.8% in the year over year ― a level not seen since early 2014.
  • U.K. manufacturing weakened in September, according to the Confederation of British Industry. Orders contracted and exports plunged below their historical norm. Output was flat amid expectations for decelerating production and lower prices in the coming months.
  • Advance survey data for September reflected an anticipated slackening in eurozone manufacturing and services growth. New orders in the services sector reached a five-month peak as employment gains eased, while manufacturing orders and output shrank. Both sectors had multi-year highs in backlog orders.
  • Chinese manufacturing appeared headed for a seventh consecutive month of decline in September, according to preliminary survey data. New and export orders, output and employment decreased at accelerated paces, as output prices softened ― depicting a slowing Chinese economy.
  • Provisional survey data pointed to a reduction in Japanese manufacturing growth during September. New orders and input prices increased, albeit at a subdued pace. Approximately half of all categories reversed course and decreased, including export orders, employment, backorders, output prices and shipping.

 

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