July Monthly Market Commentary

The month of July was again strongly positive for international markets as stock markets in both international developed (2.88%) and emerging (5.96%) economies, continuing to receive a tailwind in the U.S. dollar’s continued trend downward. The S&P 500 was also positive (2.6%) as were bonds (0.43%) during the month. 

Key Monthly Economic News 
  • Employment: In June, job growth expanded while wages showed little upward movement. There were 222,000 new jobs added in June following May's weak 152,000 total. Employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month through June, in line with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016.
  • Interest rates: Following its meeting in July, the Federal Open Market Committee held the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.00%-1.25%. As it was following the Committee's meeting in June, inflation has failed to progress as anticipated. Otherwise, employment is solid and both household spending and business investment are up. The Committee gave no clear indication as to what it may do when it next meets in September.
  • GDP: The gross domestic product expanded over the second quarter at an annual rate of 2.6%, according to the advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The first-quarter GDP grew at an annualized rate of 1.2%.
  • Inflation: For the past few months, the major indicators are showing that inflation data is weak. Consumer spending, as measured by personal consumption expenditures (PCE), expanded at a rate of 0.1% in June.
  • International markets: Greece is slowly showing signs of economic progress. Demand has been solid for the country's first bond issuance in three years, although not significant enough to preclude the need for more debt relief. The euro continued to climb following the European Central Bank's decision to maintain its current interest rate policy. 

Looking Ahead
Interest rates will remain unchanged at least until mid-September, when the Federal Open Market meets again. The next release of the gross domestic product for the second quarter will be based on more current financial and economic information, which could impact the initial 2.6% growth rate that came out in July's report.
As always: stay disciplined and focus on those things you can control.
To Your Prosperity,
Kevin Kroskey, CFP®, MBA 

Data sources: Economic: Based on data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (unemployment, inflation); U.S. Department of Commerce (GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, housing); S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index (home prices); Institute for Supply Management (manufacturing/services). Performance: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.
Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

Future Posts at www.TrueWealthDesign.com

Any future blog posts will be done at www.TrueWealthDesign.com . Thank you, Kevin Kroskey, CFP, MBA