"Index points to growth near historical trend in July." This is the headline for today's release of the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, and here is the opening paragraph from the report: "The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved down to –0.01 in Julyfrom +0.16 in June."
All eight indexes on our world watch list have posted gains for 2017 through August 21. The top performer thus far is Hong Kong's Hang Seng with a gain of 23.43%, followed closely by India's BSE SENSEX at 17.40%. In third is our own S&P 500 with 8.47%.
The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, which we reported on this morning, is based on 85 economic indicators drawn from four broad categories of data:
The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly data on volume sales is several weeks old when it released. The latest numbers, through mid-June, are now available. However, despite the lag, this report offers an interesting perspective on fascinating aspects of the US economy. Gasoline prices and increases in fuel efficiency are important factors, but there are also some significant demographic and cultural dynamics in this data series.
It's time again for our weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The price of Regular and Premium are down a penny each from last week. According to GasBuddy.com, Hawaii has the highest average price for Regular at $3.02 and San Francisco, CA is the most expensive city, averaging $3.12. South Carolina has the cheapest at $2.03. The WTIC end of day spot price closed at 47.53, a 0.1% decrease from this time last week.
Let's take a closer look at recent activity in US Treasuries. The yield on the 10-year note ended Friday at 2.19% and the 30-year bond closed at 2.78%. The 2-10 yield spread is now at 0.86%.
On Thursday, the S&P dropped 1.54% from Wednesday and closed Friday with a loss of 0.65% from the previous week. The index saw daily losses in 3 of the last 5 market days and is up 8.34% YTD.
Today's release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 144.5, up slightly from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 4.63%, unchanged from last week. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 2.5, down from the previous week.
The University of Michigan Preliminary Consumer Sentiment for August came in at 97.6, up from the July Final reading of 93.4 and its highest since January. Investing.com had forecast 94.0.
The latest Manufacturing Index came in at 18.9, down slightly from last month's 19.5 and has been positive for thirteen consecutive months. The 3-month moving average came in at 22.0, down from 28.6 last month. Since this is a diffusion index, negative readings indicate contraction, positive ones indicate expansion. The Six-Month Outlook came in at 42.3, an increase from the previous month's 36.9. Today's 18.9 headline number came in above the 18.5 forecast at Investing.com.