The Market This Week

This week the markets produced impressive gains on economic data released as well a decrease in oil prices. On Friday, employment data showed the unemployment rate dipped in August to 4.7%, with 128,000 payroll jobs created. This continued the hopes that the economy would “softly land” and continue to expand (modestly) and have inflation tamed and under control.

Recap of weekly performance:
DJIA: Up 180.10 or 1.60%
S&P: Up 15.92 or 1.23%
NASDAQ: Up 52.87 or 2.47%

Year to date the, all markets excluding NASDAQ have posted positive gains. The Dow is up 7%, S&P is up 5%, while NASDAQ is posting a loss of 0.6%. The Dow is within 260 points of its all time high of 11,722.98, which was posted before the bubble burst in January 2000.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Tropical Depression Ernesto fizzled out this week and produced mainly rain and in the Carolinas minor flooding, but did not effect the infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico. Crude was down $3.32/barrel or 4.58%, this had Crude settling below the psychological level of $70 at $69.19. There has been talk that gasoline prices could continue to fall to more stable levels by late fall/early winter. Personally, in the Chicago land area we have seen gas prices dropping below the $3/gallon level, which is music to consumer’s ears.

Overall, it seems the market is performing appropriate considering the economic data being released. However, it would not be out of line to see the traders execute a sell off and cash in their profits. The dollar is of concern as it continues to weaken against foreign currencies; we will need to monitor this situation. There are still values in the market and they are waiting for investors to find and take advantage. Keep your mind clear of the babble in the financial press and stay the course of your individual investing strategies. Until next week, have a productive and profitable week!

Ben and Jon
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