Oil Prices Continue to Decline

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through August 15th

US Stocks finished a volatile week higher driven by solid economic news and despite China’s currency moves.  The S&P 500 rose 0.7% and the Dow gained 0.6% for the week.  Internationally, Japan sank 1.0% and Europe plunged 2.7% over the week.  The 10 year Treasury edged up slightly to finish at 2.20%.  Oil continues to decline ending the week at $42.50 a barrel.

China posted disappointing trade and factory price data for July.

China intervened in the currency market to devalue the price of the yuan by over three percent over the course of three days.  It has adjusted its policy to set its fixed rate based on the previous day’s close. The drop in value makes Chinese goods more competitive with other nation’s products.

US retail sales jumped 0.6% in July.

The four week moving average of unemployment claims hit a 15 year low.

Eurozone economic growth fell to 0.3% in the second quarter after growing at a 0.4% rate in the first quarter falling short of economist expectations.  Germany’s growth rose to 0.4%, but below expectations and France was stagnate.

The US loosened its oil export policy and is allowing US firms to export oil to Mexico.

Berkshire agreed to purchase Precision Castparts for $32.4 billion, the biggest deal in its history.

With results in from 465 of the firms in the S&P 500, earnings are on pace to fall 0.7%, much better than the 4.5% decline predicted.

Reposted from the Raffa Wealth Management Blog.

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC

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