Read about financial developments and other topical relevant information to you.

Weekly Economic and Stock Market Commentary – August 17, 2020


As for the stock market specifically: We had more gains last week, and I am sure we all will be happy with them. The gains weren’t as large as some recent weeks, but green on the screen is always welcomed vs. red.

Our “friends in Washington” declared the virus circumstances a lesser priority than a summer vacation – despite all claiming to want to “do something” about the end of the extra unemployment compensation. Where does one go for vacation when it seems the entire country is locked-down?

I have a suggestion regarding television for the next 2 weeks – it would be to change the channel. I see both major parties making tons of worthless speeches blaming the other side for all the ills of the world.

Perhaps it is good that our “friends in Washington” have taken vacation. The markets seem to be happy without Congress in session.

The bullish percent indicators each gained at least 4 percentage points last week. We have a recommendation of WEALTH ACCUMULATION across the board.

Remember, Xs mean OFFENSE or wealth accumulation, while Os mean DEFENSE, or wealth preservation.

Below is where our indicators stand as of August 14, 2020 (Courtesy Dorsey, Wright, and Associates).

On a general note: The Department of Commerce announced July retail sales rose by 1.2%. This was below the anticipated 2% rise, but the good news was that total sales volume returned to a level last seen in February this year. Apparently the American consumer is alive, well, and doing internet shopping. Bars and restaurants had a good month, too. The July numbers were up more than 8% compared to June.

The Federal Reserve reported July Industrial Production rose 3%, and revised the June number to show a gain of 5.7% from an original report of a gain of 5.4%. Manufacturing output and capacity utilization also increased.

I had email regarding consumer prices and producer prices come to me, but the data expired by the time I went to write. Apparently producer prices went up a great amount, and consumer prices went up a fair amount.

A better report came in regarding import prices. The Labor Department told us import prices rose 0.7% in July, which was the third consecutive gain. That also concluded the largest 3-month gain in import prices since 2011.

or want more info, email me at philip.rongo@ibexwealth.com.