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Money Talk Podcast, Friday Aug. 19, 2016

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Landaas & Company newsletter  August edition now available.

Advisors on This Week’s Show

Brian Kilb

Kyle Tetting

Steve Giles

(with Max Hoelzl and Joel Dresang)

Week in Review (August 15-19, 2016)

Significant economic indicators & reports

Monday

No major releases

Tuesday

The choppy recovery in U.S. housing continued in July with housing starts rising more than analysts expected. Including a faster pace of multi-family residences, housing starts grew 2.1% from June and 5.6% from July 2015 to an annualized rate of 1.2 million new houses, according to the Commerce Department. Single-family houses, which make up almost two-thirds of new houses, remained 25% below the 50-year average pace. Building permits for future construction declined a smidgen from June’s pace.

As expected, the broadest measure of inflation stayed unchanged in July. The Consumer Price Index showed its slowest progress since a decline in February. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said core prices – excluding food and energy – rose 0.1% from June, the slightest gain since March. Year-to-year, the core rose 2.2% from July 2015. That makes six months in a row at or above 2%, which the Federal Reserve Board has set as its inflation target. However, the Fed prefers measuring inflation through another gauge, most recently showing a 1.6% annual rise in prices.

The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production gained in July for the second month in a rows and at the highest rate since November 2014. Output from manufacturing, mining and utilities rose 0.7% from June, with factories – contributing three-fourths of all production – gaining 0.5%. Capacity utilization ticked up along with the output but remained below the long-term average, above which economists begin to worry about inflation pressure.

Wednesday

No major releases

Thursday

The Conference Board reported that its index of leading economic indicators rose again in July, suggesting continued moderate economic growth at least through the end of the year. The business research group said the pace of growth could quicken if recent gains in manufacturing and construction persist.

The moving four-week average for initial unemployment claims rose for the third week in a row. Even so, the indicator is 26% below the historical average, which suggests employers continue to be reluctant to let workers go. That could boost hiring and wages, which should fuel more consumer spending, leading to more economic growth.

Friday

No major releases

Where the Markets Closed for the Week

  • Nasdaq – 5,238, up 5 points or 0.1%
  • Standard & Poor’s 500 – 2,184, unchanged
  • 10-year U.S. Treasury Note – 1.58%, up 0.07 point
  • Dow Jones Industrial – 18,553, down 23 points or 0.1%
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