Money Talk Podcast, Friday Sept. 8, 2023
Landaas & Company newsletter September edition now available.
Advisors on This Week’s Show
(with Joel Dresang, engineered by Jason Scuglik)
Week in Review (Sept. 4-8, 2023)
Significant Economic Indicators & Reports
Markets and government agencies closed for Labor Day
The Commerce Department said factory orders declined in July for the first time in five months. The measure of demand for manufactured goods slipped 2.1% after gaining 2.3% in June. Through the first seven months of 2023, orders were up a mere 0.5% from the year before. Excluding requests for transportation equipment, which has an outsized effect on the indicator, orders rose 0.8% from June but were down 1.6% from July 2022. Orders for core capital goods, a proxy for business investments, rose 0.1% for the month and were up 2.3% from the year before.
The U.S. trade gap widened by 2% in July to $65 billion. Exports rose 1.6% from June, led by automotive vehicles. Imports increased 1.7%, led by cell phones, semiconductors and industrial supplies. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that through July, the deficit declined 21% from the year before with a 1.6% gain in exports and a 4.3% drop in imports.
The U.S. service sector expanded in August for the eighth month in a row and at the fastest pace since February. The Institute for Supply Management said its survey of purchasing managers showed general optimism toward business and economic conditions with signs of accelerated growth. The trade group said the index suggested the U.S. economy was growing at an annual rate of 1.6%.
The four-week moving average of initial unemployment claims fell for the first time in four weeks, dropping to 38% below the 56-year average, a sign that employers continue to be reluctant about letting workers go. The Labor Department reported that total claims stayed steady from the week before at 1.7 million, which was up 28% from the year before.
Worker productivity rose at an annual rate of 3.5% in the second quarter, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was down from a previous estimate of 3.7%. The annual rate of output rose 1.9% in the quarter while the hours worked sank 1.5% – the first quarterly decline in three years. Since the second quarter of 2022, productivity rose 1.3%, the first such increase since the end of 2021. That 1.3% matched the annual rate of productivity growth since the end of 2019, which was slightly below the pace during the previous economic cycle, which started in 2007.
No significant reports
MARKET CLOSINGS FOR THE WEEK
- Nasdaq – 13762, down 270 points or 1.9%
- Standard & Poor’s 500 – 4457, down 58 points or 1.3%
- Dow Jones Industrial – 34577, down 261 points or 0.7%
- 10-year U.S. Treasury Note – 4.26%, up 0.08 point