The market was uncharacteristically stable for the most part this week as investors looked forward to Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming today.
Contrary to stable markets, President Trump has continued to peddle absurd threats. He’s now warning lawmakers that he would close down the government if Congress doesn’t pass a bill that would allow for the building of his infamous Mexican wall. It’s unclear at this time how that threat would actually result in a wall being built, considering the government would be shut down. Jokes aside, such a threat would normally be cause for concern amongst investors. Fortunately, it seems that the markets have started to disregard President Trump’s erratic remarks; after declines following the President’s comments regarding Charlottesville and North Korea, it appears that investors are preferring to pay attention to corporate earnings as an indicator for market movements.
US new home sales slowed in July as the industry took a step back from its continued uptrend of sales this year. Although some predict this might have to do with a lack of affordability against low inventory, others believe this is simply a healthy breather from the higher-than-expected new home sales we’ve seen thus far this year.
US weekly jobless claims reported lower-than-expected numbers early Thursday morning. This report counts the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits, which, with lower numbers than expected, shows that labor market conditions are getting increasingly tighter.
Shareholders of Whole Foods (WFM) agreed to approve the Amazon (AMZN) acquisition on Wednesday. Whole Foods shares jumped slightly following the news while Amazon’s dipped. Amazon wasted little time in setting the tone for its new project as it promised lower prices for groceries at Whole Foods. Shares of Costco (COST), Wal-Mart (WMT), and Kroger (KR) all dropped heavily following the news.
The market dipped slightly in the late hours Thursday over concerns about global monetary policy. Global unemployment continues to fall as growth rises and global inflation lags behind policymaker expectations. The world will be listening closely as Yellen and Draghi set the tone for the global market’s immediate future. Draghi will discuss the ECB’s continued low inflation and increasingly-strong currency, while Yellen will presumably discuss our continued stability as well as concerns over the debated inflation rate.