US stocks wavered in quiet trade this week as investors anxiously awaited the Federal Reserve's two-day policy setting meeting next week. Despite indications that economic growth slowed in Q3, the Fed is seen trimming its monthly asset purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion, with monetary policy expected to remain widely accommodative.
Meanwhile on the political front, investors kept a keen eye on developments in the Middle East, as the United States and Russia discussed a plan to remove Syria's chemical weapons. US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to meet his Russian counterpart in Geneva as the two sides seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis, sparked by the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons on its own people
Following is an economic review for the week September 9 - September 13, 2013.
Tuesday, September 10
China Industrial Production:
China's industrial output grew at the fastest pace in 17 months in August — output climbed 10.4% (year-on-year), and up from 9.7% in July 2013 as a recovery in the world's second-largest economy gained traction.
Wednesday, September 11
UK Claimant Count Change:
Unemployment rate in the UK declined to 7.7% in the period from May-July, from 7.8% in the February-April period. Meanwhile, the Claimant Count Change, declined by 32,600 in August, compared to a decline of 36,300 in the previous month, but better than analysts' expectations of a decline of 22,000.
US Crude Oil Inventories:
US crude oil inventories fell by 0.2 million barrels in the week ended September 6, compared to expectations for a decline of 1.5 million barrels. Motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels, confounding expectations for a decline of 1.25 million barrels.
Thursday, September 12
EU Industrial Production (m/m):
In July 2013, industrial production increased by 3.4% and 2.8% (year-on-year). However, compared with June 2013, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 1.5% in the Euro area and by 1.0% in the EU28.
US Unemployment Claims:
US unemployment claims appeared to drop to a near 7-1/2-year low last week — unemployment benefits dropped 31K to a seasonally adjusted 292K, but the decline was driven by two states that had trouble processing filings, making it difficult to get a clear read on the health of the labor market.
Friday, September 13
US Retail Sales (m/m):
US retail sales increased by 0.2% last month, the smallest gain in four months and about half of what economists had expected. Excluding volatile spending on autos, gas and building supplies, sales increased marginally by 0.2%, or less than half July's 0.5% gain. The modest retail sales gain suggests consumers may be growing more cautious about spending, which could slow economic growth in the July-September quarter.
US Producer Price Index:
The producer-price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in August from a month earlier. But core prices, which exclude volatile energy and food components, were flat, marking the first time since October that category failed to rise.
UoM Consumer Sentiment (preliminary):
US consumer sentiment fell to a five-month low in September, with Americans worried that higher interest rates will put a damper on the housing market and overall growth in the economy. The overall index of consumer sentiment fell to 76.8 in September, the lowest since April, and well below August's 82.1 and the 82 reading economists had expected this month.
This commentary is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. The opinions offered herein are not recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. Market IQ expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken based on any or all of the information on this writing.