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Clarksville, TN – The retail sales and industrial production reports had similar stories – gains in June were disappointing relative to expectations, but figures for April and May were revised higher. These data (which are subject to revision) are consistent with a sharp rebound in economic activity in 2Q14 (following weather–related weakness in 1Q14), but also suggest some loss of momentum heading towards 3Q14.
The Producer Price Index and import price reports showed no appreciable pipeline pressures for inflation.Fed Chair Janet Yellen provided little new information in her monetary policy testimony to Congress. The Fed believes that “the recovery is not yet complete” and “a high degree of policy accommodation remains appropriate.”
She indicated that the Fed’s asset purchases should come to an end after October. In Q&A, Yellen refused to be pinned down on a date for the first increase in short-term interest rates. She noted that low rates could lead to a reach for yield, which could create vulnerabilities for the financial system.
She said that while valuations may be stretched in some areas (such as speculative-grade corporate bonds), “prices of real estate, equities, and corporate bonds, remain generally in line with historical norms.”
Geopolitical tensions escalated (Russia/Ukraine, the Middle East), but appeared to have only a transitory impact on the financial markets.
Next week, the economic data releases have some potential to move the markets. However, investors may be more concerned about geopolitical tensions. Home sales figures are likely to be mixed. Durable goods orders are normally choppy from month to month, but shipments and inventory data (included in the report) will have some implications for estimates of 2Q14 GDP growth.
The Consumer Price Index should be boosted slightly by the seasonal adjustment for gasoline (price were up slightly, but normally fall in June). The Core CPI is likely to remain mild.
Consumer Money Rates
Treasury Yield Curve – 7/18/2014
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 7/18/2014
US government bonds and treasury bills are guaranteed by the US government and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and guaranteed principal value. US government bonds are issued and guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by the federal government. Treasury bills are certificates reflecting short-term (less than one year) obligations of the US government.
Commodities trading is generally considered speculative because of the significant potential for investment loss. Markets for commodities are likely to be volatile and there may be sharp price fluctuations even during periods when prices overall are rising. Specific sector investing can be subject to different and greater risks than more diversified investments.
Tax Equiv Muni yields (TEY) assume a 35% tax rate on triple-A rated, tax-exempt insured revenue bonds.
The information contained herein has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Data source: Bloomberg, as of close of business July 17th, 2014.
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