Clarksville, TN – The first three trading weeks of the year have been marked by volatility in the domestic and global equity markets, garnering the attention of investors and the financial media.
There’s a lot going on with stocks stumbling, bond yields falling and oil prices declining. So, it may be helpful to separate the noise from the underlying fundamentals.
Despite slowdowns in China and Europe, domestic economic growth has held up fairly well, supported by job growth and stronger consumer spending power.
Tampa, FL – As oil slips to the lowest level in more than a decade, gas prices continue logging multi-year lows. The price of a gallon of regular unleaded is $1.89, the lowest national average since February 27, 2009. Gas prices in the southeastern U.S. are also at 7-year lows, with Monday’s state averages hitting $1.92 in Florida, $1.80 in Georgia, and $1.68 in Tennessee.
“Oil keeps sinking lower, making the cost to produce gasoline cheaper by the day,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Prices have dropped nearly a full cent every day for the past 11 days. This should continue until oil prices find their footing.”
Clarksville, TN – The important economic data reports were bunched up on Friday. December retail sales results were somewhat disappointing. Industrial production was weighed down by mild temperatures (lower output of utilities) and a further contraction in energy exploration.
Manufacturing output edged down modestly, mixed across sectors, but generally soft over the last several months. The New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Index fell sharply in January.
CPSC reports Dollar Tree Recalls Burn Relief Gel due to failure to meet Child Resistant Closure Requirement
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that Dollar Tree is recalling Assured Burn Relief Gel because it fails to meet child resistant closure requirements.
The recalled burn relief gel is packaged in a blue box with white letters “Burn Relief” and red letters “Burn Relief Gel”. The brand name is Assured TM. Inside the box is a blue and white tube labeled “Burn Relief Gel” and measuring approximately 5 inches long by 1 inch wide and weighs about 0.7 ounces (20 grams).
The packaging contains the UPC bar code: 6 39277 09311 0.
Tennessee Department of Agriculture says get your Tree from a Christmas Tree Farm or visit for some Natural Fun
Nashville, TN – Are you looking for a way to generate some holiday spirit that doesn’t involve a mall? Between now and Christmas, there’s no better place for an outing than a nearby Christmas tree farm. Even if you already have your tree, tree farms offer all sorts of options from wagon rides and hot chocolate to wreath-making classes and visits from Santa.
Natural trees from local tree farms are completely renewable, recyclable, 100 percent biodegradable and are close to home, leaving a negligible carbon footprint.
Clarksville, TN – After a tumultuous summer, the markets seemed to downplay worries in October about China’s economic slowdown and uncertainty over the Federal Reserve timing for raising short-term interest rates.
In fact, it was a banner month for the major equity indices – the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ – whose positive performance made up for last quarter’s losses, giving the S&P 500 its biggest monthly gain in four years. The global MSCI EAFE index rallied, too, ending the month up 7.7%.
Clarksville, TN – The Federal Open Market Committee left short-term interest rates unchanged, but the tone of the policy statement was unexpectedly hawkish. The FOMC removed the phrase about downside risks from the global economy, but said that it would monitor global economic and financial developments.
It also specifically talked about the decision framework for “the next meeting,” clearly putting a December 16th rate hike back in play.
Clarksville, TN – The economic calendar was light. Residential construction figures were mixed, largely reflecting the usual noise in the multi-family sector data (single-family starts and permits were little changed and still up strongly from a year ago). Existing home sales rebounded from a surprise drop in August. The four-week average for jobless claims fell to the lowest level since 1973.
Earnings reports were mixed, but investors appeared to be encouraged by the view that economic growth will continue, but not so fast that the Federal Reserve rushes to take away the punch bowl.
Clarksville, TN – The economic data were consistent with a lackluster to moderate pace of growth in the near term. Retail sales disappointed, reflecting strength in autos and lower gasoline prices (but a modest trend otherwise). Industrial production was a little soft.
The Producer Price Index showed downward pipeline pressures, and the Consumer Price Index was mixed (reflecting lower energy prices, but some pressure in shelter costs). Excluding food and energy, the CPI rose 0.2% (+1.9%), but if you also exclude shelter, core inflation would have been 0.1% (+1.0% y/y).
Tampa, FL – The price of gasoline inched up an average of about a cent during the past week, but prices leveled off during the weekend. The national average price of $2.29 is the cheapest for this day since 2004.
“Gas prices fluctuated during the past couple of weeks, because gasoline demand is unusually high at a time when refineries are entering their maintenance season,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Fortunately, the slight upward pressure on prices is typically short-lived and gasoline should get cheaper through the end of the year.”
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