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For once, the trade front was relatively quiet with rhetoric cooling slightly on both sides. Markets appear to be searching for a new catalyst. Candidates include this month’s U.S.-China trade talks, additional monetary easing in China, or a major fiscal package out of Europe.
HOW MARKETS REACTED
August was a very volatile month in markets with the daily trading range of the S&P 500 (SPX) averaging 1.42%. August 23rd was the biggest intraday range of the year, and August 5th was the second biggest. U.S. equities (SPX) ended the month higher, and bond yields continued to decline.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Political and economic uncertainty continues to plague the markets. Last week’s Consumer Spending in the U.S. was strong, up 4.7% in 2Q, the biggest gain in four years—but other data was less positive. Brexit is as murky as ever, and protests in Hong Kong continued.
WHAT TO WATCH
Global manufacturing has been weakening, with the U.S. Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing index coming in (Tuesday) at 49.1, indicating a modest contraction. U.S. Non-Manufacturing ISM data is out on Thursday, and the August jobs report on Friday. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell speaks on Friday.
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