8/26/13 Weekly Update



“The best revenge is massive success.”

- Frank Sinatra


Take a tip from the millionaire next door: buy a terrific low-maintenance car and drive it for several years or more. Your ride may not be flashy, but the choice may prove thrifty.   


It stands higher than any tree, yet it seemingly takes forever to grow and you can’t see its roots. To reach its top, you won’t have to shimmy up any trunk. What is it?  (share your answer below!)

Last week’s riddle:

There are three cups of flour on a counter and you take one away. How many cups of flour do you have now?  

Last week’s answer:

One, as you have taken one away.



On Friday, the Census Bureau announced an unexpected 13.4% drop in new home purchases for July. In contrast to that news, the National Association of Realtors stated that existing home sales rose 6.5% last month. So what is the takeaway here? Most new home purchase contracts close months in the future, and many buyers of existing homes may have locked in the rates of home loans in spring. Is the dip in new home buying a direct, alarming reflection of the recent jump in mortgage rates? Will it give the Federal Reserve pause about tapering?1


The 0.6% increase in the Conference Board Leading Economic Index was a nice change after its flat June reading. The LEI now stands at 96.0, edging closer to its original mark of 100. From February to July, it rose 2.0%; in the preceding six months, it rose 1.1%.2


Friday’s COMEX settlement price was the highest since June: $1,395.80 per ounce. The troubling news about new home sales may have had an effect. NYMEX crude also gained $1.39 Friday, settling at $106.42.3


Last week saw two unusual occurrences in the financial world: a three-hour trading interruption for the NASDAQ on Thursday, and a Federal Reserve symposium in Jackson Hole, WY without the presence of Ben Bernanke. The S&P 500 rose 0.46% in five days to settle at 1,663.50 Friday. The NASDAQ also advanced; its 1.52% weekly rise brought it to 3,657.79 at week’s end. As for the Dow, it declined 0.47% across five days to 15,010.51.4


THIS WEEK: Monday brings the July durable goods orders report from the Census Bureau. The June S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the Conference Board’s August consumer confidence poll both arrive Tuesday. Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors provides numbers on July pending home sales. The second estimate of Q2 GDP appears Thursday, courtesy of the Bureau of Economic Analysis; the latest initial jobless claims figures also become available. On Friday, August ends with the month’s final consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan and the Commerce Department’s report on July consumer spending.


1 - nasdaq.com/article/what-happened-to-new-home-sales-real-time-insight-cm269852 [8/23/13]

2 - tinyurl.com/lhm84lb [8/22/13]

3 - abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/corn-prices-drop-percent-metals-oil-rise-20041509 [8/23/13]

4 - thestreet.com/story/12017038/1/stocks-opens-higher-as-microsoft-jumps.html [8/23/13]

5 - usatoday.idmanagedsolutions.com/stocks/overview.idms?index=DJIA [8/23/13]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F23%2F12&x=0&y=0 [8/23/13]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F23%2F12&x=0&y=0 [8/23/13]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F23%2F12&x=0&y=0 [8/23/13]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F22%2F08&x=0&y=0 [8/23/13]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F22%2F08&x=0&y=0 [8/23/13]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F22%2F08&x=0&y=0 [8/23/13]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F22%2F03&x=0&y=0 [8/23/13]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F22%2F03&x=0&y=0 [8/23/13]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F22%2F03&x=0&y=0 [8/23/13]

7 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [8/23/13]

8 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [8/23/13]


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