August 12th – August 16th, 2013
Welcome to Financial Buzz Market Weekly. From the New York Stock Exchange, here is a review of this week’s stock market.
We start off the week with the Commerce Department releasing figures for retail sales. It was good news showing a July uptick of .5%, the largest gain since December, slightly exceeding analysts’ expectations. Also, the Labor Department reported prices for imported goods and
services increased a tame .2% in July.
The Producer Price Index came in for July at a flat 0%, unexpectedly low
due to a surprise drop in energy costs, as well as flat food prices. In addition, the Consumer Price Index came in at a .2% rise, decelerating from .5% from the previous month.
Industrial Production remained flat in July at 0%, while capacity utilization decreased slightly to 77.6% from 77.7%.
The number of Americans filing new claims for Unemployment Benefits fell to a near six year low, dropping 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that real weekly earnings fell .5% from June to July and real average hourly earnings fell .1% year over year.
Upon the release of the strong unemployment benefits numbers on Thursday, the Dow proceed to drop over 200 points, over jitters that the economy is firming up and the Fed will wind down their asset purchase program.
Gold spiked up and was trading close to two-month highs, rebounding over 13% from its June rates. Part of the increase is related to China’s intense physical buying of the metal, with Chinese gold consumption up 54% in the first half of the year, compared with the year ago period. Gold ETFs like Direxion Shares (NYSEARCA: NUGT) and ProShares Ultra Silver (NYSEARCA: SSO) also had impressive moves upward.
Finally, investor Carl Icahn revealed he has a large stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and
that he spoke with CEO Tim Cook, offering his opinion that Apple is extremely undervalued and that Apple should accelerate its stock buyback plans. Apple surged on this news and remained strong the remainder of the week.