As of Friday afternoon, stocks were on pace to finish in the black, building on the previous day’s gains. This occurred as investors continued to speculate on when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its stimulus and new data was released showing a July drop in home sales. “The macro picture is very important,” Jim Russell, the senior equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said. “Investors are trying to figure out how markets will respond to rising rates and what it will mean for the consumers and the business climate. This weekend’s meeting in Jackson Hole is a focus although we don’t expect big announcements,” he continued, referring to an imminent Fed meeting in Wyoming.
Housing Decline Lowers Dollar (Reuters)
A sharp decline in U.S. new home sales has caused investors to doubt that the Federal Reserve will begin tapering soon, as the Fed has decided it will taper only as soon as the economy is healthy enough. Consequently, investors left the dollar, paving the way for the American currency to drop against its major rivals, the euro and the yen.
In another case demonstrating the widespread interconnectedness of different segments of the market, bullish Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data from China triggered a rise in gold. However, gold’s gains may not last, as the market is still experiencing aftershocks from the analysis of the Federal Reserve’s latest release of meeting minutes.