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The Federal Reserve Holds The Line On Interest Rates, But Sees Some Selective Pickup In The Economy
The two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting concluded a little earlier this afternoon, with the central bank providing no surprises of note with its decision to leave short-term interest rates unchanged, within a range of 0.25% to 0.50%. The stock market, off slightly before the Fed decision and accompanying rate statement, improved slightly in the first few minutes of trading, but, in general, set off few buy or sell programs initially. Read more
Consumer Confidence Outperforms in July; New Home Sales Strengthen In June
Good news continues to flow in about the nation's economy. On point, just days after we received upbeat tidings on housing starts, sales of existing homes, and the leading indicators, the Conference Board and the Commerce Department released upbeat figures on consumer confidence and sales of new homes, respectively. Read more
Existing Home Sales Strengthen In June 2016
Sales of existing homes strengthened in June, boosted by a greater share of sales to first-time buyers. Such strength enabled this housing category to improve for the fourth consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a major trade group. Read more
The Beige Book Provides Few Surprises
The U.S. Federal Reserve released its latest Beige Book economic summation within the past hour, and that issuance, which is used by the nation's central bank in formulating monetary policy for the next FOMC meeting (scheduled for later this months) revealed few surprises. The stock market's response, as a result, was rather muted, with the uneven quality displayed by the leading averages earlier today, following three straight days of noteworthy gains, continuing. Read more
Job Growth Surges In June
What a difference a month makes! In early June, the Labor Department reported that the nation had added just 38,000 jobs in May. (That number has since been pared to 11,000 positions.) Expectations at the time had been for 160,000 new payrolls to have been added. Jump ahead a month, and this week expectations had been for 175,000 new positions to be created in June. So, imagine the surprise on Wall Street when the government reported that the nation's payrolls had surged by 287,000 jobs last month. Read more
The Federal Reserve Votes To Keep The Federal Funds Rate Target Unchanged
The Federal Reserve concluded its latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting within the past hour and, as expected, voted to keep its interest rate target unchanged at 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent. The vote was unanimous. Read more
Industrial Production And Factory Use Falter In May; The Producer Price Index Rises In May(2)
The two-steps forward, one step backward pattern of the durable U.S. economic expansion continues in place. On point, just one day after the government reported a solid increase in retail sales for the latest month and several days after another decent reading on initial jobless claims was registered, the Commerce Department issued data this morning affirming that industrial production had backtracked modestly in May. Read more
Industrial Production And Factory Use Falter In May; The Producer Price Index Rises In May
The two-steps forward, one step backward pattern of the durable U.S. economic expansion continues in place. On point, just one day after the government reported a solid increase in retail sales for the latest month and several days after another decent reading on initial jobless claims was registered, the Commerce Department issued data this morning affirming that industrial production had backtracked modestly in May. Read more
Employment Growth Falters Badly In May 2016

After a succession of better economic results, starting out with reports on retail sales and industrial production and concluding yesterday with modestly positive data on manufacturing activity, the stage appeared set for a decent employment issuance this morning. So, imagine the surprise on Wall Street, when figures came out showing not the 160,000 payroll increase expected, but rather a gain of just 38,000 new positions during the latest month. 

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Beige Book Shows Modest Growth Across Much Of The Country
The Federal Reserve's Beige Book economic compilation was issued within the past hour and the essential message was that the nation's economy was continuing to expand at a modest pace. That was relatively consistent with past Beige Book issuances and should not prove to be overly worrisome for the central bank as it prepares for its next FOMC meeting in two weeks. In short, this report was not a game changer, in our opinion. Read more
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