Stocks continue to trade in mixed fashion as earnings reports are mostly over with and the August doldrums are here. Amazon today traded over $1,900 for the first time and the company appears ready to join Apple in the trillion-dollar market cap club. Every time I talk to an employee at Amazon I get the same response which is “you ain’t seen nothing yet”. At the close the Dow was off 74 points on light volume at 25,509. The NASDAQ closed higher for the eight day in a row.
Lumber prices continue to pull back from June highs. The Random Lengths Framing Lumber index slipped from $491 to $463 in the latest reading. Last year, at this time, lumber prices were $427 a thousand board feet. OSB prices are also falling as 5 new OSB mills in the US have begun production which is helping balance out the supply demand picture. Labor shortages are being reported at mills from coast to coast and efforts to recruit workers are being ramped up. Loggers are on hoot owl hours. The fires around Redding, CA are not having any negative effects on the lumber industry at this juncture. Canada has hit the US with a 10% tariff on plywood imports which is causing US sales to Canada to dry up like a prune.
Bill will be out of the office starting tomorrow and John and Cleo will pick up the slack. Bill is taking a group of Scouts on a hike into the Cascades from Cascade Pass to Lake Chelan. The hike is 23 miles and hopefully we will be free of bugs, bears and fires. The lunkheads are busy planning meals and getting ready. The adults are filling out of wills, practicing headlock techniques and making final arrangements. It should be a good time. I hope it rains but am not holding my breath.