Stocks today (except Apple) took hits as uncertainty regarding rate hikes and elections ruled the roost. The Dow fell 258 points to close at 18,066 on heavy volume. Markets are under pressure and caution is advised at this time.
Shares of Apple shot higher today despite the general market selloff. The move higher was attributed to strong IPhone 7 “axe jack” pre-orders from Sprint and T-Mobile coupled with a recall of the new improved exploding Samsung Galaxy 7. Both Sprint and T-Mobile said IPhone pre-orders are up 4X from last year.
Fresh yearly data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed median, inflation-adjusted household income rose 5.2% in 2015 reaching the highest level since 2007. Household income peaked in 1999 at about $58,000 but has yet to reach that level although it hit $57,423 in 2007 before the housing crisis. Census reported the household income level for 2015 at $56,516.
Members of the Federal Reserve board are split on a rate hike as the odds of such an event on the 22nd are starting to fall from a recent spike. While in the Army, a private in my unit, who was always in trouble, was promoted and the officer who awarded the rank told the young soldier that the only reason he was being promoted was so they would have something to take away next time he got busted. This seems to be the current logic cited by those who want to raise rates. They argue that we should raise them because when a recession comes we will then have a rate which we can cut.
Oil prices fell as the IEA lowered its global demand growth forecasts. WTI crude settled off 2.8% at $44.90 a barrel. Gold also pulled back on a stronger dollar closing at $1,321 an ounce off $4.10. Gold is again at the lower end of its recent range. Should we be bold and hold gold until it grows mold? Or should gold be sold before we grow old?