Stocks closed in mixed fashion as the Dow fell 12 points to 18,526 while the NASDAQ hit a new record high on strength in tech stocks like Facebook. Trading volume was mixed in that it was higher on the NASDAQ and lower for the Dow. Grocery store stocks have come under pressure lately due to falling food prices.
Markets today were mainly affected by the latest Federal Reserve Beige Book report about the US economy. The report, which covers all 12 regions of the country, said that the economy was modestly positive but noted the presidential election is making some firms cautious about investment in growth. When you consider that the unemployment rate is under 5% but GDP growth is stuck at under 2% you begin to wonder what is happening. Will growth break out or will markets break down. Tis an age old question which might not be answered until November.
Apple unveiled the IPhone 7 today at a product event in San Francisco. The new phone got the “jack axe”, meaning the plugin jack is history. It is also water proof and claims to have technology that is better than blue tooth which is what will replace the jack.
Oil prices moved higher in a wild session finishing up 1.5% to $45.50 a barrel after reports of possible production caps by big global exporters. Oil is stuck in the mid-$40’s range. Gold settled off a bit after yesterday’s big jump closing down $4.40 per ounce to $1,349.