The market continued to set new records, as investors must have liked what they saw in the release of the economic data today. The Dow hit another new intraday high of 21,681 before it ultimately settled for a gain of 84 points and closed for the week at a record closing high of 21,637.
The economic data showed that industrial production increased for the fifth month in a row and was up 0.4% for June, and is now up 2% from a year ago. Consumer prices remained the same for June, but are still up 1.6% over the last year. Some of the reason for the lack of inflation was due to the drop in oil prices, and ultimately lower prices at the pump. Consumer spending on goods and services are healthy as those areas are on pace for 3% increase for the year. Online sales showed well as they increased by 0.4% and are up 9.2% over the last year. Hourly wages also have increased as they were up 0.2% in June, and are now up 0.8% over the last year.
While the economic data brought confidence to retailers, bank stocks took a hit despite reporting earnings today that were better than expected. The steady growth indicated to investors that interest rates may not rise in the near future, which doesn’t excite bank investors.
Bill will be back in the office on Monday after a week with the “lunkheads”. He and the boy scouts had a great week of weather, and I’m sure there will be a full comedic report in Monday’s Blip.