Stocks continue to trade in mixed fashion with the Dow posting a 13 point gain on light volume at 21,797 while the NASDAQ fell on light trading volume. Insurance stocks rebounded after getting hit all week long. Home remodel stocks were higher as the need for plywood and lumber is expected to spike in the coming weeks. For the week the Dow was off about 188.points or 0.86%. The S&P 500 Index is up 10.03% YTD.
While hurricane Irma is threatening the state of Florida, hurricane “Debt” is bearing down on Hartford, Connecticut. The capital city of Connecticut is warning bond holders to get ready for a haircut similar to what a newbie in the Army gets when first going to basic training. After GE left the state for Boston and with insurance giant Aetna, after calling Hartford home for 164 years, announcing it is heading to New York City, the state is facing a revenue shortfall, budget deficits, debt downgrades and now the prospect of its capital city throwing “ace duce” with a bond default in a few months. While tax rates are an incentive to move the real reason is that big firms are looking to relocate to cities where the young millennial workforce loves to hang out and Hartford is currently not one of these spots.
Things in Florida and Connecticut look dicey but the rest of the nation seems to be doing well. The ISM service sector index moved up to a reading of 55.5 with 15 of 18 industries reporting growth. New orders were also higher and optimism was seen in survey comments. The manufacturing and service sectors continue to show an economy that is growing.