Three Things to Know & Watch

Aug 21, 2023

By Bill Hornbarger, Chief Investment Officer
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Three Things to Watch

  • Market participants will look for some relief after three straight weeks of decline from the S&P 500 and tech-heavy NASDAQ, as well as rising bond yields. Market volatility as measured by the VIX (stocks) and the MOVE (bonds) indexes has risen at a time when markets are historically slow as school is starting. According to the American Association of Individual Investors, bearish sentiment has increased markedly in August and merits close attention.
  • Housing (new and existing home sales), durable goods, and regional manufacturing/business surveys (Kansas City, Chicago, and Richmond) are the economic headliners. Existing home sales have been trending lower while new home sales have been trending higher. While a variety of manufacturing indicators have looked soft lately, this softness will likely show up in the durable goods report and the regional data is all expected to be soft.
  • On Friday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will speak at the Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole economic symposium. He is widely expected to lay out the case for “higher for longer” in terms of interest rates which would be at odds with market-based indicators showing a Fed pivot early in 2024.

Three Things to Know

  • Existing home sales have declined in 16 of the last 17 months, or since the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) began raising rates. The monthly number of units sold has declined from 6,340,000 early last year to 4,160,000 in June (last month reported). (Source: Haver)
  • YouTube recently released its list of all-time most viewed videos. Kid-focused content and music videos dominated the top 20 list. In early 2022, Baby Shark Dance became the first YouTube video to break the 10 billion view barrier. (Source; Visual Capitalist)
  • On Sunday, Aug. 20, southern California was shaken by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake at the same time that Tropical Storm Hilary (downgraded from a hurricane) made landfall threatening high winds, massive rainfall and flash flooding. (Source: CNN)


The above information reflects the current opinion of the author. It is based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward-looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security mentioned.