After a couple of swings, markets basically ended flat.First the scoreboard:
Dow: 13,107, +4.4, +0.0%
S&P 500: 1,410, +1.1, +0.0%
NASDAQ: 3,081, +4.0, +0.1%
And now the top stories:
- The relatively quiet week continues ahead of the Ben Bernanke’s highly anticipated speech on Friday at the Kansas City Fed’s annual event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Everybody wants to know if Bernanke will announce a new round of easy monetary policy in an effort to lower interest rates and stimulate the U.S. economy. Don’t Miss: The 10 Best Central Bankers In The World >
- However, the more positive economic data we get, the less likely it becomes that the Fed would have to embark on such a program. This morning we Q2 GDP growth was revised up to 1.7 per cent from 1.5 per cent last month. This was exactly in line with what economists were expecting. Nevertheless, it wasn’t bad news.
- The Fed’s August Beige Book, which offers up-to-date anecdotes across the U.S. suggested that the economy was still growing across all twelve of the Fed’s regions.
- Expecations for a stimulus announcement from the Fed are waning. However, two top bond managers are at odds. PIMCO’s Bill Gross thinks that the Fed will signal more easing either at Jackson Hole or at the September Federal Open Market Committee meeting. On the other hand, DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach thinks no such signal or announcement will be coming anytime soon.
- Traders exposed to the gold market, however, are building bullish bets on gold ahead of the Jackson Hole meeting. This is being interpreted as an expectation for easy monetary policy, which could boost inflation, devalue the dollar, and increase the value of gold.
- On the matter of gold, economist David Rosenberg pointed to the rally in gold mining stocks in recent weeks. He thinks that the sector is underpriced and unloved, which makes it that much more attractive.
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