U.S. stock futures are set for a lower open after weak global economic data and the U.S. retail sales report came in less than expected. China reported lower numbers for retail sales and industrial production for July, and the Euro Zone reported the most significant drop it had ever recorded in employment. Domestically, U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in July and could slow further due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Retail sales for July came in at 1.2% compared to an 8.4% increase for June. Later today, the Consumer Sentiment, Until Labor Costs, Productivity, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization, and Business Inventories reports will be released.
The S&P 500 tested potential resistance at 3381.01 and sold off to close flat for the day at 3373.43 on Thursday. The index appears to be basing as we had hoped near the top of the trading range. Volume has been lower for the last two days, which is typical during a base-building phase. The RSI index closed at 67.40 also near the top of the range and supports the possibility of a continued uptrend soon.
We are currently long-term bullish and short-term bullish.
John N. Lilly III CPFA
Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor℠
Accredited Asset Management Specialist℠
Portfolio Manager, RJ
Windsor Wealth Planners & Strategist
Futures trading is speculative, leveraged, and involves substantial risks. Investing always involves risk, including the loss of principal, and futures trading could present additional risk based on underlying commodities investments.
The Relative Strength Index (RSI), developed by J. Welles Wilder, is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and changes of price movements.
The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S stock market. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investors’ results will vary. Opinions expressed are those of the author John N. Lilly III, and not necessarily those of Raymond James. “There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecast provided herein will prove to be correct. “The information contained was received from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy is not guaranteed. Investing always involves risk, and you may incur a profit or loss. No investment strategy can guarantee success. The charts and/or tables presented herein are for illustrative purposes only and should not be considered as the sole basis for your investment decision. International investing involves special risks, including currency fluctuations, different financial accounting standards, and possible political and economic volatility. Investing in emerging markets can be riskier than investing in well-established foreign markets.
This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any company’s stock mentioned above.
Retail sales measure the total receipts at stores that sell merchandise and related services to final consumers. Sales are by retail and food services stores. Data are collected from the Monthly Retail Trade Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Essentially, retail sales cover the durables and nondurables portions of consumer spending. Consumer spending typically accounts for about two-thirds of GDP and is therefore a key element in economic growth. Of special attention is the control group; this is an input into the consumer spending component of GDP and excludes food services, autos, gasoline and building materials.
Productivity measures the growth of labor efficiency in producing the economy’s goods and services. Unit labor costs reflect the labor costs of producing each unit of output. Both are followed as indicators of future inflationary trends.
The Federal Reserve’s monthly index of industrial production and the related capacity indexes and capacity utilization rates cover manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities. The industrial sector, together with construction, accounts for the bulk of the variation in national output over the course of the business cycle. The production index measures real output and is expressed as a percentage of real output in a base year, currently 2012. The capacity index, which is an estimate of sustainable potential output, is also expressed as a percentage of actual output in 2012. The rate of capacity utilization equals the seasonally adjusted output index expressed as a percentage of the related capacity index.
The index of industrial production is available nationally by market and industry groupings. The major groupings are comprised of final products (such as consumer goods, business equipment and construction supplies), intermediate products and materials. The industry groupings are manufacturing (further subdivided into durable and nondurable goods), mining and utilities. The capacity utilization rate — reflecting the resource utilization of the nation’s output facilities — is available for the same market and industry groupings.
Industrial production was also revised to NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) in the early 2000s. Unlike other economic series that lost much historical data prior to 1992, the Federal Reserve Board was able to reconstruct historical data that go back more than 30 years
Business inventories are the dollar amount of inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. The level of inventories in relation to sales is an important indicator of the near-term direction of production activity.
The University of Michigan’s Consumer Survey Center questions 600 households each month on their financial conditions and attitudes about the economy. Consumer sentiment is directly related to the strength of consumer spending. Consumer confidence and consumer sentiment are two ways of talking about consumer attitudes. Among economic reports, consumer sentiment refers to the Michigan survey while consumer confidence refers to The Conference Board’s survey. Preliminary estimates for a month are released at mid-month. Final estimates for a month are released near the end of the month.