Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Markets mixed as US consumer holds up economy

Markets were mixed on Monday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent but the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.2 percent and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.6 percent.

US Treasuries rose. Two-year Treasury yields fell four basis points to 0.81 percent while the 30-year yield dropped seven basis points to 2.22 percent.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.4 percent as the US dollar gained against the euro and yen.

US markets were boosted by a report on Monday showing that consumer spending increased for a fourth consecutive month in July.

Noting the contrast to business spending, which have been falling, John Schoen at CNBC said that “the only thing standing between the U.S. and another recession is the American consumer”.

This echoes the comment by Bill Gross, who earlier this month told Bloomberg: “The economy, absent consumer spending, is basically in a recession.”

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