Economic and market updates

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Monthly market summary: July 31, 2015

Economic Update for August 31, 2015   |   Download PDF

Highlights of news-making events of the past week, from the economy and profits to Europe and interest rates.


The Commerce Dept. noted consumer spending rose 0.3%, new home sales increased 5.4%, and durable goods orders were up 2.0% in July. The BEA reported in a second estimate that GDP increased 3.7% in the second quarter. The NAR stated pending home sales increased 0.5% in July. National home prices saw a 4.5% annual increase in June, S&P/Case-Shiller noted.


Initial jobless claims fell by 6,000 to 271,000 for the week ended August 22, 2015, according to the Labor Department. The four-week moving average was 272,500.


As of August 20, 2015, of the 480 S&P 500 Index companies reporting second-quarter earnings, 336 — or 70.0% — beat analysts' estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. The BEA stated that corporate profits increased 2.4% at a quarterly rate in the second quarter, after decreasing 5.8% in the first quarter.


The University of Michigan's final reading on the index of consumer sentiment fell to 91.9 in August from 93.1 in July. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose in August. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index increased to 42.0 in the week ended August 23, 2015, from 41.1 in the prior week.


The Ifo Business Climate Index for German industry and trade advanced in August. Germany's Federal Statistical Office reported GDP grew by 0.4% in the second quarter, up from 0.3% in the first quarter.


The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose. The People's Bank of China cut its main interest rate following two days of a stock market rout that rattled global markets.


  • Interest-rate volatility as the market considers when the Fed will raise interest rates
  • Geopolitical risk in peripheral Europe and the Middle East
  • Market volatility resulting from slowdown in emerging markets

All economic and performance information is historical and does not guarantee future results. The views and opinions expressed are those of Putnam Investments, are subject to change with market conditions, and are not meant as investment advice.