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[Platinum Insights] (8.15.23)

[Platinum Insights] (8.15.23)
August 22, 2023

Good morning. 

Here are today’s market conditions. 

Market futures are down this morning as market participants digested the latest U.K. employment data, which fueled concerns about inflationary pressures and consequently pushed U.S. Treasury yields higher, while disappointing economic data from China also weighed on sentiment ahead of crucial U.S. retail sales data.  

Today, all eyes are focused on U.S. Retail Sales data. Economists, on average, forecast that July Retail Sales will stand at +0.4% m/m, compared to the previous value of +0.2% m/m. On the earnings front, major companies like Home Depot (HD), Suncor Energy (SU), Alcon (ALC), and Agilent Technologies (A) are slated to release their quarterly results today.  

China’s Shanghai Composite today closed lower even after the central bank unexpectedly cut a key interest rate to bolster growth, following the latest data indicating a further slowdown in the country’s economic activity. 

A Fitch Ratings analyst warned that the U.S. banking industry has inched closer to another source of turbulence — the risk of sweeping rating downgrades on dozens of U.S. banks that could even include the likes of JPMorgan Chase. Shares of lenders including JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup dipped in premarket trading Tuesday, while the KBW Bank Index declined 1.7%. 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made a robust pitch in the swing state of Nevada on Monday that President Joe Biden’s policies are powering historic job growth and rebuilding competitiveness, despite polls showing Americans remain skeptical. 

WTI crude futures steadied below $82 per barrel. Gold held below $1,910 an ounce while the yield on the US 10-year Treasury notes extended gains to 4.22%, the highest since November last year. Traders are also keeping a close eye on new debt sales from the Treasury.

Retail sales in the US were up 0.7% month-over-month in July of 2023, marking a fourth consecutive rise, and beating market forecasts of a 0.4% increase. It follows an upwardly revised 0.3% gain in June, in another sign consumer spending remains strong despite high prices and borrowing costs. 

Retail sales are not adjusted for inflation. Sales at nonstore retailers recorded the biggest increase (1.9%), followed by sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and books (1.5%) and food services and drinking places (1.4%). source: U.S. Census Bureau

 Have a great day!

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