Stocks Dropped Last Week But Data Confirmed Economic Recovery

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(Friday, September 18, 2020, 8:30 PM EST) Stocks dropped 1.1% today and closed slightly lower from a week ago. It was the third consecutive week that the Standard & Poor's 500 declined, as the U.S. economy's Covid recovery continued but at a slightly less robust pace than had been expected.

The U.S. economy's recovery from the infection is a bit slower and more difficult than had been expected, but the recovery is underway, according to the new data.

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Retail sales, housing starts, and the leading economic indicator index all came in this past week slightly lower than expected. However, they all confirmed the economy is recovering, and that's the main concern if you're investing for retirement, income, or to build wealth for the next generation.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed down 1.1% Friday at 3,319.47, a loss of -0.64% from a week ago, but +38.94% higher than its March 23rd bear market low.

This marked the third straight week of declines in the S&P 500, and that's the first time this year that has happened, according to Bloomberg Financial News.

The S&P 500 broke its all-time high on September 2, due to a surge in the FAANGM -- Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Microsoft -- but they've declined in the past few weeks.

Stock prices have swung wildly since the coronavirus crisis started in March and volatility is to be expected in the months ahead as uncertainty about the shape of the recovery is unlikely to go away.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) components: 1) average weekly hours worked, manufacturing; 2) average weekly initial unemployment claims; 3) manufacturers' new orders – consumer goods and materials; 4) ISM index of new orders; 5) manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods; 6) building permits – new private housing units; 7) stock prices, S&P 500; 8) Leading Credit Index™; 9) interest rate spread; 10-year Treasury less fed funds; 10) index of consumer expectations.,


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