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Global Market Wrap-Up - September 4, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Mark Hanna
U.S. markets posted some of their best gains in a month as stocks reacted positively to positive auto sales data and other economic reports. Ford reported its best retail sales month in seven years and an increase in its production plans for the fourth quarter. The S&P 500 gained 0.8% and the NASDAQ 1.0%. Ten year treasury yields rose to 2.9%. From the Fed:
  • The Federal Reserve's "beige book" survey of regional economic showed the U.S. economy grew at a "modest to moderate" pace in July and August, led by consumer spending on cars and housing. For most occupations and industries, hiring held steady or increased modestly relative to the prior reporting period," the Beige Book said. "Upward price pressures remained subdued, and prices increased slightly during the reporting period. Wage pressures continued to be modest overall."
In other economic news:
  • The Commerce Department said the trade gap increased 13.3% to $39.1 billion. June's shortfall on the trade balance was revised to $34.5 billion from the previously reported $34.2 billion. Economists had expected the trade deficit to rise to $38.7 billion in July. When adjusted for inflation, the trade gap rose to $47.7 billion from $43.8 billion in June. This measure goes into the calculation of gross domestic product.
  • Imports of goods and services rose 1.6% to $228.6 billion. Imports of autos, parts and engines were the highest on record in July. Exports of goods and services dipped 0.6% to $189.4 billion in July.
  • Exports to China fell 4.9%. Imports from China jumped 8.3%, lifting the U.S. trade deficit with China to a record $30.1 billion.
Oil dropped 1.2% to $107.23, gold fell 1.6% to $1390.00 and silver fell roughly 4% to $23.42.

British stocks gained 0.1%, while German and French stocks added 0.2%.
  • Second quarter GDP for the euro zone was revised up from -0.7% to -0.5%.
Japan gained 0.5%, and China 0.2%.
  • The Bank of Japan (BOJ) kicks off a two day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday and while no action is expected, the Asahi newspaper reported that the central bank may consider further easing if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decides to raise the sales tax as planned in April.