Last Week in Brief: August 15

August 15, 2014

Financial markets posted mixed results for the week. Stocks rose. Government bonds rallied. While global economic data disappointed.

The Good

Small business optimism hit its highest levels since 2007... Gas prices declined for the 6th-straight week... Q2 earnings were excellent, with 9.6% year-over-year growth...  Tax revenues -- signifying that the recovery is intact... Industrial production rose 0.4%... Ukraine appears to be stabilizing...

 The Bad

China's economy could be slowing, and Chinese consumer confidence has slipped... While earnings were solid, the market's reaction was indifferent -- with much concern over geopolitical events... The Michigan consumer sentiment survey hit a nine-month low... Recent retail sales were awful, missing expectations...

 The Ugly

Well, we've mentioned the Ebola crisis. And it continues to worsen (article). Very sad to watch innocents suffer. Parents, children and humanitarian care givers. Amazing that we can place men on the moon. Network the world. And yet we can't save human beings from this deadly virus.

Another ugly story has been the racially spurred violence in Henderson, Missouri. While the facts remain murky, the anger and misery is clear. Hoping additional violence is avoided.

 Weekly Results

Major markets finished higher last week. The DJIA rose 0.66%, the S&P 500 added 1.22%, and the Nasdaq gained 2.15%.  Small cap stocks climbed 0.91%.  And the 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 330 basis points to 2.34%. Gold lost $6.41 per ounce, or 0.49%.

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