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Strong Market Run to Finish August

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Market indexes are pressing pause this morning, following a 32nd record close in the Nasdaq and 53rd in the S&P 500 for the year so far. Seven of the past eight sessions, the S&P and Nasdaq have closed higher. The Dow dipped a tad into the close yesterday; it’s still up five of its past six trading days. All three major indexes look to bring in a positive August — for the S&P, it would be the seventh straight up-month.

Hurricane Ida has past through Louisiana and, although the levees rebuilt after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago managed to keep flooding at bay in New Orleans, power has been knocked out for more than a million people. Entergy (ETR - Free Report) , which supplies the region with energy, dropped 4% yesterday. Also, clean water and boarded-up grocery stores are immediate problems for residents there.

It will take days to know the extent of damage the storm has caused, but authorities already say it could take weeks to restore power. Further, the region is a big one for oil refineries, of which some remain closed as of this morning, including one owned by Marathon (MRO - Free Report) . For the most part, refineries look to have been spared major damage from the storm; again, the rebuilt levees look to have proved their mettle.

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index for June came in at a new record, +19.1% — above forecasts for +18.5% and better than the previous month’s revised +17%. The usual cities topped the 20-City list with significant increases in home pricing: Phoenix +29.3%, San Diego +27.1% and Seattle +20.5%. For the 10-City, the June print is +18.6%, following +16.8% reported for the previous month.

After today’s market open, Chicago PMI for August hits the tape, with 69.4 expected, down from the 73.4 put up last time around. Consumer Confidence for August is also expected later this morning, with an expected drop to 123.1 from 129.1 reported for July. As we have seen in these sorts of metrics, however, surprises do happen. We’ll see later today whether they may be positive surprises or not.

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