August 9, 2018
Overall wholesale prices remained flat in July, surprising analysts whose consensus forecast called for a 0.3 percent increase and for the moment at least allaying fears of a surge in inflation fed by tariffs and wage gains. However, the index was held back by declines in trade services and energy prices, both volatile components, and the PPI excluding the volatile components of food, energy and trade services did come in at the upper end of expectations with the second monthly increase of 0.3 percent.
Treasuries nevertheless received a lift from the more benign than expected PPI report, with the 10-year yield closing down about 4 basis points at 2.924 percent. Stocks were rangebound and ended slightly lower, with the Dow closing down 0.3 percent at 25,509, the S&P 500 down 0.1 percent at 2,854, and the Nasdaq ending roughly unchanged at 7,892. Crude oil extended yesterday’s 3.3 percent plunge by another 0.4 percent to $66.70 per barrel, while the dollar index gained 0.6 percent to 95.61 and gold edged 0.1 percent lower to $1,220 an ounce.