Briefing.com stock market update

Mr. Manafort was convicted of tax and bank fraud on Tuesday afternoon, while Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to a range of charges, including tax fraud and excessive campaign contributions, and implicated the president directly by saying that Mr. Trump directed him to pay two women hush money "for the principal purpose of influencing the election."

While earnings season has dwindled down to only a few retail and technology names of import this past week, a few names remain on the docket to report quarterly results next week including Salesforce (CRM 151.58, +3.75, +2.5%), Dollar General (DG 107.90, -0.18, -0.2%), Best Buy (BBY 81.56, -1.04, -1.3%), lululemon athletica (LULU 138.17, +1..97, +1.5%), and Tiffany & Co (TIF 131.21, +1.38, +1.1%) — among others.


Fed Chairman Powell didn’t say anything to upset the belief that the Fed will raise rates twice more this year, saying this morning at the Fed’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that gradual rate hikes remain appropriate. Mr. Powell also expressed confidence in the economy and said he doesn’t see any signs of inflation getting out of hand.

The energy sector is today’s top-performing group (+0.9%), helped by a rise in crude prices; WTI crude futures are up 2.1% at $69.27/bbl. Reports that U.S. sanctions on Iran, which don’t come into full force until November, are already affecting oil production have helped boost the commodity. Also, a weakening dollar has helped boost the commodity.

On the data front, durable goods orders declined more than expected in July (-1.7% actual vs -0.6% Briefing.com consensus), and the prior month’s reading was downwardly revised to +0.7% from +1.0%. Excluding transportation, durable orders increased 0.2% (Briefing.com consensus +0.4%) to follow the prior month’s revised reading of +0.1% (from +0.4%).

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended the week on a mixed note. Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was forced out in a leadership vote, making way for former Treasurer Scott Morrison. Moody’s said the leadership change carries no implications for the country’s Aaa rating. Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Adrian Orr said the rate outlook is evenly balanced and a rate cut cannot be ruled out at this time. Chinese trade negotiators left Washington without reaching any specific agreements with their U.S. counterparts.

Major European indices trade on a higher note. Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini warned that his country could clash with the EU on budget rules. In the UK, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he believes the British parliament will only accept a Brexit deal which abides by the spirit of the referendum. Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he hopes that talks with the United States will settle trade issues.

There’s been a cautious tone in the market over the last two trading sessions as investors digest the political implications for President Trump after his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was convicted of tax and bank fraud and after his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to a range of charges, implicating Mr. Trump directly.

10 of 11 sectors finished Thursday in negative territory, but, thankfully for the bulls, the top-weighted technology group was the lone exception. The tech space, which represents roughly a quarter of the broader market, advanced 0.2%. Within the group, chipmaker Advanced Micro (AMD 22.29, +1.39) jumped 6.7%, hitting a 12-year high, after Rosenblatt raised its target to $30 from $27.