October 5, 2017
The monthly trade deficit narrowed a sharp $1.2 billion in August to $42.4 billion in what, like Tuesday's vehicle sales, is very good news for third-quarter GDP. And favorable hints for tomorrow's employment report come from both Challenger's layoff count, which held steady, and weekly jobless claims which are coming down. Hurricane effects on most economic data have been limited so far. Stocks continue to post gains and record closes including the Dow, up a sharp 0.5 percent to 22,775.
The dollar also continues to get a lift, up 0.5 percent to 93.96 on the dollar index, as the confidence in the euro, down 0.5 percent to $1.1710, continues to sink amid the possibility of Catalan succession. Demand for the safety of bonds eased with the 10-year Treasury yield rising 3 basis points to 2.35 percent. The approach of Tropical Storm Nate toward the Gulf is supporting oil, which moved back over $50 to $50.75, and also gasoline wholesale prices which rose nearly 4 cents to $1.62.