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From the Desk - Economic Commentary

Brandon Casey, VP/Member Strategies - 9/23/2021

U.S. stocks are higher Thursday morning as markets try to recoup September losses. After snapping a four-day losing streak yesterday, all three major averages are poised to post gains of nearly 1% or more for the second day in a row. Both the DJIA and S&P 500 are now up for the week while the Nasdaq is down 0.2%

The FOMC meeting concluded yesterday and the Fed struck a positive tone for the overall state of the economy. The Fed said that if progress continues, it may reduce asset purchases soon. Many believe the Fed may announce in November that reductions will begin in December. Half of the 18 FOMC members now project a rate hike in 2022 and 13 members projected two hikes by the end of 2023.

Looking at economic data today, initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose by 16,000 to 351,000, the most since the week of August 21. Initial claims were expected to fall to 320,000. Continuing claims increased by 181,000 to 2.85 million.

Elsewhere, the preliminary reading for both the Markit Manufacturing and Services PMI were lower in September at 60.5 and 54.5, respectively. The manufacturing sector was expected to post a small gain and the services sector was the lowest reading in 14 months. Lastly, the U.S. Leading Index rose 0.9% in August, beating expectations and up from the July reading.

U.S. Treasury yields are higher this morning, with the 2-year Treasury yield up 0.9 basis points to 0.25%, the 5-year Treasury yield up 3.7 basis points to 0.90% and the 10-year Treasury yield up 3.2 basis points to 1.36%. Long-term advance rates are higher today.

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