1 August 2018

1) Despite a booming 4.1% economic growth for the last quarter, everything may not be rosy. Signs are the housing market is slowing down which may signal an overall slow down. Even though there is a strong jobs market and the maturing of millennials who want to own their own house, it’s getting harder to buy a home and fewer Americans are succeeding at it.

2) Developing problems with pulp wood is why shoppers may pay more for tissues and toilet paper. The price for pulp wood has surged from 21% to as much as 60%, which is the basic ingredient for many paper products. China is the world’s largest and fastest growing consumer of pulp, and therefore is the principle reason for the global shortfall.

3) Russian, who is a major holder of the U.S. debt, has been steadily and sharply reducing the majority of its U.S. Treasury securities holdings. Only China and Japan have larger holdings of US bonds. As long as these two holders don’t also start selling, Russia’s selling shouldn’t have significant impact on the interest rates.

4) 31 JUL 18 Stock market closings:

Dow            25,415.19        up       108.36
Nasdaq         7,671.79        up         41.78
S&P 500        2,816.29         up        13.69

Oil       down   at    $68.44

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