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The leading benchmarks had been up for most of the day, following the release pre-market of data showing durable goods orders plummeted 7.3% in July, a much larger fall than had been expected and the biggest fall since August 2012.
Last week’s minutes from the July Fed Meeting showed that many participants acknowledged the first half of the year had seen slower growth than anticipated, but felt a reduction in stimulus would happen later in the year because growth would accelerate in the second half.
This latest economic report shows that a pick-up in growth cannot be relied upon, and given the Fed has repeatedly said that any decision to reduce QE3 will be dependent on data, the odds of tapering occurring next month now look longer than before.
Tomorrow we have data regarding the housing market, with the Case-Shiller house price index, and we also have the Conference Board’s consumer confidence survey for August. Early indications of how consumers are feeling this month have been disappointing, with the University of Michigan’s preliminary reading of its consumer sentiment index dropping, so it will be interesting to see if the consumer confidence report is in agreement.