August 17, 2015 | Market Update

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August 17, 2015 | Market Update

Week in Review

The market was truly up and down last week as prices swung between gains and losses each day. Global markets started the week strong, however, China's surprise currency devaluation on Tuesday upset the markets.

EU governments agreed to a $96 Billion dollar bailout deal for Greece, contingent on some pretty strict austerity measures.

At home, the U.S. economy is showing healthy signs. Consumer Credit rose in June by 7.3% and, according the U.S. Commerce Department, new home construction is up 0.2%. All good signs for the economy.

Yale University held a closed conference for members of the financial sector oversight agencies as part of their new program that is designed to help prepare regulatory agencies for the next financial crisis. Members of the discussion panel included former Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson & Timothy Geithner. This was seen as a critical discussion since, as one economist at HSBC recently wrote, "The world economy is like an ocean liner without lifeboats." The current economic expansion we are in right now is now 16 months longer than the average since World War II, and many economists see a contraction as inevitable.

Venezuela's inflation rate is expected to hit 200%, it was at 68% in December - after which the government stopped reporting inflation, GDP and other economic indicators. According to Barclays and other leading economists, they see inflation for 2015 approaching 200%. According to Barclays view of the Venezuelan bond market, investors are betting on a default by the Venezuelan government. For speculators, the Venezuelan dollar bond maturing in 2027 is currently yielding 26.2%, a hefty return - if the government pays out.

The chart above shows the S&P 500, Nasdaq & DOW (^GSPC ^DJI ^ IXIC) from Monday 8/10/2015 through Monday 8/17/2015.
Other figures as reported by the Wall Street Journal and/or Bloomberg.