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Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence

The major averages struggled to begin the week on little real news though the Hurricane Harvey disaster in Texas is looking to go down as one of the top 5 most costly Hurricanes in US history, with a very high percentage of losses uninsured. The Texas regional manufacturing index increased .2 to 17 in August despite small internal declines. The average workweek and the price data all showed large gains for the month.

The Trump administration seems to be looking at another high-level defection amid calls for import tariffs with a good probability of starting a trade war that will produce no winners, they never do. Also of note, of the many cabinet and directorship positions that remain unfilled under Trump, the oh so critical leadership positions at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, and the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA and the US Coast Guard all lack permanent leadership at this critical time.

Inventories advanced .4% in July, a 3rd consecutive gain paced by durable goods. Retail inventories fell for the month. The international trade deficit increased 1.2 billion to 65.1 billion in July, exports fell 1.7 billion while imports gained .6 billion as this series continues to bounce along at 65 odd billion for the last 10-months or so.

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