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The Markets
 
Equities in August saw many peaks and valleys throughout the month, finally rallying at the end of the month.  Strong second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures, steady job gains, and increased consumer spending sent stocks higher, despite stagnant inflation and heavy personal and financial losses caused by Hurricane Harvey.  The large caps of the S&P 500 and Dow posted marginal monthly gains with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the way closing August up 1.27%.  The small caps of the Russell 2000 continued to lag, falling 1.39% from its July closing value.  The Global Dow inched down 0.32% for the month, but is still strong year-to-date, up over 12.50%.  The prices of 10-year Treasuries climbed, sending yields lower.
 
By the close of trading on August 31, the price of crude oil (WTI) was $47.07 per barrel, down from the July 31 price of $40.18 per barrel.  The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.399 per gallon on August 28, up from the July 31 selling price of $2.352 and $0.162 more than a year ago.  The price of gold increased by the end of August, closing at $1,327.20 on the last trading day of the month, up $51.60 from its July 31 price of $1,275.60.
 
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August Market Month

 

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Brad LaTour was recently elected to the board of directors for Minnetrista, a museum center for cultural exploration located in Muncie, IN.  Brad is proud to represent shared values with Minnetrista, including family & relationships, stewardship, and learning.  He is pictured here with Richard Crist, board chair (left) and Betty Brewer, President and CEO of Minnetrista (right). Website: minnetrista.net.
 

 

 

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Jon-Michael Plennert, CFP(R), investment advisor at Indiana Trust Company, has been authorized by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to use the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) and CFP(R) certification marks.  The CFP(R) marks identify those individuals who have met the rigorous experience and ethical requirements of the CFP Board, have successfully completed financial planning coursework and have passed the CFP(R) Certification Examination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Markets
 
The last day of July saw each of the indexes listed here post gains over their June closing values.  Despite slumping tech stocks at the end of the month, the Nasdaq led the benchmarks for the month, closely followed by the Global Dow, as each index gained over 3.0%.  Both the large-cap Dow and S&P 500 posted gains, spurred by charging energy stocks and favorable corporate earnings reports.  The small-cap Russell 2000, which has lagged behind the other indexes listed here, gained a little more than half a percent for the month and is up just over 5.0% year-to-date.  The overall favorable performance of the market was more noteworthy considering the upheaval in the White House and the failure of Congress to enact health-care legislation.  The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed from June.  Yields increase as bond prices decrease.
 
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July Market Month

The Markets
 
The second quarter proved to be a bit bumpy for equities, but each of the benchmarks listed here closed the quarter ahead of their first-quarter closing values.  April saw equities close the month ahead of March, buoyed by favorable corporate earnings reports, proposed tax cuts, and strong foreign economic advances.  Nasdaq led the way posting monthly gains of 2.30%, followed by the Global Dow, which gained almost 1.50%.  The large-cap Dow advanced 1.34%, ahead of the S&P 500, which increased close to 1.00% for the month.  Even the small-cap Russell 2000, which has had some rough weeks, closed April 1.05% ahead of its March close.
 
May was a slower month as consumer spending and wage growth were relatively weak, with only 138,000 new jobs added in May, compared with an average monthly gain of 181,000 over the prior 12 months.  Nevertheless, only the Russell 2000 lost value, falling 2.16% from its April closing mark.  Nasdaq continued to surge, ending May with a monthly gain of 2.50%
 
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