Monthly Market Brief- September

Each month, our Heritage Investment team publishes a market brief to provide an overview of the major factors influencing the US economy, including a summary of key sectors and the current positives & challenges.

Click Market Brief September 2016 for the September 2016 update.

Here are some key highlights:

POSITIVES
o While non-farm payrolls added a softer 151,000 jobs to the market in August, the 3-
month average of 232,000 job additions remains above the recovery average of 200,000
o Consumer confidence remains high which should bode well for near-term U.S.
economic growth
o According to Baker-Hughes, the North American rig count is down 50 rigs compared to last year
CHALLENGES
o With S&P 500 companies posting negative earnings growth for six consecutive
quarters, corporations are beginning to reduce share back buybacks and slow dividend
growth
o The economy-weighted manufacturing plus non-manufacturing composite index fell
from 55.1 to 51.2 in August, the lowest reading since January 2010
o While a 12% year-over-year decline in farm prices may bode well for consumers, costs
likely outweigh the benefits as already tight producer margins become tighter and
impact agricultural related companies through lower producer spending
o A labor shortage of nearly 200,000 unfilled construction positions is resulting in higher
builder costs and leaving entry-level homes in tight supply as builders are building more
expensive homes to try and maintain margins