- Most domestic equity indices ended the month relatively flat, with the exception of small-caps, which recorded a moderate gain. International equities, benefiting from the tailwind of a slightly weaker dollar, also recorded gains in August.
- High quality bond indices were flat or fractionally lower in August as the yield curve steepened modestly.
- As the Fed members emerged from their meeting in Jackson Hole at the end of August, there were indications that momentum was building for additional interest rate tightening, possibly as soon as September. However, that sentiment quickly dissipated in the subsequent period, and markets are now pricing in a 50/50 chance of a rate hike in December, with little expectation that policymakers will move sooner.
- The employment picture remained sound in August, even as the headline number of 151,000 new jobs fell shy of expectations; the GDP estimate for the second quarter was revised slightly downwards to 1.1 percent.