Daily Market Color August 2, 2018Apple Hits $1 Trillion in Market Cap Bank of England Raises Rates This morning the Bank of England wrapped up this week’s trio of major central bank meetings with the decision to hike its benchmark borrowing rate for the first time since last November and only the second time since the ’08 financial crisis. The Monetary Policy Committee commented on the economic situation in a statement revealing: GDP growth is forecast to be 1.75% annually on average Unemployment is low and projections indicate a further decline Inflation in June was 2.4%, which is above the committee’s 2% target The MPC realizes that Brexit continues to be a threat to future economic growth While the statement was hawkish, the market did not seem convinced that the British economy was as strong as the evidence the MPC described, with the pound down and the yields on GILTS only marginally higher. Equity Markets Gain on Tech Equity markets were mostly higher on the day, as two of the three major indices posted daily gains. Apple stole the headlines today becoming the first stock to trade at a market cap of greater than $1 trillion. The tech-heavy NASDAQ led the way higher gaining (+1.24%) with the S&P 500 posting a respectable gain (+0.49%) as well. The DJIA however couldn’t quite finish in positive territory, falling slightly to close down (-0.03%). US Treasury debt rallied 1-3 bps across the curve, with the 10-year Treasury note closing the day at a yield near 2.99% (+2 bp). WTI crude futures settled 1.9% higher at $68.95/barrel on news that the inventory at the Cushing, OK supply hub was dwindling. In foreign exchange markets, the USD Dollar (USD) rose 0.6% against the Euro (EUR). In spite of the BOE raising rates, the USD was up 0.8% against the British Pound (GBP). \ Jobless Claims Remain Low A light day of key domestic economic data releases was highlighted by a report from the Labor Department that showed initial jobless claims in the US holding near historically low levels amid the backdrop of a strong economy and tight labor market. The number of new claims for the week ended July 28th increased 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 218,000 (220,000 expected). The four-week moving average of claims fell by 3,500 to 214,500 remaining near 50 year lows. Also detailed in the report, the number of continuing claims decreased by 23,000 to 1.72 million for the week ended July 21st.