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S&P 500 Flat as Small Business Confidence Jumps to 35-Year High

S&P 500 Flat as Small Business Confidence Jumps to 35-Year High

Peter Hanks, Strategist

Talking Points:

  • Markets were largely unresponsive to the record-breaking reading
  • NFIB cited record job creation and unfilled job openings as notable contributing factors
  • University of Michigan’s consumer confidence survey is due Friday, look for it with our economic calendar

Check out our Live Webinars for coverage on market moves and trading Q&A. Join me on Friday for coverage of September’s consumer confidence data release.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) optimism index jumped to a 35-year high on Tuesday. The 108.8 reading surpassed the estimated 108.1 and July’s 107.9 It also climbed past July 1983’s record 108. The figure was driven by small business owners following through on spending plans due to dramatic changes in the nation’s economic policy enacted by the Trump administration.

Juanita Duggan, NFIB president and CEO said “today’s groundbreaking numbers are demonstrative of what I’m hearing every day from small business owners – that business is booming. As the tax and regulatory landscape changed, so did small business expectations and plans.” The altered landscape resulted in a net 10 percent of all owners reporting higher nominal sales in the past three months compared to prior. Furthermore, plans to increase employment and make capital outlays contributed meaningfully to the index, pushing it higher still.

S&P 500 Price Chart 10-Minute Time Frame, September 11th

The record breaking reading comes as the University of Michigan’s sentiment reading also jumped to an 18-year high in August. At this time, the US economic machine seems to be unstoppable even as trade wars temper outlooks. Still, the positive data release had very little effect on markets with US equities timidly in the green at the time of this article. Tax and regulatory policy changes are seemingly enough to counteract ongoing economic conflicts as the S&P 500 continues to show strength, albeit stalled in recent days. A sentiment release that may have a larger impact on markets is due Friday in the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index.

--Written by Peter Hanks, Junior Analyst for

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