Although it was a rather mild week in terms of the number and nature of economic reports, it was the geopolitical factors that carried the greatest influence. Yet while the Dow and S&P both sold off yesterday and securities made respectable gains and essentially recovered today, two reports this week gradual growth low inflationindicate we’re still on a gradual path to growth while keeping inflation in check. Those two combinations will keep the Fed far away from any rate hikes.

The Leading Economic Index, or LEI was released by the Conference board today. In June, leading indicators rose by 0.3% while the month of May was revised upward to a very healthy 0.7%, following a pattern of increasing confidence in the prospects of economic growth in the near future.

Yesterday the Philly Federal Reserve Bank released its monthly report on manufacturing activity and said business activity jumped to 23.9 percent, the most in over three years and up from 17.8 from the previous month. Economists had predicted a reading closer to 16.0 so the near 24.0 index was somewhat surprising. Any reading above 0.0 indicates growth.

Yet when combining these two reports there appears to be no inflation in site at the wholesale level. The Producer Price Index, or PPI chimed in at 0.4% but at the core rate, excluding food and fuel, PPI rose by 0.2%.

The growth is sluggish and those investing in equities either directly or through a fund aren’t finding any consistent barn-burners while accredited investors who are active in the real estate investment arena are getting double digit returns, secured by real estate. Real estate is always local and any national figures on real estate can’t really tell where the opportunities are, only those that are active at the local levels can make the determination of any particular market is ready for a steady stream of real estate investment.