The Markets (as of market close August 31, 2023)
August proved to be a tough month for stocks, with each of the benchmark indexes listed here ending the month notably lower. Investors tried to decipher mixed economic data throughout the month, attempting to gauge the course of the economy, while trying to determine what the Federal Reserve will do with interest rates moving forward.
Speaking of the Federal Reserve, it did not meet in August, so interest rates remained unchanged. However, Fed Chair Jerome Powell spoke at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium (see below) and reiterated the Fed's intent to continue its restrictive policy until interest rates fell to 2.0%.