Fed official: Jobs report won't stop taper

At least one Federal Reserve member doesn't think last week's jobs report is reason enough for the Fed to put its tapering plans on hold, CNNMoney reports. Last week's August jobs report showed that hiring was weaker than expected and that labor force participation was at a 35-year low, which caused some to second-guess Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's timeline to start tapering its $85 billion per month in asset purchases. However, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said it's important not to read too much into one month's data. "The latest data is consistent with forecasts of gradual improvement," Williams said in the article. "I'm still 100 percent on board with Chairman Bernanke's timeline."

 

U.S. small business confidence slips in August

U.S. small business optimism dipped in August as owners worried about the economy's near-term outlook, Reuters reports. According to the National Federation of IndependentBusiness, its Small Business Optimism Index slipped 0.1 point to 94 last month. Although details of the survey were fairly mixed, the article said key indicators such as planned hiring, capital spending, inventory accumulation and sales all advanced in August, suggesting an improvement in sentiment in the months ahead.

 

Investors yank record $20 billion from ETFs

CNNMoney reports that last month, investors pulled more than $20 billion out of exchange-traded funds, the largest monthly outflow since the first ETF launched 20 years ago. Although stocks have been surging for most of the year, August was the worst month of 2013, according to the article. Stocks fell as traders worried about the potential impact of the Federal Reserve scaling back its stimulus program sooner, as well as the possibility of a U.S. military strike against Syria.