In a relatively quiet week, major stock indices ended mixed with individual company values responding to earnings announcements. Both existing home sales and housing starts fell in March and unemployment claims edged up. However, preliminary “flash” estimates for purchasing manager indices indicate expansion in manufacturing and services this month.
Treasury bond yields rose with the 30-year bond yield at 3.774% and the 10-Year note at 3.571%. Freddie Mac reported that 30-year mortgage rates rose to 6.39%. Crude oil fell to $77.79 a barrel and natural gas rose to $2.227 per MMBTUs. The U.S. dollar index rose to 101.70 and gold fell to $1993.10 an ounce.
- China reported the economy grew 4.5% in the first quarter from a year ago up from 2.9% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2022.
- The U.K. reported consumer prices in March are 10.1% higher than a year ago but down from 10.4% year-over-year in February.
- For the month of March, prices rose 0.8%.
- The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales fell 2.4% in March. Existing home sales have fallen 22.0% from a year ago.
- The median existing home sale price was $375,700 down 0.9% from a year ago, the biggest annual decline since 2012.
- The Commerce Department reported:
- The Labor Department reported:
- Seasonally adjusted first-time claims for unemployment were 245,000 up from a revised 240,000 in the prior week..
- The 4-week moving average of claims, designed to smooth out volatility, was 237,750 down from a revised 238,250 in the prior week.
- For the full unemployment report go here: https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf .
- The EIA weekly oil report is here: http://ir.eia.gov/wpsr/wpsrsummary.pdf . Also, the EIA reported in the prior week:
- Field production of crude oil was unchanged at 12.3MM BPD.
- Natural gas storage rose 75BN cubic feet and is above the 5-year average at this time of year.
- Baker Hughes reported the number of active oil rigs rose 3 to 591. The number of active natural gas rigs rose 2 to 159.
- Factset reported that with 18% of S&P 500 companies reporting earnings, the blended earnings decrease was 6.2% from a year ago.
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Loren C. Rex, CFP®, MA Erik A Smith, AIF®
Founder / Emeritus President & C.E.O.
These are the opinions of Loren Rex and Erik Smith and are not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice. The Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.