Blog Post

The Past Week in the Markets

It was a volatile week as shifting news on trade affected trader’s sentiment.  Despite a rally on Friday, most indexes were modestly lower with only the developed foreign index ending with slight gains.  Crude oil fell sharply as U.S. inventories rose again this week.  The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.326% and the dollar fell against a basket of currencies.

In the numbers this week:

  • The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales fell 0.4% in April.  From a year earlier existing home sales were down 4.4%.  The decline came despite mortgage rates nearly a percent lower than November and more homes on the market.  Existing home prices have been increasing, albeit at a slower rate in recent months.  From a year ago the median sale price for an existing home was up 3.6%.
  • The Commerce Department reported
    • New home sales fell 6.9% in April.  All regions declined except the Northeast.   March sales were revised up and this follows sharp increases in January and February.  From a year earlier new home sales were up 7% in April.  Still new home sales are far below where they peaked prior to the financial crisis.
    • Durable goods orders fell 2.1% in April.  March durable goods orders were revised from a decline of 2.6% to a decline of only 1.7%.  For the first four months of the year durable goods orders were up 2% from the same period last year.
  • The Labor Department reported first time claims for unemployment fell from a seasonally adjusted 212,000 to 211,000.  The four week moving average of claims fell 4,750 to 220,250.
  • The Energy Information Administration weekly report is here wpsrsummary.  Also, the EIA reported in the prior week:
    • U.S. Crude oil production rose from 12.1MM barrels per day to 12.5MM barrels per day.
    • Storage of natural gas rose 100BN cubic feet and is still below the five year average for this time of year.
    • Baker Hughes reported in the past week that the number of active oil rigs fell 5 to 797 and the number of active gas rigs rose 1 to 186.
  • Factset reported with 97% of S&P 500 companies reporting earnings, the blended earnings decline was -0.4% versus the 1st quarter last year.    76% of companies posted a positive earnings surprise and 59% reported a positive revenue surprise.   80 S&P500 companies reported negative guidance and 25 reported positive guidance.

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Best Regards,

Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF®, MA                                                         Erik A Smith

President                                                                                                 Managing Partner

Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management             269-441-4143

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Battle Creek, MI  49017

Tel 269-441-4090

Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091

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Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Cambridge and Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management are separate companies and are not affiliated.

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.


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