The markets ended the week with small losses. Stock prices were driven each day by earnings news. The 10 year treasury was nearly unchanged, however short term yields rose, flattening the yield curve. Commodities were mixed with gold prices down and silver and copper up. Oil prices had significant gains for the week due to declining inventories and hints from OPEC and Russia that production cuts may be extended further.
In the numbers this week:
- According to Factset with 17% of the S&P 500 companies reporting, the blended earnings increase in the first quarter is 18.3%.
- The Commerce Department reported:
- Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in March. For the first quarter, however, retail sales were up only 0.2% due to declines in January and February. Excluding automobiles, consumer spending was up 0.2% in March.
- Housing starts climbed 1.9% in March. The increase was due solely to an increase in multifamily construction of 16.1%. Single family home construction actually fell 3.7%.
- Building permits, an indicator of future housing starts, rose 2.5%. This was also solely to multifamily construction.
- The International Monetary Fund is forecasting 3.9% global growth for 2018, the strongest since 2011.
- The Federal Reserve reported that industrial output rose by 0.5% in March and February was revised up to a 1.0% gain. Durable consumer goods rose 0.9% in March, due to a 2.7% increase in automobile production. Utility output was up 3% in March due to the cold weather.
- The Bank of Canada left its key interest rate unchanged at 1.25%.
- The Labor department reported first time claims for unemployment fell 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 232,000. The four week moving average of claims rose 1250 to 231,250.
- The Energy Information Administration weekly report is attached. Also the EIA reported:
- Weekly field production of crude oil rose 15 thousand barrels per day.
- Storage of Natural Gas fell 36BN cubic feet.
- According to Baker Hughes, In the past week the number of active oil rigs rose 5 to 820 and the number of active gas rigs was unchanged at 192.
Please call us if you have any questions.
Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF®, MA Erik A Smith
President Managing Partner
Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management 269-441-4143
77 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 140
Battle Creek, MI 49017
Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091
Toll Free: 800-513-8180
Visit our Website: www.genfinplan.com
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.