Blog Post

Weekly Market Commentary

Stocks ended the week with moderate losses primarily due to trade uncertainties.  On Monday, China enacted retaliatory tariffs on $3BN worth of U.S. exports such as pork and wine.  On Thursday, the Trump administration announced it was looking at tariffs on an additional $100BN in Chinese imports.  On Friday the selloff was triggered by news that the Trump administration was looking at holding foreign auto imports to higher emissions standards.  The March jobs number came in weaker than expected and wages were in-line with expectations of a 2.7% year over year increase, less than January’s 2.9% but more than February’s 2.6%.  The U.S. dollar ended the week lower against a basket of currencies and commodities were mixed.  Ten year treasury notes ended slightly higher for the week.

Looking at the week ahead, 1st quarter earnings will start coming towards the end of the week and are expected to be a positive catalyst for the markets.

In the numbers this week:

  • Manufacturing and non-manufacturing purchasing managers indexes from around the world were reported.  Keep in mind that anything over 50 represents expansion but a lower number over 50 represents a slower acceleration of growth.
    • The Institute for Supply Management reported:
      • US manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) fell from 60.8 February to 59.3 in March.
      • US services PMI fell from 59.5 in February to 58.8 in March.
    • The IHS Markit reported:
      • Europe’s manufacturing PMI fell from 57.1 in February to 55.2 in March.
      • Europe’s services PMI fell from 56.2 in February to 54.9 in March.
    • Caixin/Markit reported:
      • China’s manufacturing PMI fell from 51.6 in February to 51.0 in March.
      • China’s services PMI fell to 54.2 in February to 52.3 in March.
    • The Commerce Department reported the U.S. trade gap rose 1.6% in February.  This reflected an increase in the goods deficit and a decrease in the services surplus.
  • The Labor department reported
    • First time claims for unemployment rose 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 242,000.  The four week moving average of claims rose 3000 to 228,250.
    • The U.S. created 103,000 jobs in March.  The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%.  January’s and
      February’s jobs numbers were revised down by a total of 50,000.
    • Wages were up 2.7% in March from a year ago.  This was in-line with expectations.
  • The Energy Information Administration weekly report is here wpsrsummary (3).  Also the EIA reported:
    • Weekly field production of crude oil rose 27 thousand barrels per day.
    • Storage of Natural Gas fell 29BN cubic feet.
  • According to Baker Hughes, In the past week the number of active oil rigs rose 11 to 808 and the number of active gas rigs was unchanged at 194.

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

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.


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