US stocks ended the week slightly down as a mixed reading of economic data left little direction to the markets. Housing appears to be gaining momentum but the negative revision of first quarter gross domestic product damped investors’ moods. Global equity markets had modest losses for the week. The Shanghai market dropped sharply on Thursday. Ironically, Greek stocks rose even given increased speculation of a Greek exit from the Euro Zone. US Treasuries rose and commodities were lower for the week.
- The Commerce Department reported
- US Durable Goods Orders fell a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in April, in line with expectations. The decline was attributed to a drop in aircraft orders. March’s durable goods orders were revised up from the previously reported 4.4% increase to a 5.1% increase. April’s durable goods orders excluding the volatile transportation sector rose 0.5%. From a year ago, April’s durable goods orders fell 0.1%.
- Nondefense capital goods orders increased by 1% and March was revised to a 1.5% increase.
- The US Gross Domestic Product was revised down to a seasonally adjusted 0.7% contraction in the first quarter. Severe winter weather in the Northeast as well as the strong dollar were blamed for the contraction.
- The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 4.1% in the 12 months ending in March. The year over year increase was 4.2% in February.
- The National Association of Realtors reported that purchases of existing homes rose a seasonally adjusted 3.4% in April much better than expectations. Existing home sales are up 14% from a year ago. April’s sales were the highest in nine years. The sales increase comes even as existing home inventory is limited or severely short in many metropolitan areas.
- The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims in the prior week rose 7,000 to 282,000 higher than expectations. The four week moving average of claims rose 5,000 to 271,500 only slightly more than the 15 year low hit in the previous week.
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Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF® Erik Smith
Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management 269-441-4143
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Battle Creek, MI 49017
Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091
Toll Free: 800-513-8180
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