Stocks ended a volatile week lower, with small company stocks having substantial losses. The FED surprised by indicating no rate increases likely for 2019. The dovish stance caused stocks to rise on Thursday. However, on Friday a sharp slowdown in German manufacturing coupled with the FED’s dovish stance raised concerns that a global slowdown would affect the U.S. This was despite U.S. data coming in positive.
The Energy Information Agency reported a sharp decrease in U.S. oil and distilled products. Crude Oil and gasoline storage have fallen below the average for the past five years as Iran and Venezuela sanctions have drawn down inventories.
Oil prices ended the week higher but the dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies. Longer term interest rates fell on weaker economic expectations with the 10-year Treasury ending the week at 2.441%.
In the numbers this week:
- The IHS Markit reported Germany’s:
- Composite flash PMI declined in March to 51.5 indicating overall slower growth.
- Manufacturing sector declined to 44.7 its worst reading since August 2012. Slowing exports were blamed from the contraction.
- Services declined from 55.3 in February to 54.9 in March.
- The National Association of Realtors reported that U.S. existing home sales rose 11.8% in February. The increase was driven by lower mortgage rates, higher home inventories and more people working with rising wages.
- The Commerce Department reported factory orders rose 0.1% in January. Excluding transportation orders were down 0.2%. Excluding defense, orders rose 0.2%.
- The Labor Department reported first time claims for unemployment fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 221,000. The four week moving average of claims fell 1250 to a seasonally adjusted 225,000.
- The Energy Information Administration weekly report is attached. Also, the EIA reported:
- U.S. Crude oil production increased from 12.0MM barrels per day to 12.1MM barrels per day.
- Storage of natural gas fell 47BN cubic feet.
- Baker Hughes reported in the past week that the number of active oil rigs fell 9 to 824 and the number of active gas rigs fell 1 to 193.
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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
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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.