Stocks were mixed this holiday shortened week with most indices posting modest gains and the Nasdaq posting losses. For the 1st quarter stocks were lower for the first quarterly loss since 2015. Looking at the month ahead, 1st quarter earnings will be in full swing in mid-April. We see earnings as a positive catalyst for the markets.
In the numbers this week:
- The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rose 6.2% in January from a year prior. This was down from 6.3% for calendar year 2017.
- The Commerce Department reported:
- Gross domestic product in the 4th quarter was revised upwards from 2.5% to 2.9%. The revision was mainly due to consumer spending and somewhat to smaller inventory growth.
- The personal-consumption expenditures price index rose 0.2% in February. From a year earlier the index rose 1.8%. This is the FED’s preferred measure of inflation and the FED’s goal is for this to reach 2.0%.
- Consumer spending rose 0.2% in February. Excluding volatile food and energy prices also rose 0.2%.
- Personal income rose 0.4% in February.
- Personal savings rose 3.4% in February.
- The Labor department reported that first time claims for unemployment fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 215,000. This was the lowest level of claims since January 1973 when the workforce was much smaller The four week moving average of claims fell 500 to 224,500.
- The Energy Information Administration weekly report is here wpsrsummary. Also the EIA reported:
- Weekly field production of crude oil rose 27 thousand barrels per day.
- Storage of Natural Gas fell 63BN cubic feet.
- According to Baker Hughes, In the past week the number of active oil rigs fell 7 to 797 and the number of active gas rigs rose 4 to 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
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.