U.S. and global stocks rose this past week as the markets anticipated that the FED will not raise rates later this month and that oil production will be capped by major OPEC and non OPEC producers at a meeting Sunday. Treasury yields rose as bond prices fell. Oil gained while gold fell. First quarter earnings started to be reported this week with the pace of announcements picking up next week. As I said earlier, the outlook is for another decline but with expectations set low actual earnings will likely exceed expectations.
In economic news this week:
- The Labor department reported:
- Import prices rose 0.2% in March. The gain was due to higher prices for imported energy. Prices for non-petroleum imports fell 0.2%. Excluding both fuel and food prices fell 0.1%. In the prior month import prices fell 0.4%.
- Producer prices fell a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in March following a decline of 0.2% in February.
- Consumer prices rose 0.1% in March and only 0.9% over the past year. While energy prices rose, food prices fell. Excluding both food and energy, core prices rose 0.2%. Year over year core prices rose 2.2%.
- Initial claims for jobless benefits fell 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 253,000 in the prior week tying the lowest level since 1973. The four week moving average of claims also fell 1,500 to 265,000.
- The International Monetary Fund decreased its global growth forecast for 2016 by 0.2% to 3.2%.
- The Commerce Department reported that retail sales fell 0.3% in March from February. February retail sales were revised to flat from initially reported -0.1%. Excluding volatile autos and gasoline retail sales rose 0.1% in March.
- The Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude oil production fell below 9MM barrels a day for the first time since September 2014. Crude oil inventories, however, rose 6.6 million barrels partly due to foreign imports.
- The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in March from the prior month, worse than expectations. For the first quarter industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 2.2%. From a year ago industrial production is down 2.0%. Manufacturing fared better with a 0.4% increase from a year ago as much of the decline was in the mining sector which includes oil, gas and coal production. Utility production is also down 7.7% from a year ago mainly due to milder winter weather affecting natural gas consumption.
Please call us if you have any questions.
Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF® Erik Smith
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.