China’s release of strong economic data last Sunday set the stage for across-the-board market gains in an otherwise quiet week leading into next week’s start of earnings season. The Russell 2000® Index (2.78%) led the major indices followed by the Nasdaq (2.71%), S&P 500® Index (2.06%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (1.91%). Last Monday’s momentum extended through the week with upbeat comments from U.S. and Chinese officials on the progress of trade negotiations; a meeting might be scheduled in the next few weeks between Presidents Trump and Xi. Few details have emerged despite the lengthy discussions over the past couple of months. A trade deal between the two countries would not require Congressional approval; in sharp contrast, the potential NAFTA replacement faces an uncertain fate in Congress.
After the United Kingdom parliament again failed to agree on Brexit, Prime Minister May wrote to the EU requesting a flexible delay to June 30 (or earlier if a deal is ratified); an EU summit will consider the request next week. May also has been in discussions with the Labor party in seeking common ground which might break the impasse. Bottom line: in the absence of any other decisions, a no-deal Brexit will happen on April 12th. On a brighter note, U.S. employment data improved: initial jobless claims for the last week of March (202,000) fell to the lowest level since 1969; also, the U.S. added 196,000 new jobs in March (economists expected of 175,000). The unemployment rate remained at 3.98%. Hourly wages rose 0.1% for the month with the year-over-year rate slipping from 3.4% to 3.2%. The data are unlikely to alter the Federal Reserve’s projections of no rate changes in 2019. And yet, President Trump and other White House officials are pushing a 0.5% rate cut even though little economic data support the need for such a move.
During the first week of post-opening day trading, Lyft gained approximately 2.8%. Analysts who cover the stock are mixed; half recommend ‘buy’ while the remainder recommending ‘hold’ with one ‘sell.’ Overall, the markets reflect the absence of newsworthy events beyond trade negotiations and Brexit. Investors are gaining more confidence from positive data on the Chinese economy, and progress in trade negotiations. Volatility remains low entering earnings season with muted expectations for revenue and earnings growth. JP Morgan and Wells Fargo will report on Friday followed by Citibank and Bank of America early in the following week. The market’s upward bias continues yet positive corporate commentaries for the remainder of the year may prove most important in providing momentum in the equity markets.
Source: Pacific Global Investment Management Company
Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.
Last Week's Headlines: 4/8/2019
1. Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March, and the overall economy grew for the 119th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The report was issued today by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Inst...
Economy Week Ahead: Consumer Prices, Fed Minutes
The U.S. economy will see fresh data on inflation and consumer sentiment In the week ahead, the U.S. economy will see fresh data on inflation and consumer sentiment. The Federal Reserve w...
Trade talks will probably end with tariffs still in place
LESS THAN a week after the White House described trade talks in Beijing as "candid and constructive", American chinese negotiators met again on April 3rd in Washington, DC. There is t...
U.S. Adds 196,000 Jobs in March; Unemployment at 3.8%
After a lackluster performance in February, the job market bounced back in March.
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