The Markets (as of market close April 14, 2017)
With the United States and many global markets closed for Good Friday, stocks ended the short trading week lower. Trading volumes were low for much of the week, as investors may be concerned with rising tensions overseas in Syria and North Korea, and the continuation of strained diplomatic relations with Russia.
Last Week’s Headlines
- Inflation, which had been trending upward, took a somewhat unexpected reversal of course in March as the Consumer Price Index fell slightly from the prior month. Core prices haven’t fallen since January 2010.
- Retail sales decreased in March, falling for the second straight month. This represents the largest two-month fall in retail sales since January and February of 2015.
- Job openings increased in February while the number of new hires dropped – an indication that employers may be having a hard time filling positions.
- Driven by lower fuel prices, U.S. import prices declined 0.2% in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past 12 months ended in March, import prices have advanced 4.2%. Export prices increased 0.2% for the month, after advancing 0.3% in February. U.S. export prices also increased over the past year, rising 3.6% for the year ended in March.
- The government deficit fell in March to $176.2 billion, down from February’s $192.0 billion. Year-to-date, the deficit sits at $526.9 billion, which is $67.5 billion more than the deficit over the same period last year.
- In the week ended April 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment was 234,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 to 235,000.
BWFA Eye on the Week Ahead
The housing sector has been volatile, with existing home sales lagging while sales of new homes have surged. Equities look to recover following last week’s dip.
As we all complete our holidays with family and friends, we can anticipate a warm spring and the end of tax season, for most filers.
BWFA thanks you for your continued business and we will be watching how things respond near term to the various events of the day with an eye more importantly on each client’s long term successes against their goals-have a great week!