Trading was fairly light last week as investors await the start of quarterly corporate earnings reports. With several large corporations reporting lower-than-expected profits, investors may be leery of this round of earnings results. However, better-than-expected earnings were reported by a few banking giants last Friday, which should help the market kick off the week on a positive note. While investors watch for more earnings reports, they are also keeping a watchful eye on the world economy. According to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, Europe’s economic slowdown could continue for a while. For the week, the major benchmark stock indexes posted moderate gains, except for the Dow, which essentially broke even. The S&P 500 gained about 0.5%, and the Nasdaq closed near 0.6%. Oil prices continue to climb, while the price of gold (COMEX) fell again last week.
LAST WEEK’S ECONOMIC HEADLINES
- Inflationary pressures remained weak in March.
- Surging energy prices pushed producer prices higher in March.
- The price of imports rose in March following a jump in February.
- According to the Federal Reserve, the government deficit in March was $146.9 billion and for the fiscal year, the deficit sits at $691.2 billion.
- The number of job openings fell to 7.1 million (-538,000) on the last business day of February from January’s total
EYE ON THE WEEK AHEAD