U.S. and World News
- More Brexit uncertainty lies ahead after U.K. lawmakers failed to pass an alternative to the current deal and Theresa May said that she would like to reach across the aisle to try and negotiate with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for a softer Brexit deal. This is something that would anger her conservative lawmakers who are against remaining in a customs union with the EU and want a decisive split. On Wednesday, lawmakers voted to pass a draft to prevent a no-deal Brexit in a 313-312 vote. It is uncertain whether the European Union will grant the U.K. another extension and an emergency summit is scheduled for next Wednesday. European Council President Donald Tusk has proposed a flexible 12-month extension to leave the European Union and Theresa May responded by asking for a shorter extension until June 30th.
- President Trump met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House yesterday as the two sides are reportedly coming close to reaching a deal. Reports have also indicated that the United States will keep tariffs on China until a deal is reached. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said that the two sides have reached a new consensus on a trade agreement, meanwhile, President Trump stated that no meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping will take place until a deal is reached and that he could see a deal being made within four weeks.
- Stocks surged this week. The S&P 500 rose 2.09% and closed at 2,893. The Dow Jones gained 1.95% and closed at 26,425. Year to date, the S&P is up 15.99% and the Dow Jones is up 13.97%.
- Yields rebounded sharply this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.31% and 2.50%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil jumped much higher this week. Prices rose 5.19% and closed at $63.26 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 39.31%.
- The spot price of Gold lost 0.05% this week and closed at $11,291.76 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 0.72%.
- Initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 202,000 for the week. The four-week moving average of claims fell by 4,000 to 214,000. Claims fell by 2,000 in New Jersey.
- Retail sales fell by 0.2% in February versus expectations of an increase of 0.2%
- Retail sales core/control fell by 0.2% versus expectations for an increase of 0.3%
- The ISM manufacturing index rose by 1.1 points to 55.3 in March versus expectations for a reading of 54.5
- Construction spending rose 1.0% in February versus expectations for a decline of 0.2%
- New orders for durable goods fell by 1.6% in February versus expectations for a decline of 1.8%
- Private sector employment rose by 129k in March versus expectations for a rise of 175k
- ISM non-manufacturing fell by 3.6 points to 56.1 in March versus expectations for a reading of 58.0
- Nonfarm payrolls rose by 196k in March versus expectations for a rise of 177k
- The unemployment rate remained at 3.8%, as expected
- Average hourly earnings rose by 0.1% versus expectations for a rise of 0.3%
Fact of the Week
- The S&P 500 gained 13.6% in the first quarter. The average 1st quarter return for the index over the last 25 years has been 1.7%, and 9.6% for the entire year over the last 50 years. 88% of stocks in the index ended the first quarter higher than its 2018 year end price. (Source: BTN Research)
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