The Market see-saw continues.
The latest Fed minutes were released Wednesday afternoon for the meeting they had in March. A quick review of their minutes: the Fed’s 2% inflation goal has basically been met. They expressed concern about possible tariff reactions, specifically for agriculture. As usual the Fed expressed concern over budget deficits, this time with tax cuts included. But the key piece was the Fed raising their interest rate 0.25% (now at 1.5% overall). The Fed said they will continue their gradual increasing of rates two more times this year (0.25% each time), and two to three times in 2019. The Fed terms this process as… moving from an accommodative policy stance to a more neutral stance.
We got two pieces of inflation data. The March Producer Price Index (the wholesale index) was up +3.0% year-over-year. Take out food and energy and the number is +2.7%. The March Consumer Price Index is up +2.4% year-over-year. Take out food and energy costs and the number is +2.1%.
The economic focus of the week: Will come on Monday morning when the March retail sales numbers get released. The February number had negative growth of -0.1%. The March number is expected to rebound at +0.4%.
Corporate earnings for Q1 continue. Some of the companies reporting this week: Abbott Labs, Alcoa, American Express, Bank of America, Cleveland-Cliff, CSX, First Energy, GE, Goldman Sachs, Grainger, Honeywell, IBM, JNJ, Keycorp, Morgan Stanley, Netflix, Northern Trust, Phillip Morris, Pier 1, Procter & Gamble, Progressive, United Health, and Waste Management.
Indicator focus: March’s retail sales (Mon); March’s housing starts, March’s industrial production (Tue); the second Beige Book of the year (Wed); and April’s Philly Fed outlook (Thu).
Have a great week,
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