Last Week:

Markets came roaring back. Two weeks ago markets sputtered over Trump tariffs. Last week the Trump administration said there could be carve outs (exceptions… aka no tariffs) for Canada and Mexico. And then Friday’s positive upward move came, propelled by a huge jobs number.

Top 10 GDP by country in 2017

United States              $ 19.4 trillion

China                           $ 11.8 trillion

Japan                           $   4.8 trillion

Germany                     $   3.4 trillion

United Kingdom         $   2.5 trillion

India                            $   2.4 trillion

France                         $   2.4 trillion

Brazil                           $   2.1 trillion

Italy                             $   1.8 trillion

Canada                       $   1.6 trillion

No one wants a trade war. But based on 2017 GDP numbers, what country wants to be excluded from doing business with the U.S.? Who has more to lose? Free Trade is not always Fair Trade. Therefore, one could possibly interpret the Trump tariff message as an attempt to get the U.S. a better deal with international trade partners. It will be interesting to see what direction this goes.

Big surprise with the jobs number. Expectations were for +205,000 jobs, but the actual number came in at +313,000.

The U3 unemployment rate remained at 4.1%

The participation rate climbed from 62.7% up to 63.0%.

The Bull Market turned 9 last week on Friday. So in baseball terms, what inning are we in? The research folks at First Trust say we’re in the 6th or 7th inning.

The second Beige Book of the year came out last Wednesday. The U.S. economy continues to grow at a modest to moderate pace. The Cleveland district expanded at a moderate pace. The Trump tax plan apparently is helping firms invest more in their companies, and is helping increase wages. Demand in manufacturing, retail, and nonfinancial services grows as confidence in the economy increases.

This Week:

The economic focus of the week: It should come on Wednesday morning when the February retail sales number gets reported. Last month the number came in at -0.3%. Expectations are for growth of +0.4%.

The Queen of Hearts continues to be a big center of attention in the Cleveland area. Only four cards are left. If the ticket that’s drawn for the right card number (#30, 45, 49 or 50) has the Queen of Hearts behind it, it wins the jackpot. Last week the jackpot was $4.2 million. It’s likely to hit $5.0 million this week. The drawing takes place on Wednesday night at 7:30pm.

Indicator focus: February’s consumer price index (Tue); February’s producer price index and retail sales (Wed); March’s Philly Fed survey (Thu); and February’s housing starts and industrial production (Fri).

Have a great week,


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