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Clarksville, TN – March home sales figures were disappointing and while the numbers are normally choppy, suggested that there may be something more to the slowdown in housing than bad weather (mortgage rates are higher than a year ago, while prices have risen significantly over the last three years).
Next week, it’s a very busy calendar, with fresh figures for April. Consumer confidence is expected to pick up. Real GDP growth is likely to be relatively soft (0.4% to +1.4%), with a weather-related restraint on consumer spending and homebuilding, drags from slower inventory growth and a wider trade deficit, and a rebound in government (following the drag from the shutdown in 4Q13).Note that this is the advance estimate and an incomplete picture (figures will be revised, and revised again). Note that much of the monthly economic data series point to much stronger growth in 2Q14 (largely reflecting a rebound from bad weather).
The ISM Manufacturing Index is likely to improve (still moderate). Motor vehicle sales are expected to remain strong.
The April Employment Report is likely to show somewhat stronger growth in nonfarm payrolls and a decline in the unemployment rate (but note that the Fed is considering a wide range of labor market indicators).
On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee is expected to reduce the monthly rate of asset purchases by another $10 billion (to $45 billion). We should see little change in the wording of the policy statement. There will be no post-meeting press briefing.
Consumer Money Rates
Treasury Yield Curve – 4/25/2014
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 4/25/2014
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Commodities trading is generally considered speculative because of the significant potential for investment loss. Markets for commodities are likely to be volatile and there may be sharp price fluctuations even during periods when prices overall are rising. Specific sector investing can be subject to different and greater risks than more diversified investments.
Tax Equiv Muni yields (TEY) assume a 35% tax rate on triple-A rated, tax-exempt insured revenue bonds.
The information contained herein has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Data source: Bloomberg, as of close of business April 24th, 2014.
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