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Market Commentary by Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Chief Economist
The terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon and news of ricin-laced letters mailed to elected officials did not appear to have a major impact on the financial markets, but they certainly didn’t help. The major stock market averages were volatile. Bond yields remained low. Commodity prices remained under pressure.
Economic data were mixed, but generally weak. The Fed’s Beige Book noted that anecdotal reports from late February to early April were consistent with moderate economic growth. The Index of Leading Economic Indicators edged lower. Industrial production rose more than expected, but that was due to a jump in utility output (colder temperatures). Factory output fell modestly in March, with strength in autos, but weak otherwise. Seasonal adjustment led to a drop in gasoline prices, pushing the headline Consumer Price Index lower in March, while core inflation rose modestly.
Next week, reports on home sales and durable goods orders have the potential to surprise. Housing should continue to recover, but there may be supply issues in the short run. A relapse in orders at Boeing should have pushed overall orders down in March. Ex-transportation, orders are likely to have been mixed, but generally lackluster.
The advance estimate of GDP is always an adventure. The government doesn’t have March figures on trade, inventories, and other components, and will have to guestimate. More importantly, the 1Q13 GDP figures don’t tell us anything about growth in the current quarter and beyond.
Consumer Money Rates
Treasury Yield Curve – 04/19/2013
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 04/19/2013
US government bonds and treasury bills are guaranteed by the US government and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and guaranteed principal value. US government bonds are issued and guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by the federal government. Treasury bills are certificates reflecting short-term (less than one year) obligations of the US government.
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 4th, 2013.
Frazier Allen, WMS, CRPS, Financial Advisor with F&M Bank
Web Site: http://www.raymondjames.com/frazierallen
TopicsBritish Pound, Crude Oil, Cyprus, DJIA, Euro, gold, Iceland, Japanese Yen, Mexican Peso, MSCI EAFE, Nasdaq, Raymond James Investment Services, Russell 2000, S&P 500, Scott J. Brown, U.S. Stock Market, Weekly Market Snapshot
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