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Clarksville, TN – The economic data were mixed, adding little to the overall picture. Durable goods orders disappointed (again), with orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft (a rough proxy for business fixed investment) down for the sixth consecutive month. Unfilled orders are falling and inventories are outpacing shipments – both are bad signs, but neither is yet at a dangerous level.
Home sales figures were mixed. The third estimate of fourth quarter GDP growth came in at 2.2%, the same as in the previous estimate. This report included corporate profit data for 4Q14, which showed a moderate increase in domestic nonfinancial corporate profits, but a sharp drop in profits from abroad.
Financial market participants seemed to search for direction. The escalation of civil war in Yemen – and Saudi participation in the conflict – pushed oil prices higher.
Next week, the situation with Greece is likely to be pushed to the limit once again, but the can is expected to be kicked down the road once again. The ISM Manufacturing Index may reflect negative impacts from the strong dollar and soft capital spending, but we should see a rebound from bad weather and West Coast port delays.
The Employment Report will be the highlight, but is released on Good Friday, when the stock market is closed (the bond market will be open for a half session).
Consumer Money Rates
Treasury Yield Curve – 03/27/2015
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 03/27/2015
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 March 26th, 2015.
Frazier Allen, WMS, CRPS, Financial Advisor with F&M Bank
Web Site: http://www.raymondjames.com/frazierallen
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