The Market Bull – March 26 2019
After opening with large gains the major averages couldn’t hold them into the close finishing with modest gains despite some disappointing data as the markets seem pleased with the results of the Mueller Report.
State Personal Income advanced 1.3% in the 4th quarter of 2018 and a respectable 4.5% for the year, on strength in dividends, interest, rent and to a lesser extent earned income. Trumps debt funded tax cuts helped to push the income gains in 2018. At the regional level the Plains States led with an impressive 1.9% advance, followed by the Southwest with a 1.5% gain while the Rocky Mountain region rounded out the top 3 up 1.4%.
Residential Construction activity gave up most of last month’s solid gains. Housing starts fell 8.7% in February to 1.162 million units annualized, permits slipped 1.6% over the same period to 1.296 million units annualized. January and December were both revised higher. At the regional level only the Midwest saw an increase. The West plunged 18.9% in February and 38.3% from February 2018.
While price appreciation for real estate remains positive it continues to slow following a trend began last spring. Case/Schiller reports that home prices gained 3.6% in January from a year ago. Led by Denver +.5%, Washington +.4% and Miami +.3%. At the other end of the scale San Francisco fell for a 4th straight month down .6%, San Diego slipped for a 3rd month off .3%, while Los Angeles and Chicago both dipped .1%. While this series remains decidedly positive on a year ago basis price appreciation slowed for a 10th consecutive month in January.
The Richmond Fed Regional Index fell 6 points in March to 10, on weakness in new orders and the average work week. Growth of prices paid by manufacturers fell to its lowest point since May 2018.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 2,818.46 up 20.10
NASDAQ finished the day: 7,691.52 up 53.98
Gold ended trading at: $1,315.20 down $7.40