The Market Bull – April 17, 2019
The major averages finish with small losses despite the NASDAQ hitting a new all-time record intraday high on disappointing but not overly significant data.
The Fed’s Beige Book on regional economic activity reported economic growth was slight to moderate in the latest period ending in early April. Consumer spending was mixed while general retailers and auto dealerships reported weak sales. Home sales were reported as robust, but some weakness was noted in higher priced homes. The labor market remains tight, while agriculture was weak partly because of the recent storms and flooding in the Midwest.
The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly index fell 3.5% last week as refi’s slipped 8.2% and purchase apps gained .9%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan increased for a 2nd week to 4.33%.
The trade deficit shrank for a second month in February falling 1.7 billion to 49.4 billion. Exports advanced 1.1% to 209.7 billion, while imports increased .2% to 259.1 billion. Oil imports spent a 5th consecutive month below 3 billion. That said significant headwinds with respect to trade remain including tariffs, Boeing’s 737 Max issues, and a slowing global economy that is seeing sharply falling international trade flows.
Wholesale trade advanced just .2% in February its weakest showing in 7-months. Strength was seen in Non-Durable goods inventories, while sales of Non-Durable Goods also advanced. The inventory to sales ratio was unchanged at a relatively high 1.35 months.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 2,900.45 down 6.61
NASDAQ finished the day: 7,996.08 down 4.15
Gold ended trading at: $1,276.20 down $1.00