Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
The major averages struggled to begin the week despite generally positive economic data. Trump’s temporary tariff waivers are set to expire tomorrow and officially launch a trade war with Europe, China and others failing a last minute deal, or another extension. Neither possibility seems likely at this point.
Personal Income gained .3% in March on strength in Rental and to a lesser extent Small Business and Transfer Payments, aka various social welfare programs such as Social Security, Unemployment and the SNAP Program. The Personal Consumption Expenditures or PCE Deflator was unchanged in March after goods prices declined across the board. Services and particularly health care costs advanced. On a year ago basis the PCE gained 2%. Personal spending increased .4% in March. Strength was seen in Recreational Goods, Motor Vehicles and parts.
Pending Home Sales advanced .4% in March on gains in the Midwest and South. On a year ago basis this index is down for a 3rd consecutive month. The West fell again to mark a 6th consecutive monthly decline in sales expectations.
The Texas Manufacturing Index advanced .4 points in April to 21.8. Notable gains were seen with production, new orders and employment. Price data remains high but was mixed for the month.