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Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence 

The major averages enter the final hour with modest losses on disappointing economic data, as Trump’s trade war gets underway. Since Monday the Standard and Poors 500 Index is down 95 points or 3.5%, while the NASDAQ has lost 295 points or 3.6% as 2018 continues to challenge equity investors.

Durable Goods Orders advanced 3.1% in February on strong gains in non-defense capital goods. The ex-aircraft sub-component that is a proxy for business spending snapped a pair of losses with a 1.8% gain.

New home sales disappointed in February with a 3rd consecutive decline, falling .6% to 618,000 units annualized following a 17.6% drop in sales in the western region. Month’s supply increased fractionally to 5.9, the median price gained .7% to $330,100.

Regional employment data shows that the Mountain, Pacific and West South Central regions continue to lead with employment growth in February. Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate again at just 2.1% while California set a new series low at 4.3%.

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