Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
The major averages hold modest losses into the final hour on disappointing economic data. Consumer credit comes out after the close and should provide additional insight on their condition.
Mortgage activity gained .3% in March, refi’s advanced 1.5% while purchase apps fell .5%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan slipped fractionally to 4.56%.
4th quarter productivity was unchanged as 2017 finished with a 1.1% gain in productivity and a 2.5% advance in unit labor costs, on a revised basis. That said the trend for this volatile series remains weak, continuing to indicate sub-par wage and economic growth.
The international trade deficit continues to widen markedly with a 3.5 billion Dollar advance to 56.6 billion in January. Exports slipped fractionally to 200.9 billion, imports were unchanged at 257.5 billion. This marks a 4th consecutive month of rapidly expanding trade deficit and will subtract materially from economic growth.