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In the Markets – Week-Ending April 15

by Peter J. Creedon

Newsletter: In the Markets – Week-Ending April 15
Crystal Brook Advisors
We Make Financial Planning Crystal Clear™

United States: Import prices increased 0.2 percent in March, well below expectations for a 1.0 percent gain. A rebound in oil helped fuel the positive print, but ex-fuel prices continued to slide.(1) Retail sales dropped 0.3 percent in March compared to an expectation for a 0.1 percent increase. Ex-auto retail sales were up only 0.2 percent versus market expectations for a 0.4 percent increase.(2)

Europe: Electricite de France SA and the French government are at odds over a financial deal that would allow the state-owned utility to give the final go-ahead next month to a 18 billion-pound ($25.5 billion) nuclear plant in the U.K.

Asia: China’s economy stabilized last quarter and gathered pace in March as a surge in new credit spurred a property sector rebound while raising fresh questions over the sustainability of the debt-fueled expansion.(3)

Monday 04/11

• Market data firm International Data Corp. confirmed that Dell overtook HP Inc. as the market-share leader in the dwindling U.S. PC market, while Lenovo managed to hold onto its lead worldwide.(4)

Tuesday 04/12

• Small business optimism fell 0.3 points to 92.6 in March, despite a rebound in expectations about economic conditions. Business owners remained concerned about sluggish sales, increased regulation and rising costs.(5)
• The federal budget deficit widened slightly through the first half of fiscal year 2016.(6)

Wednesday 04/13

• Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent in March. Core PPI-final demand also slipped by the same amount.(7)
• Business inventories have declined in four of the past five months, with the one exception being a flat reading in December.(8)

Thursday 04/14

• CPI came in softer than expected in March with both the headline and core indices rising 0.1 percent.(9)

Friday 04/08

• Real GDP growth slowed modestly in Q1. We look for further deceleration in the Chinese economy, but a near term collapse in economic activity does not seem likely.(10)
• Industrial production fell 0.6 percent in March with all major industries reporting lower activity. Despite the drop in manufacturing production last month, we expect a modest pickup in factory activity in the near term.(11)


Market Close
U.S. stocks closed out a healthy week of gains in negative territory Friday as a retreat in crude-oil prices weighed on energy shares ahead of a key meeting of major oil producers slated for Sunday in Doha, Qatar. Uncertainty about the outcome of the meeting of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC members, which could set the tone for crude futures, put a cap on upbeat sentiment over corporate results that have so far proved better than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.16% closed off 29 points, or 0.2%, to end at 17,896, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.10% ended 2 points, or 0.1%, lower at 2,080. Shares of Apple Inc. AAPL, -2.01% led the Dow industrials lower, off 2%, after a report in Saturday’s edition of Japan’s Nikkei newspaper said demand for iPhones is lagging–the slide weighed on technology stocks, which were down 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite index COMP, -0.16% closed down 7 points, or 0.2% at 4,938. Energy stocks topped the S&P 500’s sector laggards, closing off 1.3%. West Texas Intermediate crude CLK6, -2.43% fell $1.14, or 2.8%, to settle at $40.36 a barrel. On the week, the Dow scored its best weekly gain, up 1.8%, since March 18. The S&P 500 registered a 1.6% weekly gain, while the Nasdaq was up 1.8% on the week.(12)

Contributor: Felipe Vargas-Zúñiga

(1) Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Federal Reserve Board and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
(2) Source: U.S. Department of Commerce and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
(3) Source: Bloomberg
(4) Source: MarketWatch
(5) Source: National Federation of Independent Business, ISM and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
(6) Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Department of Commerce and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
(7) Source: U.S. Department of Labor and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
(8) Source: U.S. Department of Commerce and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
(9) Source: U.S. Department of Labor and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
(10) Source: Bloomberg LP, IHS Global Insight, CEIC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
(11) Source: Federal Reserve Board, Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
(12) Source: Marketwatch

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