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Newsletter: In the Markets – Week-Ending April 14th, 2017

by Peter J. Creedon

Newsletter: In the Markets – Week-Ending April 14th, 2017  

Crystal Brook Advisors

We Make Financial Planning Crystal Clear™

United States:  Consumer prices fell in March for the first time in more than a year. The CPI declined 0.3 percent versus expectations that price levels would remain flat. The drop last month brought the year-over-year pace down to 2.4 percent, which is still up meaningfully from the 0.9 percent pace registered this time last year. (1)  A drop in gasoline prices was the biggest contributor to the headline’s decline. Since, historically, gasoline prices rise in March (the last time they fell was in 2001), last month’s 1.1 percent increase translated to a seasonally adjusted decline of 6.2 percent. The cost of energy services, including electricity and utility gas services also declined in March. Excluding energy, prices slipped 0.1 percent despite a rebound in food prices. Prices for food rose 0.3 percent last month, the strongest monthly gain since mid-2014. The recovery in food prices has been driven by a turnaround in food at home, which after falling for nearly every month since late 2015, have increased at a 2.8 percent annualized pace the past three months. (1)

Europe:  Reality check: Youth unemployment in the eurozone has been stuck between 19% to 25% for the past eight years. In Spain and Greece, it’s north of 40%. (2)  For comparison, youth unemployment in the U.S. is just below 10%. (2)  The bleak numbers underscore the uphill battle many young Europeans face in finding jobs that match their aspirations and education. (2)  Legions of young people have grown frustrated. Many are still living at home, while others have left their families and moved to new countries in search of work. (2)

Asia:  ECONOMIC prospects continue to improve across most of Asia, despite threats to global trade from policies in advanced economies and concerns over possible capital outflows from the region, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Thursday. (3)  But the bank’s recently appointed chief economist Yasuyuki Sawada said he believes most economies are ready to face these risks. (3)  Speaking at the launch of the latest edition of the ADB’s Asian Development Outlook, he said: “While uncertain policy changes in advanced economies do pose a risk to the outlook, we feel that most economies are well positioned to weather potential short-term shocks.” (3)

Latin America:  April 13 (Reuters) – The Latin American region is set to return to economic growth this year, bolstered by central bank interest rate cuts in several nations before a wave of elections clouds the prospects for sustained expansion, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday. (4)  In 2017, Brazil and Argentina are widely expected to climb out of recession. Mexico is forecast to keep growing despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade and immigration policies, seen as unfavorable to the United States’ southern neighbor. (4)

Monday 4/10

  • Financial stocks continued to trail the market after a quick run-up this year, and so the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLF) ended lower by 0.3%. Gold-based funds, meanwhile, attracted some of the heaviest trading volumes, and the volatile Direxion Junior Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEMKT:JNUG) gained 2% even as gold prices ticked down. (5)

Tuesday 4/11

  • Broadcom and Texas Instruments are among many iPhone chip suppliers that fell Tuesday amid a report suggesting that Apple plans to cut ties with a second supplier in a few weeks. Broadcom closed down just 0.2% to 217.55, recently pulling back into range from a 208.85 buy point off a three-weeks-tight pattern. Texas Instruments dipped 0.9% to 79.41, off session lows but just below a 79.57 buy point. (6)

Wednesday 4/12

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined a meager 0.03% to close at 20,651.30. The S&P 500 fell 0.1% to close at 2,353.78. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,866.77, gaining 0.2%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) gained 7.3% to 15.07, the highest level in five months. A total of around 6.4 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 6.7 billion shares. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 60% stocks that advanced, 37% declined. (4)

Thursday 4/13

  • Wells Fargo (WFC.N) shares fell 3.3 percent, pulling down the S&P 500, after the bank reported a drop in mortgage banking revenue. Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) also disclosed late on Wednesday that it had cut its stake in the bank. (7)

Friday 4/14

  • Markets Closed


Contributor: Thomas Padula


(1) Wells Fargo Economic Group 

(2) CNN Money 

(3) Business Times 


(5) Motley Fool

(6) IBD 

(7) Yahoo Finance

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