Weekly Economic Summary - 4/2/2018Submitted by Miller Financial Group, LLC on April 2nd, 2018
Last week ended on a positive note as stocks rallied into the Easter Weekend, but it wasn’t quite enough to bring the broad US benchmarks into the green for the quarter. The Dow and S&P500 finished the quarter with losses of 2.5% and 1.2% respectively, snapping a streak of nine consecutive quarterly gains.
US stocks are getting pummeled this morning in response to trade-induced fears and continued selling pressure on technology stocks. On the trade front, China responded over the weekend to the Trump Administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports by imposing tariffs of their own on 130 U.S. goods including a 25% penalty on U.S. pork and 15% on fruit. Stocks opened with mild losses Monday but the selling quickly turned ‘panicky’, with deep losses seen across all sectors. Technology is leading the downward pressure today, as has been the case in the past several sessions.
Investors will be looking at key economic reports due out this week for clues on how the overall economy is doing. The IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index was released already this morning and hit a three year high of 55.6 in March, up from 55.3. The ISM manufacturing report for the same month wasn’t as positive with a 59.3 reading compared to a 60.8 reading in February. All eyes will be focused on the March Employment Situation Report which is due out on Friday.
European markets were closed today for Easter Monday and Asian stocks have been mixed all day. Treasury prices are higher today while Gold is also up nearly 1.50% in a flight to safety.
We hope you had a great Easter weekend!