Check out our trike for the Child and Family Center’s 1st Annual Trike Derby! Our AFF team had a great time racing the Lean Mean Lending Machine!
Thoughts to Ponder . . .
- When the past comes knocking, don’t answer. It has nothing new to tell you.
- They say “don’t try this at home” so I’m coming over to your house to try it.
- Smile while you still have teeth.
- I’m glad I don’t have to hunt my own food, I don’t even know where sandwiches live.
And Now on to The Market Update . . .
For the first time since October, the stock market is going to finish a month at a point lower than where it began.
- With one trading remaining in March, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is lower from March 1st by 387 points.
- The reason for the lower value is that belief President Trump will be able to pass his agenda on tax reform in a timely manner has dimmed.
Home prices continue to rise, gaining for the third consecutive month by 0.9 percent, according to the latest S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for January.
- This is the strongest increase in home prices in the last 4 years.
- The rise in prices is being led by cities that have been behind most of the country in price appreciation.
- Chicago was up 1.3 percent, Washington DC rose 1.0 percent, and New York increased 0.7 percent.
- The Pacific Northwest continues to lead the country with increases of 11.2 percent and 9.6 percent in Seattle and Portland respectively.
Expectations are high for existing home sales to jump in April due to the 5.5% increase in February’s pending home sales index.
- Analysts were expecting only an increase of 2.4 percent.
- The Index, which tracks contract signings, jumped from 106.4 all the way up to 112.
First time jobless claims fell by 3000 down to 258,000.
- Many analysts feel this number is a little high and were expecting the number to be lower.
- What is quite surprising is just 2 months ago, a claim amount in the mid 200’s was considered fantastic and pretty much at the bottom of where they would ultimately ever go.
- Not surprising is how analysts continue to change their projections and expectations with little data to support their change in beliefs about the numbers.
The most recent Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped from 51.3 down to 49.7 for the week of March 26th.
- Given all the negativity surrounding what is going in Washington relating to the investigations and the defeat of the healthcare reform bill, it is not surprising that Americans are feeling a little more unsettled about the direction of the economy.
The final significant report for the week was on Thursday with the announcement of 4th quarter GDP.
- With a 2.1 percent gain, up from 1.9 percent in the previous quarter, it appears that consumers are increasing their spending.
- Spending on automobiles was up significantly by 11.4 percent.
This week’s potential market moving reports are:
- Monday April 3rd – PMI Manufacturing Index, ISM Manufacturing Index, Construction Spending
- Tuesday April 4th – Factory Orders
- Wednesday April 5th – MBA Applications, ADP Employment Report, FOMC Minutes
- Thursday April 6th – First Time Jobless Claims
- Friday April 7th – National Employment Situation