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Bob Carey
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  US Economy and Credit Markets Ended March 17, 2017
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

Treasury prices rose moderately over the course of the week as the Federal Reserve did not signal a more aggressive approach to increasing interest rates at Wednesday's meeting. It was widely expected that the Fed would increase rates on Wednesday. However, Treasuries began the week down slightly as many investors thought the Fed might signal a possible 4th rate hike in 2017. The Fed announced the widely anticipated increase in the upper bound of the Fed Funds rate from 0.75 to 1.00 on Wednesday, but said that they are sticking to their outlook of only three total rate hikes in 2017. This caused Treasury prices to rally significantly. Investors will now look to the data before the May and June meetings, such as labor data or more clarity on the Trump administration's policies for taxes and infrastructure. Also leading to an appetite for the safety of Treasuries was a large increase in Saudi Arabia oil production, back up to over 10 million barrels a day, in a report on Tuesday. However, the Dutch elections showed weaker than expected support for the populist candidate, which gave investors more support for risky assets. Gold also jumped over 2% on increased rates, uncertainty and a higher reading in the Producer and Consumer Price Indexes than expected. Major economic reports (and related consensus forecasts) for the upcoming week include: Wednesday: March 17 MBA Mortgage Applications, February Existing Home Sales (5.56M, -2.4% MoM); Thursday: March 18 Initial Jobless Claims (240,000), February New Home Sales (567,000, 2.1% MoM); Friday: February Prelim. Durable Goods Orders (1.2%), March Prelim. Markit US Manufacturing PMI (54.7).
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 8:30 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
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