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Bob Carey
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  US Economy and Credit Markets Ended April 7, 2017
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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Despite a U.S. missile strike on Syria and a disappointing jobs report, which could have been reasonably expected to drive increased demand for safe U.S. debt, Treasury bonds were relatively unchanged last week. Economic news continues to be relatively upbeat, last week was a busy week of economic data, and the Monday ISM Manufacturing Index kicked it off with a small decline to 57.2; still above the 50 threshold which denotes expansion. Every manufacturing industry reported growth in new orders. On Tuesday, the trade deficit for February was released and recorded a four-month low. Also on Tuesday, automakers saw the annual sales rate fall 5.4% from February as they contend with declining used car prices amid a glut of leased cars coming off lease. However, perhaps more concerning, subprime auto loans have reached highs not recorded since 2010. Tighter credit conditions, coupled with increasing used car inventories, could present a real headwind to U.S. automakers. The March ISM non-manufacturing index fell to 55.2 with 15 of 18 industries reporting growth. Wrapping up the week was the Friday nonfarm payroll report showing an increase even as it fell short of expectations. Some attributed the slowdown to weather but the March report did follow relatively impressive reports in January and February and may be indicative of a more sustainable pace. Major economic reports (and related consensus forecasts and prior data) for the upcoming week include Wednesday: April 7 MBA Mortgage Applications; Thursday: April 8 Initial Jobless Claims (245k, 234K); Friday: March CPI (0.0%, 0.1%), and March Retail Sales Advance (-0.1%, 0.1%).
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 7:48 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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