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Bob Carey
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  US Economy and Credit Markets Ended March 29, 2019
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

Bond prices continued to rally last week as the market digests lower rate expectations. Concurrent to rising bond prices, the yield curve has flattened through the first quarter of 2019. February Housing Starts data was released last Tuesday and it showed a steep decline of 8.7% in February and a decline of 9.9% from the prior year. However, mortgage rates have quickly fallen as a result of falling interest rates and the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is at its lowest level since January 2018 according to Freddie Mac. Lower rates could accelerate refinancing activity and housing starts. Also, on Tuesday, the Real GDP Growth for Q4 was revised to 2.2% from a prior estimate of 2.6%. The GDP price index was also revised down, and nominal GDP growth was revised down to 4.1% but was still up 5.2% versus one year ago. Corporate profits for the quarter were also down. Ending last week market participants learned that personal income rose 0.2% in February and new Single-Family Home Sales rose 4.9% in February. Next week has a flurry of economic reports as March job data will be released. Major economic reports (related consensus forecasts, prior data) for the upcoming week include: Monday: February Retail Sales Advance (0.3%, 0.2%), March final Markit US Manufacturing PMI (52.5, unch.), March ISM Manufacturing PMI (52.5, unch.) and February Construction Spending (-0.2%, 1.3%); Tuesday: February preliminary Durable Goods Orders (-1.7%, 0.3%); Wednesday: March 29 MBA Mortgage Applications, March ADP Employment Change (175K, 183K) and March 30 Initial Jobless Claims (216K, 211K); Friday: March Change in Nonfarm Payrolls ()178K, 20K) and March Unemployment Rate (3.8%, unch.)
Posted on Monday, April 1, 2019 @ 7:42 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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