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Bob Carey
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  US Economy and Credit Markets Ended Feb. 19, 2021
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

 
Yields continued to rise as bond prices are falling amid rising expectations for increased inflationary pressure. The curve steepened with longer-dated bonds commanding ever higher yields as investors are favoring short-dated bonds for defensive investments as a result of inflation concerns. Last Wednesday saw three major reports. Industrial Production eased out expectations showing a 0.9% increase for January versus an expected reading of 0.4%. Retail sales popped 5.3% in January which was well ahead of a consensus expected gain of 1.1% - the gain was largely attributed to easing lockdowns and the end of year stimulus package. The January Producer Price Index was seen increasing 1.3% also ahead of expectations. Energy was up over 5%, driving the gain, and excluding energy prices rose 1.2%, still well above expectations. This represents the first and only time the PPI rose >1% in a month since the Index series began in 2009.  Housing reports last week included a weak Thursday report of January housing starts falling 6% for the month but with offsetting news of a 0.6% increase to existing January home sales. Major economic reports (related consensus forecasts, prior data) for the upcoming week include Monday: January Leading Index (0.3%, 0.3%); Tuesday: February Conf. Board Consumer Confidence (90.0, 89.3); Wednesday: February 19 MBA Mortgage Applications (N/A, -5.1%), January New Home Sales (850K, 842K); Thursday: January preliminary Durable Goods Orders (1.1%, 0.5%), February 20 Initial Jobless Claims (835K, 861K) and Q4 GDP Annualized QoQ (4.1%, 4.0%); Friday: January preliminary Wholesale Inventories MoM (0.3%, 0.3%), January Personal Income (9.5%, 0.6%), January Personal Spending (2.4%, -0.2%), February MNI Chicago PMI (61.0, 63.8) and February Final University of Michigan Sentiment (76.4, 76.2).
Posted on Monday, February 22, 2021 @ 8:18 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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