US Economy and Credit Markets Ended February 23, 2019

Treasury prices were relatively unchanged over the course of the week as investors weighed the minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting and kept an eye on U.S.-China trade talks. The Fed minutes on Wednesday showed some disagreement among the officials about rate hikes as some thought increases would be necessary if inflation were higher than forecasted while others thought strong economic activity would be expected. This did not change the expectation of a low chance of a rate hike this year, especially after most officials were in favor of ending the unwinding of the Fed's balance sheet in 2019. Trade talks commenced this week with a report that an outline for a deal was being worked on and that President Trump's stance on the March 1st deadline for raising tariffs appeared to soften. Major economic reports (related consensus forecasts, prior data) for the upcoming week include: Monday: December Prelim. Wholesale Inventories MoM (0.3%, 0.3%); Tuesday: December Housing Starts (1250k, 1256k), February Conf. Board Consumer Confidence (124.1, 120.2); Wednesday: February 22 MBA Mortgage Applications (N/A, 3.6%), December Final Wholesale Inventories (0.4%, N/A), December Factory Orders (0.8%, -0.6%), December Final Durable Goods Orders (N/A, 1.2%); Thursday: February 23 Initial Jobless Claims (221k, 216k), 4th Quarter GDP QoQ Annualized (2.5%, 3.4%), February Chicago Purchasing Manager (57.8, 56.7); Friday: January Personal Income (0.3%, N/A), December Personal Spending (0.1%, 0.4%), February Final Markit US Manufacturing PMI (53.7, 53.7), February ISM Manufacturing (56.0, 56.6), February Final U. Of Michigan Sentiment (95.8, 95.5).
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2019 @ 8:02 AM

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.