When financing a new car purchase, try applying for a loan before you shop for a vehicle. Preapproval gives you negotiating strength – you can challenge the dealership to beat the financing you have already lined up.
PERSONAL SPENDING SLOWS
Consumers apparently chose saving over spending in the second month of the year. Last week, a Department of Commerce report noted only a 0.1% gain for personal spending in February. That happened even with personal incomes rising 0.4%, nearly matching the 0.5% January advance. In other news concerning personal spending, the Bureau of Economic Analysis raised its estimate of fourth-quarter GDP to a final reading of 2.1% from the previous 1.9%.1
HOUSEHOLDS MAINTAIN THEIR OPTIMISM
The Conference Board’s much-watched consumer confidence index came in at 125.6 for March, soaring 9.5 points to a level unseen since December 2000. Economists polled by Reuters expected the index to descend slightly to 114.0. Losing 0.7 points from its preliminary March result, the University of Michigan’s household sentiment index remained high at 96.9.1,2
A BOOST FOR PENDING HOME SALES
Housing contract activity increased 5.5% in February by the estimate of the National Association of Realtors, more than reversing January’s 2.8% decline. The latest S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index (January) showed a 0.2% seasonally adjusted monthly gain and a 5.7% year-over-year improvement.1
A GREAT QUARTER ENDS WITH GAINS
The past five trading days left the three major indices higher: during March 27-31, the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.42%; the S&P 500, 0.80%; and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 0.32%. The quarter-ending settlements: Dow, 20,663.22; Nasdaq, 5,911.74; S&P, 2,362.72. Of the three, only the Nasdaq had a winning March, but the year-to-date column in the table below confirms the strength of the first quarter.3
Monday, the Institute for Supply Management releases its March manufacturing PMI. A report on February factory orders appears Tuesday. Wednesday, investors consider minutes from the March Federal Reserve policy meeting, the latest ISM service sector PMI, a fresh ADP payrolls report, and earnings from Bed Bath & Beyond, Monsanto, Rite Aid, and Walgreens Boots Alliance. The March Challenger job-cut report and new initial claims figures arrive Thursday, along with earnings from CarMax, Constellation Brands, Fred’s, Ruby Tuesday, and WD-40. The Department of Labor issues its March employment report on Friday.
Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 3/31/173,4,5,6
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.
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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.
1 – investing.com/economic-calendar/ [3/31/17]
2 – cnbc.com/2017/03/28/us-consumer-confidence-hits-1256-in-march-vs-estimate-of-114.html [3/28/17]
3 – markets.wsj.com/us [3/31/17]
4 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F31%2F16&x=0&y=0 [3/31/17]
4 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F31%2F16&x=0&y=0 [3/31/17]
4 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F31%2F16&x=0&y=0 [3/31/17]
4 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F30%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/31/17]
4 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F30%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/31/17]
4 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F30%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/31/17]
4 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F30%2F07&x=0&y=0 [3/31/17]
4 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F30%2F07&x=0&y=0 [3/31/17]
4 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F30%2F07&x=0&y=0 [3/31/17]
5 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [3/31/17]
6 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [3/31/17]
Topics: Weekly Economic Update