Week of April 15 - 19, 2019

Maureen Kelliher, CFA

Maureen Kelliher, CFA

April 23, 2019

Weekly Economic Review

Weekly Macro Updates

Initial Jobless Claims (April 13) 205k est., 192k actual, 197k prior
Continuing Claims (Apr 6) 1722k est., 1653k actual, 1716k prior
Retail Sales Ex Auto and Gas (Mar) 0.4% est., 0.9% actual, -0.7% prior: R-
Retail Sales Control Group (Mar) 0.4% est., 1.0% actual, -0.3% prior: R-
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Business Outlook (Apr) 11.0 est., 8.5 actual, 13.7 prior
Markit US Composite PMI (Apr P) 52.8 actual, 54.6 prior
Leading Index (Mar) 0.4% est., 0.4% actual, 0.1% prior: R-
Housing Start MoM (Mar) 5.4% est., -0.3% actual, -12.0% prior: R-
Building Permits MoM (Mar) 0.7% est., -1.7% actual, -2.0% prior: R-
Existing Home Sales MoM (Mar) -3.8% est., -4.9% actual, 11.2% prior: R-
New Home Sales MoM (Mar) -2.7% est., 4.5% actual, 5.9% prior: R+
FHFA House Price Index MoM (Feb) 0.5% est., 0.3% actual, 0.6% prior
Chicago Federal National Activity Index (Mar) -0.10 est., 0.15 actual, -0.31 prior: R-
Richmond Federal Manufacturing Index (Apr) 10 est., 3 actual, 10 prior

 Strong or Improving
 Inconclusive or lacking trend
 Weak or declining
R+ Revised up
R- Revised down

Capital Market Implications

After hitting a soft patch in the wake of the Christmas holiday season, retail sales in March rebounded and posted their best showing since 2017, up 1.0%.  Sales picked up as Easter and Passover approached and as consumers received their 2018 tax rebates.  Interestingly, data suggests the US taxpayer uses his/her excess withholdings as a form of forced savings, which they spend when received.  The housing market however was less sanguine in March, as although new home sales increased more than 4.0% for the month, housing starts, building permits and existing home sales all declined.  For the first time in some time, there was good news abroad last week, as GDP, industrial production and retail sales from China were positive and well ahead of estimates.

Last week, although most corporate earnings announcements were healthy, equity markets remained mixed.  For the week overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6% while the S&P 500 Index ended flat.  As drug pricing was still the “hot” topic in Washington, healthcare was the poorest performing sector for the second consecutive week, off -4.4%.  Conversely, after a number of better-than-expected earnings reports, investors bid up the industrial, consumer staple and technology sectors.  With encouraging economic reports out of Asia, foreign markets rallied, gaining 0.4% on average for the week.  Finally, in anticipation of the weekend holiday, bond markets closed early last week. As such, interest rates and bond prices ended the week relatively unchanged.