Chief Economist Scott Brown discusses the latest market data.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 6.61 million in the week ending April 4, down from 6.87 million in the week before. Prior to seasonal adjustment, 15.1 million people have filed claims in the past three weeks – that’s 9.2% of the labor force – and the figures understate the degree of job losses (as not every laid-off worker can file a claim).
The UM Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 71.0 in the mid-April reading, down from 89.1 in March and 101.0 in February. It was the largest decline on record. The report held a cautionary tone, indicating that sentiment would likely fall further in the weeks ahead.
In an online conference call through the Brookings Institute, Fed Chair Powell displayed a calm demeanor. While his initial comments seemed to be little more than hand-holding, showing steady leadership is an important role for the Fed in these times. He addressed a number of questions about the impact of COVID-19 and what the Fed is doing.
Next week, jobless claims will remain the key economic data report to watch (these figures are timely and relatively accurate). Retail sales results for March are likely to be horrible (with the decline magnified by the seasonal adjustment). The Index of Leading Economic Indicators will post a huge drop, reflecting declines in most components, but especially from the increase in jobless claims.
|Last||Last Week||YTD return %|
Consumer Money Rates
|Last||1 year ago|
|Last||1 year ago|
|Dollars per British Pound||1.238||1.305|
|Dollars per Euro||1.086||1.126|
|Japanese Yen per Dollar||108.83||111.14|
|Canadian Dollars per Dollar||1.401||1.333|
|Mexican Peso per Dollar||24.043||18.932|
|Last||1 year ago|
|Last||1 month ago|
|10-year municipal (TEY)||2.09||2.57|
Treasury Yield Curve – 04/09/2020
As of close of business 04/08/2020
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 04/09/2020
As of close of business 04/09/2020
|April 14||—||Import Prices (March)|
|April 15||—||Retail Sales (March)|
|—||Industrial Production (March)|
|—||Homebuilder Sentiment (April)|
|—||Fed Beige Book|
|April 16||—||Jobless Claims (week ending April 11)|
|—||Building Permits, Housing Starts (March)|
|April 17||—||Leading Economic Indicators (March)|
|April 24||—||Durable Goods Orders (March)|
|April 29||—||Real GDP (1Q20, advance estimate)|
|—||FOMC Policy Decision|
|May 1||—||ISM Manufacturing Index (April)|
|May 8||—||Employment Report (April)|
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