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FED Holds Interest Rates Steady

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Weekly Economic Update

In this week’s recap: the “yield curve” inverts for the first time this decade, the Federal Reserve adjusts its stance on interest rates, and the price of oil climbs.

 

THE WEEK ON WALL STREET

Friday, the yield of the 3-month Treasury bill exceeded the yield of the 10-year Treasury note for the first time in 12 years. For some analysts, this “inverted yield curve” may imply a short-term lessening of confidence. (Treasury yields move inversely to Treasury prices.)1

As a result, the S&P 500 ended the week 0.94% lower. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.80%, and the Dow Industrials lost 1.19%.2,3,4

In contrast, the MSCI EAFE index following international stocks rose, gaining 0.52% for the week.5

 

FED SEES NO HIKES IN 2019

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady, but lowered its estimate of 2019 economic growth to 2.1%.

Last December, the central bank forecast two rate hikes in 2019. It now expects to leave rates unchanged this year, with one quarter-point hike projected for 2020.

This pivot may acknowledge a slight change in economic conditions. The Fed’s latest policy statement noted that the “growth of economic activity has slowed from its solid rate in the fourth quarter.”6

 

OIL HOVERS NEAR $60

At Friday’s closing bell, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (NYMEX) crude oil was valued at $58.85 on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Its value briefly climbed to $60 earlier in the week.

Month-over-month, the price of WTI crude has risen nearly 5%. Historically, higher oil prices can have a significant impact on retail gasoline prices.7

 

WHAT’S NEXT

A U.S. delegation is scheduled to accompany Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to China this week for further trade negotiations. Finally, Brexit will not occur this Friday, as the European Union has extended the United Kingdom’s deadline in response to Prime Minister Theresa May’s request.8,9

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

  • Tuesday: The Conference Board’s latest reading on consumer confidence.
  • Thursday: February pending home sales, and the federal government’s second estimate of fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Friday: Reports on consumer spending and new home sales, and March’s final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, another measure of consumer confidence levels.

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, March 22, 2019

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision. The release of data may be delayed without notice for a variety of reasons.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS

  • Monday: Winnebago (WGO)
  • Tuesday: KB Home (KBH)
  • Wednesday: Lennar (LEN), Lululemon Athletica (LULU), Paychex (PAYX)
  • Thursday: Accenture (ACN)
  • Friday: Blackberry (BB), CarMax (KMX)

Source: Morningstar.com, March 22, 2019

Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.

 

Scarlet Oak Financial Services  may be reached at 800.871.1219 or Contact Us

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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. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. 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 market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a 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 a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. 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. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. 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.
CITATIONS:
1 – bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-22/u-s-treasury-yield-curve-inverts-for-first-time-since-2007 [3/22/19]
2 – quotes.wsj.com/index/SPX [3/22/19]
3 – quotes.wsj.com/index/DJIA [3/22/19]
4 – quotes.wsj.com/index/NASDAQ [3/22/19]
5 – quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices [3/22/19]
6 – cbsnews.com/news/fed-rate-hikes-none-in-2019-federal-reserve-projects-no-rate-hikes-slower-growth-this-year/ [3/20/19]
7 – money.cnn.com/data/commodities/ [3/22/19]
8 – cnbc.com/2019/03/20/trump-says-china-tariffs-could-stay-in-place-amid-trade-deal-talks.html [3/20/19]
9 – nytimes.com/2019/03/21/world/europe/brexit-extension-eu-uk.html [3/21/19]
CHART CITATIONS.
quotes.wsj.com/index/SPX [3/22/19]
quotes.wsj.com/index/DJIA [3/22/19]
quotes.wsj.com/index/NASDAQ [3/22/19]
quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices [3/22/19]
markets.wsj.com [3/22/19]
treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yield [3/22/19]
treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yieldAll [3/22/19]
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