Quiet week for equities. Thus far this week, the S&P 500 Index has traded in a less than 1% range, a welcome way to consolidate gains following one of the best first quarters in history. With the index less than 2% from all-time closing highs (a level that may act as technical resistance) a pullback could potentially be in the cards, though we would look for support near the 2817 level as well as the 200-day moving average at 2762. Remember, 9 of the past 10 times the S&P was up at least 10% during the first quarter, the rest of the year was also green.
Jobless claims hit new lows. Unemployment filings came in at 196K last week, hitting their lowest level since October 1969, while the four-week moving average also hit a post-1969 low of 207K. The data, which follows last week’s strong jobs report, indicates the U.S. labor market remains robust as employers continue to add to payrolls.
China exports rebound, stimulus efforts boost lending. Exports surged 14.2% in March after February saw a 20.8% decline. Economists suggested holidays caused the volatility, though consensus expectations were only calling for a 6.5% increase. Meanwhile, total bank lending hit a new record in the first quarter as the 13.7% increase in outstanding loans marked the fastest pace in three years, suggesting government stimulus efforts to drive small- and medium-sized business activity is working.
- Import Price Index (Mar)
- Export Price Index (Mar)
- University of Michigan Sentiment Index (Preliminary, Apr)
- Eurozone Industrial Production (Feb)
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