US and International Equities
The major United States and international markets were higher this week. The Nasdaq Composite was the best performing index while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained a fraction. Communication services, information technology, and consumer discretionary were the best performing sectors while the consumer staples and health care sectors lagged the S&P 500 index.
Fixed Income Recap
Bonds, as represented by the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate, lost ground this week as the 10-year Treasury yield moved slightly higher. High-yield bonds, per the Bloomberg Barclays High Yield index, moved slightly higher, benefiting from the risk-on environment and limited rate sensitivity.
After a strong year thus far, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude Oil rebounded after three straight weeks of declines. In addition, natural gas finished higher for the second consecutive week while gold and silver ended lower.
US Economic Data Recap
Jobless Claims Lag
According to the US Department of Labor, over 700,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week, above the Bloomberg consensus forecasts which called for 675,000 new claims. Moreover, continuing claims inched lower but were higher than expected. This week’s elevated jobless claims data underscores volatility in the labor market.
Next week, the following economic data is slated to be released:
- Monday: March Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) Composite, February Factory and Durable Orders, March Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Non-Manufacturing
- Tuesday: February US Bureau of Labor Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey
- Wednesday: February Trade Balance and Consumer Credit
- Thursday: Weekly initial and continuing claims
- Friday: March Producer Price Index and February wholesale inventories
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