Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through April 14th

US stocks gained over the week on reduced concerns of a trade war and a solid start to corporate earnings season. The S&P 500 gained 2.0% and the Dow rose 1.8% for the week. Internationally, Europe was up 1.2% and Japan climbed 1.0% for the week. The yield on the 10 year Treasury rose over the week to finish at 2.83%. Oil also rose on concerns there could be supply disruptions stemming from unrest in the Middle East and reduced inventories. Oil posted an 8.6% weekly gain to finish at $67.39 a barrel, its highest level since December 2014. Article

Industrial output in Germany fell 1.6% in February and business and economic sentiment in the country have shown worsening growth expectations.

Manufacturing activity was lower in 21 of 30 countries in March, led by Asia and Europe.

Producer prices rose 0.3% in March, more than expected, raising concerns that inflation is picking up pace.

The CPI fell 0.1% in March, the first drop since May 2017, however, excluding food and energy, prices rose inflation rose 0.2%. Article

Minutes from the Fed’s March meeting showed members had greater confidence the economy would reach the 2% inflation target in the next year and stated they planned to continue to raise rates gradually.

The Justice Department agreed to allow Bayer to acquire Monsanto for $60 billion.

JP Morgan, Citigroup, PNC and Wells Fargo all posted higher profits aided by interest rates and the tax overhaul. The results were in line or outpaced estimates, but investors were looking for better future outlooks.

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