Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through April 17th

US stock continued to grind higher setting new record highs on strong economic news and earnings reports.  The S&P 500 was up 1.4% and the Dow gained 1.2% for the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US gained 1.6% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury yield fell again for the week to settle at 1.57%.

The CPI rose 2.6% for the year ending in March, a notable pick-up inflation, however without the volatile food and energy sectors inflation increased 1.6%.

Health officials recommended pausing use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Fed Chair Powell said the Fed would cut bond purchases “well before” raising the Fed funds rate.

China reported first quarter growth of 18.3%, a record.

US retail sales jumped 9.8% in March, the largest gain since last May when the country first began recovering from the pandemic.

First time applications for unemployment benefits fell to 576,000 over the past week, the lowest level since the pandemic began.

Large banks including Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan reported earnings that significantly topped expectations.

Analysts project the S&P 500 companies will increase first quarter earnings by 27% from a year ago.

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