Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 7th

US stocks ended the week down slightly on weaker earnings and mixed economic data. The S&P 500 and Dow ended the week down 0.2%. Abroad, Japan was flat and Europe gained 0.6% for the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury finished at 2.95%, down slightly from the prior week. Oil continued its climb to finish the week at $69.72 a barrel.  Article

The April jobs report showed 164,000 new hires, below expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, the lowest level since December 2000. The labor force participation rate fell to 62.8%, near the lowest level since the 70s. March and February were revised to show an additional 30,000 jobs created. Wage grow grew 2.6% over the past year, below estimates.

The Fed held the Fed Funds rate steady at its May meeting and stated they remain on track to raise the Fed funds rate gradually. Investors expect the Fed to raise the Fed Funds rate a quarter percent at its next meeting in June and are split on whether they will raise the Fed Funds rate two or three more times in 2018.  Article

Auto sales fell in April roughly 5% on weakening demand for sedans and compact cars.

Apple posted strong profit and revenue for the quarter and announced a $100 billion stock buyback.

Trump pushed the effective date back a month for steel and aluminum tariffs for the EU, Mexico and Canada allowing more time to negotiate.

Personal-consumption expenditures index, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, reached the Fed’s target of 2% in March.

Sprint and T-Mobile agreed to merge in a $26 billion deal to create the third largest wireless carrier.



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