Auto Industry Consumers Continue Opting for Pickups & SUVs

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 2nd

US Stocks ended the week down driven by mixed economic news.  For the week the S&P 500 fell 0.5% and the Dow was down 0.3%.  Internationally, stock markets fell harder with Japan down 2.4% and Europe falling 3.4% for the week.  The 10 year Treasury yield rose over the week to finish at 2.12%, its highest level since mid March.  Oil has bounced back as well rising 25% in April and finished the week at $59.15 a barrel.

In the first estimate of first quarter GDP in the US barely grew, posting a 0.2% rate.  Well below expectations of 1.0% growth.

In the Fed’s policy statement released after its most recent meeting it pointed to a cooling economy as to a reason making it highly unlikely for rates to be increased mid year.  Current estimates are mixed between the fall and December.

Eurozone consumer prices were steady in April after 4 straight months of declines.

US manufacturing held steady from its reading in March after falling for five straight months.  However, a negative from the report showed falling employment.

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The auto industry continues to see consumers opting for pickups and SUVs with the average price paid almost $1,000 higher than a year ago.  Sales have been aided by lower gas prices and friendly lending terms.

Japan posted its first increase in inflation in more than a year showing easing policies have helped.

Deutsche Bank, Apple, Ford, Pfizer, Merck, BP, Bristol-Myers, Total, Airbus, Shell Exxon and Berkshire Hathaway all posted positive first quarter profit reports, while Twitter, Honda, Samsung, LinkedIn and Conoco disappointed.

Reposted from the Raffa Wealth Management Blog.

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC

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