CPI and the PCE Price Index and Fed Policy
The BLS's Consumer Price Index for March shows core inflation below the Federal Reserve's 2% long-term target range at 1.66%. The Core PCE price index at the end of the February (the most recent data), is significantly lower at 1.10%. The Fed is on record as preferring Core PCE as its inflation gauge.
Positive looking economic data out of China and the U.S. should help the market sustain the favorable momentum from the last two sessions. Today’s housing starts numbers were a tad light, but they nevertheless reconfirm that we are coming out of the weather-induced slump.
Earnings season is upon us. Expect a lot of jumping around this quarter as companies miss or exceed estimates. Although earnings are important, they are also fickle and easily manipulated, which is why it’s always good to remind ourselves, as shareholders, of some of the long-term time-tested ways in which companies deliver value not merely over one quarter to the next, but over years and years to come.
None of us likes to imagine what will happen after we pass away. It's too sobering. But what will life be like after your death? And no, I'm not talking about an afterlife, I'm talking about life after death: not yours, but your family's. What will their life look like after you pass?
After hibernating this winter, U.S. consumers appear to be opening their wallets again. March retail sales data were strong across the board — the only exceptions were spending on gasoline and electronics, which contracted month-over-month.
Stocks have been rallying today after last week’s anxiety inducing sell-off, with this morning’s positive earnings and economic data also helping the mood. A lot is riding on the Q1 earnings season which ramps up this week, with more than 50 S&P 500 members announcing results.
The markets were down big this week, with much of the profit-taking in high growth stocks and popular momentum names. Although economic data here in the U.S. continues to improve, the market was showing signs of exhaustion over the past couple months as less stocks were participating in the rally to new highs.