Stocks today traded mixed on light volume as the Easter Holiday is keeping some investors on the sidelines. The Dow closed the day up 19 points to 17,535. Trading volume was very light. As March nears an end the gurus are starting to fine tune first quarter earnings estimates with actual reports coming out next week. So far the earnings outlook is muted.
Last week on Good Friday, while markets were closed, the latest 4th quarter GDP figure came out and it was increased from 1% to 1.4%. While this was good news the euphoria wore off quickly and the gurus were disappointed today as a CNBC/Moody’s Analytics rapid update showed a surprising weakness in consumer spending and a wider than expected trade gap causing the median 1st quarter GDP figure to fall from a median forecast of 1.6% growth rate to a 0.9% projected growth rate. Mark Zandi, said the recent figures “make no sense at all” since job growth is good but not tracking at all with GDP numbers. If Mark, who is a smart guy, cannot figure it out then what chance do I have. Maybe we will get more clarity on Friday when the March jobs report comes out but for now economists are not having a good Monday.
WTI oil prices continue to trade softly closing at $39.36 per barrel as big investment firms are betting that prices will settle back in the mid to low $30’s thanks to a slowing global economy and ample supplies. Gold meanwhile traded down about a dollar announce to $1,220 as the weak economic news today lifted gold off its daily low.
I hope everyone had a happy Easter Holiday!