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Afternoon Note

Trade Deficit Narrows
By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
4/4/2017 1:37 PM

The major indices have come off their lows and are relatively flat.  Decliners are leading advancers 1549/1265 on the NYSE and 1500/1233 on the Nasdaq.  More trouble in retail land, as Ralph Lauren (RL) announced is closing its flagship store in Manhattan.  Kate Spade (KATE) is also getting hit hard today on news that it is still contemplating selling the company, as many seem to have thought this was a forgone conclusion. The retail ETF, XRT, is down for the third day. 

On the economic front, the February Trade Balance report showed a narrowing of the deficit to $43.6 billion from January’s upwardly revised $48.2 billion.  Exports climbed to a two year high, and were $0.4 billion higher compared to January.  Imports were $4.3 billion less, suggesting that demand from U.S. consumers is softening.


  • Fuel oil exports +$0.6 billion
  • Crude oil exports +$0.4 billion
  • Consumer goods +$0.7 billion lead by a +$0.6 billion increase in pharmaceutical
  • Capital goods, excluding automotive, -$0.6 billion


  • Cell phones and other household goods -$1.9 billion
  • Automotive vehicles, parts, and engines -$2.6 billion
  • Industrial supplies + $1.4 billion helped offset the decline in crude oil imports

President Trump is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago on Thursday.  Trade has been a hot button, and in March, the deficit with China was $31.7 billion.  This should definitely give Trump plenty of ammo.

Maybe selling little fat guy NOKO dolls back to china will even the def....

gregg on 4/4/2017 1:51:59 PM

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