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Afternoon Note

Tensions Mount
By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
4/12/2017 1:13 PM

The markets continue to be in negative territory as geopolitical tensions surrounding North Korea and Syria/Russia mount.  Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is in Moscow today and received quite a bit of criticism from Russian officials.  Investors are getting a bit nervous about President Trump’s foreign policy, and the VIX, or fear index, is up again trading around 15.75. While the VIX is up 13% year to date, it’s up about 35% in the last week.  All this uncertainty is lifting Gold to a 5 month high of $1273 per ounce.

On the economic front, we got the latest read on U.S. import/export prices for March.  The trends point to rising inflation on core import and export prices.

  • Imports -0.2%, versus February revised +0.4%, due to lower full import prices, and +4.2% year over year compared to -6.1% in the prior year period. Excluding fuel, import prices up 1.0% year over year, representing the largest increase in almost 5 years.
  • Export +0.2%, versus February +0.3%, on higher prices for agricultural and nonagricultural exports, and +3.6% year over year compared to -6.2% in the prior year period.  Excluding agriculture, prices are up 3.3% year over year, the largest increase since December 2011.

As for the Treasury Budget, the deficit in February was $192 billion compared to $192.6 billion a year ago. 

The North Korea standoff reminds me of the Cuban missile crises.

William Brown on 4/12/2017 8:26:47 PM

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