The markets are trading relatively flat this afternoon. Stocks are mixed after bank earnings and as investors continue to look at safer assets such as Gold (trading up $1287/oz.) and U.S. Treasuries. The 10 year continues to decline and is currently trading at 2.25%.
According to the University of Michigan, consumers are feeling better in early April. The Index of Consumer Sentiment reading of 98 beat the street’s expectation for a decrease to 96.5 from the March final read of 96.9. This was mainly due to more favorable views of Current Economic Conditions, which is the highest read since 2000, and it is close to the all-time high of 121.1 reached in 1999.
The Expectation Index inched up, but is basically unchanged over the past 3 months. More consumers think the economy will fundamentally shift in the future and that the partisan gap must be reduced to bring economic expectations “in line with reality.”
Decliners led advancers 1812/990 on the NYSE and 1674/1057 on the Nasdaq. Financials and Technology are leading today, while the energy sector is down with oil relatively flat. According to the IEA (International Energy Agency), OPEC and non-OPEC supply cuts are beginning to have an impact as the crude oil market is nearing a balance.
The stock market is closed tomorrow for Good Friday. Let’s stay on the sidelines for the remainder of the day.
Have a safe holiday weekend. Happy Easter.
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