Archive for April 2017

Monthly Market Brief-April 2017

Each month, our Heritage Investment team publishes a market brief to provide an overview of the major factors influencing the US economy, including a summary of key sectors and the current positives & challenges.

Click Market Brief April 2017 for April 2017 updates.

Here are some key highlights:

POSITIVES:

  • Construction spending rose 0.8% in February with a 1.2% increase in residential construction spending on single-family homes driving the results
  • Initial jobless claims declined a sharp 25,000 to 234,000 while the unemployment rate declined two tenths to 4.5%

CHALLENGES:

  • Non-farm payrolls added just 98,000 jobs in March, but the weaker-than-expected results may be at least partially explained by the winter storm that swept the Northeast
  • The continued contraction in vehicle sales points to weakness in consumer spending as the annualized rate fell to 16.6 million in March
  • The increasing trade deficit in response to period dollar strength and strong U.S. demand for foreign goods is not a positive indicator for first quarter GDP
  • With an unsuccessful attempt to repeal Obamacare last month, the market appears to be scaling back its growth expectations with declining demand for stocks and increasing demand for long-term treasuries.