Markets: Markets jumped in the final 10 minutes of trading Friday.
The S&P roller coaster last week: up, down, down, up, and up big.
Durable goods: Orders were much lower than expected. Think refrigerators, washers, and dryers. The prior read was +3.4%. The consensus was for an increase of +0.8% in February; the actual number came in at -1.1%. Durable goods are up +3.2% YOY.
GDP: The final read on Q4 GDP rose from +4.1% up to +4.3%. GDP is down -2.4% YOY.
Housing: Existing home sales were down -6.6% in February; but they are up +9.1% YOY. New home sales were down -18.2% in February. They are up 8.2% YOY.
Inflation: The metric the Fed watches, the PCE, was updated Friday morning. The last three reads: 1.3%, 1.5%, and now 1.6%. The Fed’s target is to see inflation running above 2.0%.
Jobless claims: The number came in lower than expected at 684,000.
Focus of the week: Markets opened lower today. The story this morning is a hedge fund that failed to meet margin calls. Using leverage, when it works looks amazing. But using leverage, when it doesn’t work… well, it’s really ugly. The hope on the Street is this is a “one-off” and not widespread. Hedge funds are still dealing with the GameStop trade as well (it’s trading over $170/share today). The economic data focus points towards Friday’s new jobs and unemployment numbers.
Indicator focus: Consumer confidence (Tue); ADP employment report (Wed); the ISM manufacturing index, jobless claims (Thu), and the new jobs and unemployment numbers (Fri).