Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:
In a relatively slow data week, initial jobless claims continue to come in quite low, at 184K in the latest week’s data and have now been below 200K since mid-February. The latest report marks the 10th time this year we have seen claims below 200K, the most since 1969, which had 35.
The Conference Board’s Leading Index rose 0.3% in March, in line with expectations. The largest positive contributor was interest rate spreads, while consumer expectations detracted. Note that this reading was from March, and since we have seen a pop in consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan’s survey in early April.
On Thursday, Fed Chair Powell strongly signaled the Fed was ready to be more aggressive, saying “It is appropriate in my view to be moving a little more quickly.” Following the comment, the market fully expects a 50 basis point rate increase in their early May meeting, with over a 95% probability of a 50 basis point hike according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
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