We finally got a “lower inflation” rally in equities that held yesterday, but we’re looking mostly flat in the early going today. Gold and silver are mixed, while crude oil is up a smidge. Treasuries and the dollar are flattish.
On the news front...
We made it past the big inflation numbers this week, which showed a welcome decline in pricing pressure. But the retail sales data today was NOT as positive. Sales dropped 1% in March, much worse than the -0.4% expected. Sales excluding autos tanked 0.8%, almost triple the 0.3% that was expected.
Earnings season is officially underway, with several big financial firms releasing their numbers. Mega-bank JPMorgan Chase & CO. (JPM) reported a surge in net interest income and deposits in Q1, while asset management giant BlackRock Inc. (BLK) said $110 billion of inflows boosted total assets to $9.09 trillion. Shares of both firms rose in early trading.
So it turns out the super-spy/leaker behind the online posting of highly classified documents related to the Ukraine war was allegedly...a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard?? Can’t say I saw that one coming. But that’s apparently the case. Jack Teixeira of North Dighton, Mass. Was arrested yesterday and will face espionage charges in a Boston courtroom today.
Finally, the happiest time of year is rapidly approaching...Tax Day! Okay, so maybe it’s not EXACTLY the best day of the year. But Tuesday, April 18 is the deadline for filing your federal return. At least it’s three days later than normal (thanks to the 15th being on a weekend!)