“You work hard for your money. We’ll work hard to protect it.”
Market Direction Is Important –
Updated Chart of the S&P 500 and Secondary Signals
Of our Four secondary indicators under our MTI:
Relative Strength Index (RSI)-Positive
Chaikin Money Flow (CMF)-Positive
Money Flow Index-MFI-Positive
More on the Market and the Economy:
Stocks closed higher for the fourth day in a row on Friday on a rise in oil prices and better-than-expected headline numbers from the jobs report. The S&P 500 ended the week up 2.67%, posting the third straight weekly gain.
This week data will be released on small business optimism and import and export prices.
The economy created 242,000 jobs in February and the jobless rate held at 4.9%, while the number of jobs created in January was revised up to 172,000 from 151,000. More than half a million people joined the work force, bringing the labor force participation rate to 62.9% – the highest level in over a year. For the month, health care companies added 57,000 jobs, while retailers added 55,000 and restaurants added 40,000.
The US trade deficit expanded 2.2% to $45.7 billion in January as exports fell for the fourth month in a row. Exports fell 2.1% to $176.5 billion while imports slipped 1.3% to $222.1 billion.
The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model forecast increased to 2.2% growth for the first quarter following the release of employment situation data.
The Fed’s Beige Book didn’t show much of an improvement at the beginning of the year. Half of the central bank’s twelve districts reported “modest” or “moderate” growth, while three reported “mixed” activity. Two districts reported that growth was flat, and one reported a modest decline.
Manufacturers scaled back for the fifth month in a row in February, as the ISM manufacturing survey edged up to 49.5%. There were signs of improvement – production increased and a measure of employment rose.
The service sector grew more slowly in February, as the ISM non-manufacturing index slipped to 53.4%. On the upside, a measure of production posted a solid gain and a measure of backlog orders gained. However, a gauge of employment slipped into contraction.