Easter Monday

March 28, 2016

Markets are closed in Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K., Sweden, Finland, Australia, and New Zealand for Easter Monday and in South Africa for Family Day.

No meaningful data have been reported out of Asia or EuropeU.S. personal income and spending figures get released later today, as do pending home sales.

The main take-away from Friday’s U.S. GDP report was not the slightly upwardly revised 1.4% quarterly growth rate in 4Q but the deep drop in corporate profits on a scale often associated with recession or near recessionary conditions.

Sanders clobbered Clinton in week presidential state primary caucuses in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.  He captured at least 70% of the vote in each instance.  While Clinton still commands a formidable delegate count lead, her major strength has been in southern states that usually go for the Republicans in general elections.  The popularity of Trump and Sanders reflects a profound loss of confidence.  Belief is widespread that the economic and political systems are rigged but disagree on exactly what to fix.  A poll finding that youthful U.S. voters would prefer socialism over  capitalism is extraordinarily meaningful, since the American Revolution was an embrace of capitalism and creating a political system that allowed such to flourish and adapt to changing times.  Next up on the primary calendar is Wisconsin.

The other big story from this past weekend was the terrorist bombing in Pakistan on Easter that targeted Christians.

The Japanese 10-year JGB yield recovered a basis point to -0.9%.  Japan’s Nikkei advanced 0.8% to 17,134, but other Asian equities fell by 1.5% in India, 1.1% in Indonesia, 1.0% in South Korea, and 0.7% in China.

The dollar is unchanged against the euro, up 0.3% relative to the yen and 0.1% versus the yuan, but down 0.3% vis-a-vis the Aussie dollar, kiwi and sterling.  It has lost 0.2% against the Swiss franc and 0.1% versus the loonie.

West Texas Intermediate oil rose 0.7% but remains below the $40 per barrel threshold at $39.74.  Comex gold dipped 0.1% to $1,216 per ounce.

On the central banking front, an interest rate decision will be announced today by the Bank of Israel, and Chair Janet L. Yellen will be a luncheon speaker about the U.S. economy on Tuesday before the Economic Club of New York.

Copyright 2016, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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