Daily Market Color

Rates Steady Following Yellen’s Comments

Yellen inflation remark and clarification whip rates around
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen kicked off a spell of volatility when she said in an interview that the Fed would need to raise rates to “make sure our economy doesn’t overheat.” Swap rates climbed on the news and ultimately reversed a portion of the rally following Yellen’s later clarification that she wasn’t “predicting or recommending” higher rates. US equities also sold off on the news, the tech-heavy Nasdaq falling 1.9% while the S&P 500 declined 0.7% on the day.
US trade deficit rose to -$74.4 billion, a new record
The March deficit widened by an additional $3.9 billion after exports and imports rose by $12.4 billion and $16.4 billion, respectively.  According to the report, “Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $83.2 billion, or 64.2 percent, from the same period in 2020.”
Pace of US vaccination declines by 32%
Daily vaccinations have fallen from a peak of 3.38 million to 2.29 million doses per day on average.  President Biden aims at vaccinating 70% of the US by July 4th, adding “most people will be convinced by the fact that their failure to get the vaccine may cause other people to get sick and maybe die.”  In India, the COVID crisis continues to worsen, as the country’s total reported infections passes the 20 million threshold.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not yet announced a national lockdown.

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