Daily Market Color

Treasurys Finish the Week Higher as Consumer Sentiment Rises

Treasurys rallied in the final session of the week as yields/swap rates fell 1-5 basis points across the curve.  The yield on the 10-year note looks poised to finish the week near 2.5%, 8 bps below where it opened on Monday after the Fed announced its intention to maintain its current path of rate hikes at the conclusion of its meeting two days ago.  All three major stock indices traded within a tight range today closing to unchanged while emerging markets shares continued to surge (+0.4%), capping a weekly gain of 4.4% for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.  The US dollar concluded its worst weekly performance since January, shedding 1% against a basket of major currencies.

Headline industrial production came in lower than expected at unchanged during the month of February, weighed down by a second weak month for utilities, following unseasonably warm weather.  On the positive side, the manufacturing component of this morning’s report rose 0.5%, highlighted by strength in business equipment and auto production.  The figure represents the largest monthly advance for manufacturing since July 2015, as rising oil prices, a weakening dollar, and inventory reduction aided the sector.  Mining output also improved, displaying a 2.7% monthly increase in volumes, while overall capacity utilization edged lower to 75.4%.

Other economic data released today included a preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, which produced a 1.3-point monthly rise to 97.6.  Most noticeably households’ assessments of current conditions notched a 16-year high of 114.5, as optimism surrounding personal income and finances bolstered consumers’ views.  In the expectations component of the index, the views expressed were largely bipartisan, with Republicans and Democrats reflecting conflicting outlooks for the likely health of the economy moving forward under the Trump administration.    

Next week’s notable market activity features speeches from several key Fed members, including Janet Yellen on Thursday morning.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day and have a great weekend.

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