The Strength of the Market is: Weak
The worrisome developments in Ukraine keep weighing on investor confidence and has, most recently, overshadowed a stronger-than-expected February jobs report. The US economy looks strong and healthy, the unemployment rate is down to only 3.8% and many economists believe it can withstand the soon-to-come interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve. Although, there are some unanswered questions - can the US economy withstand 1.) a continued conflict in Ukraine, 2.) higher food prices and 3.) higher energy prices? The coming months will should provide these answers. Last week, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 were down roughly 1% and the Nasdaq Composite lost over 2%.
Economic reports from last week came back mostly positive: •Manufacturing (Dallas) - better than expectation •Construction Spending - better than expectation •Vehicle Sales - worse than expectation •Private Employment - better than expectation •Total Employment - better than expectation •Jobless Claims - better than expectation •Labor Productivity - worse than expectation This week, investors will look for guidance from economic reports like Consumer Credit, Small Business Optimism, Job Openings, Consumer Sentiment and Jobless Claims.