Compass Financial Advisors

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US Economy and Credit Markets Ended Feb. 23, 2018

 Treasury prices were mixed and mostly flat over the course of the week as the Federal Reserve released the minutes from the January meeting and amid uncertainty in the Italian election. The central bank's minutes were released Wednesday with comments that were read to be more "hawkish" by investors. The Fed saw muted risks of the economy overheating and that the outlook for future growth raises the risk for inflation, meaning that additional rate hikes during the year may be needed. Currently the dot plot suggests three rate hikes in 2018, but investors are speculating that there could be a fourth. However, investors are also speculating that there is a chance the populist euroskeptic party may be elected during Italy's March 4 election, which could lead to deadlock in parliament and threaten the prospects of economic reform. This caused investors to seek the perceived safety of Treasurys. Oil dropped about 3% over the week with an unexpected drop of U.S. crude oil inventories. Major economic reports (related consensus forecasts, prior data) for the upcoming week include: Monday: January New Home Sales (645k, 625k); Tuesday: January Preliminary Wholesale Inventories MoM (N/A, 0.4%), January Preliminary Durable Goods Orders (-2.5%, 2.8%), February Conf. Board Consumer Confidence (126.0, 125.4); Wednesday: February 23 MBA Mortgage Applications (N/A, -6.6%), 4Q Second GDP Annualized (2.5%, 2.6%), February Chicago Purchasing Manager (65.0, 65.7); Thursday: January Personal Income (0.2%, 0.4%), January Personal Spending (0.2%, 0.4%), February 24 Initial Jobless Claims (227k, 222k), February Final Markit US Manufacturing PMI (55.8, 55.9), January Construction Spending MOM (0.2%, 0.7%), February ISM Manufacturing (58.7, 59.1); Friday: February Final U. of Mich. Sentiment (99.0, 99.0).


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Latest Market News

 Stocks fell for the week as investors grappled with higher bond yields, political risks around the globe, trade tensions and higher energy prices. The real estate and utilities sectors, which tend to be bond proxies due to their high dividend yields, lost over 2% for the week. By contrast, the materials and energy sectors posted the biggest gains as investors are starting to price in higher inflation expectations. In economic news, retail sales rose 0.3% in April, in-line with forecasts, as higher paychecks from tax-cuts offset rising fuel costs. In stock news, both Walmart Inc.

 Treasury prices dropped moderately over the course of the week on strong economic data and speculation that both the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank may raise interest rates more quickly than previously expected. On Tuesday, April Advance Retail Sales were solid while March sales figures were revised to 0.8%, and May Empire Manufacturing was higher than expected, causing a risk-on environment which led to a significant drop in Treasury prices. It was also reported on Tuesday that the U.S.

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Securities offered through Harbour Investments, Inc.,
member FINRA/SIPC.

Investment Advisory Services offered through
Compass Financial Advisors, LLC,
a registered Advisor. 
Compass Financial Advisors, LLC &
Harbour Investments, Inc.
are separate entities.

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