March Producer Prices and Jobless Claims
March's producer prices were weaker than anticipated, and jobless claims were slightly higher than expected. These factors alleviate worries about the Federal Reserve adopting an aggressive approach to interest rates during its meeting in early May.
Labor Department's Inflation and Employment Data
The Labor Department reported a 2.7% increase in producer prices for the year through March, falling short of the expected 3% rise. Last week's jobless claims reached 239,000, exceeding the projected figure of 232,000.
Consumer Price Index and Fed's March Meeting
The consumer price index for March also came in lower than expected, and the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes from March revealed policymakers' concerns about a potential recession following the previous month's banking sector turmoil.
Futures Traders Expect May Rate Hike
Futures traders now predict the Fed's quarter-point interest rate increase in May. The upcoming first-quarter earnings season will begin with major banks releasing their reports, such as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. Investors will be closely monitoring these for insights into the state of the American consumer.
S&P 500 Companies' Projected Q1 Profit Drop
S&P 500 companies are expected to report a 5.2% decline in first-quarter profits. Meanwhile, despite expressing optimism for the second quarter, Delta Air Lines' shares dropped by 1.2% after the airline announced disappointing Q1 earnings.
Oil Prices Fall, Gold Futures Surge
Crude oil prices decreased, with WTI down 0.6% to $82.74 a barrel and Brent crude down 0.6% to $86.77 a barrel. Gold futures experienced a 1.7% increase, reaching $2,060.