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David Becker

US stocks surged higher on Tuesday as investors bought shares ahead of an agreement in the Senate to finalize a financial rescue package. House Speaker was on CNBC telling reporters that a deal was very close. President Trump was on the TV, telling investors on Tuesday that he wants to see the economy open back on April 12, before Easter. While this does not seem likely, there is only so long that the US economy can remain closed before it leads to a sharp contraction. In New York, the spread of the coronavirus is expanding at a geometric pace and is likely to hit its apex just as President Trump wants everyone to go back to work. All sectors in the S&P 500 index were higher led by cyclical and energy. US yields moved higher, along with gold prices and oil.


US PMI Survey’s For March was Disappointing

US manufacturing and service activity tumbled in March according to a preliminary reading from HIS Markit. Activity in the U.S. services and manufacturing sectors contracted sharply in March, as the coronavirus shut the economy down. The PMI flash U.S. services purchasing managers index declined to a record low of 39.1 for the month, falling from a reading of 49.4 in February. This was well below the level of 42.0 expected. IHS Markit’s PMI for the domestic manufacturing sector fell to 49.2 in March from 50.7 in February, reaching the lowest level since 2009. Consensus estimates for the preliminary monthly PMI to come in at 43.5.


Home Sales Fell but Remain Buoyed do to Low Mortgage Rates

New home sales in the US fell in February after surging in the prior month. The Commerce Department reported that new home sales dropped 4.4% to an annual rate of 765,000 units last month. January’s sales pace was revised sharply higher to 800,000 units, which was the highest level since May 2007, from the previously reported 764,000 units. Expectations were for new home sales, to decline by 2.0% to a pace of 750,000 units in February.

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