The Week on Wall Street
The big story last week was the sudden grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 passenger jets in dozens of countries. The financial effects of this ban could potentially impact the airline industry and segments of the economy for months.
While the news created a headwind for the Dow Industrials, stocks managed to post solid gains for the week. The Nasdaq Composite rose 3.12%; the S&P 500, 2.46%; the Dow, 2.25%.
Bullish sentiment was also evident overseas. Looking at the MSCI EAFE index, international stocks advanced 1.93%.
Trade Meeting Delayed
Wall Street expected President Trump and Chinese President Xi to discuss trade issues this month. Thursday, Bloomberg reported that their talk had been postponed, with no firm date ahead.
The latest Consumer Price Index showed just a 1.5% rise in overall consumer costs in the year ending in February.
This number does not suggest an overheating economy. During a 60 Minutes interview last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank did “not feel any hurry” to make a rate move.
If you turned 70½ last year, April 1 is your final deadline to receive your initial Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from a traditional IRA, SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or employer-sponsored retirement plan. If you take your initial RMD from these retirement accounts this year, you must receive your second RMD from them by December 31, 2019.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: The Federal Reserve wraps up its two-day policy meeting.
Friday: February existing home sales.
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: FedEx (FDX), Michaels Companies (MIK)
Wednesday: General Mills (GIS), Micron Technology (MU)
Thursday: ConAgra Brands (CAG), Darden Restaurants (DRI), Nike (NKE)