On this, the last trading day of calendar Q1 2019, we see "new" economic data relating to potential inflation for this year. The "new" is in quotes because the information hitting the tape ahead of the bell was for February Personal Income and Consumer Spending for January. Both headlines came in weaker than expected.
Personal Income for last month reached +0.2%, 10 basis points beneath expectations. This is still better than the -0.1% notched for January. The +0.2% accounts for roughly $42 billion.
Consumer Spending for January hit +0.1%, below the +0.3% anticipated. Still, this is an improvement from December's downwardly revised -0.6%, and this headline now speaks to the difficulties we were experiencing during the government shutdown to start thew new year.
New trade talks between the U.S. and China again resumed as of yesterday, with mixed signals coming from principles in the Trump administration. While Finance chief Steve Mnuchin and head Trade Negotiator Robert Lighthizer expressed optimism that talks had started out "productive," Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said it could be "weeks or months" before a deal is finally hammered out.
Much of market futures activity - especially toward the upside - is predicated on the U.S. and China working out a favorable trade deal. The problem appears to be with things such as Intellectual Property (IP), the appropriation of which is the main sticking point between the two countries. No headlines currently speak to the idea that IP rights are being addressed, let alone solved amid ongoing trade negotiations with the two biggest economies in the world.
Lyft (LYFT) ushers in its IPO today at a price of $72 per share on the Nasdaq index. Though the company posted a loss of more than $900 million in Q4 of 2018, plenty of excitement surrounds today's event. The IPO also is seen to kick off a busy year for newly public companies coming later this year, including Lyft's main competitor, Uber.
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