News Headlines Create Market Volatility
Markets were volatile last week as trade tensions and geopolitical risks kept the markets’ attention. Last week’s employment data was a bit weaker than I expected, with smaller job gains and the unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 4.1%. The most positive aspect of the report was the 0.3% rise in average hourly earnings, bringing the year over year increase to 2.7%.
The week ahead will see the release of the March Fed meeting minutes. I expect these to be closely scrutinized for any clue on a change in direction from the new Fed chairman. The Treasury will also be issuing an increasing number of securities as budget deficits continue to grow. I continue to believe that Treasury bonds are vulnerable in this environment due to a variety of factors.
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High-Yield bonds are subject to greater fluctuations in value and risk of loss of income and principal. Investing in higher yielding, lower rated corporate bonds have a greater risk of price fluctuations and loss of principal and income than U.S. Treasury bonds and bills. Government securities offer a higher degree of safety and are guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest if held to maturity.
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