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Weekly Market Update – April 17, 2015

The Dow fell 280 points Friday on concerns about Greece and China.  For the week the Dow was down 1.3% and for the year the index is up .1%.

Impending trade regulations in China that would limit margin trading and expand short-selling and worries that Greece is nearing default after negotiations to bring about another round of financial aid stalled sent markets lower Friday.  European finance ministers are set to meet in Greece again next Friday to continue the discussion on the implementation of economic and political reforms necessary to secure further funding.  In the US, economic data released on Friday showed a rise in consumer confidence and a slight increase in the CPI (consumer price index), in-line with expectations. 

Oil fell .9% to $56.18, ending the week up 8.8%, its largest jump since February of 2011.  The escalating conflict in Yemen and data on Wednesday showing the smallest inventory build since the start of the year helped boost prices.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell 3 bps Friday to 1.85%, down 10 bps for the week and now down 32 bps for the year.  Through Thursday, April 16, our trust preferred portfolios were up over 4.5%, on average, versus 2.00% for the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index. 

Next week’s economic calendar highlights include March housing data on Wednesday and Thursday and weekly jobless claims also on Thursday.  Expect the March housing data to show a slight improvement from February and weekly jobless claims to settle in the 280,000 – 290,000 range (from 294,000 this week).  First quarter corporate earnings will continue as well.

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Ulland Investment Advisors

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