Equity markets had a volatile quarter, and their weakest in the last six, driven by concerns about rising interest rates, potential trade conflicts and valuation concerns. As I have written in the past, fundamentals for the economy and corporations remain solid, and as a result I anticipate the quarter will start off well, as favorable economic data and earnings support positive returns. I also expect interest rates to slowly move higher and approach 3% on the 10-Year Treasury. I will be keeping a close eye on oil (which ended the quarter around $65) and other commodity prices to reinforce the strength of global growth.
On the economic front, the first week of April is headlined by Friday’s release of the March Employment Report. I expect to see continued solid gains in new jobs and average hourly earnings. The unemployment rate may fall to the lowest level since 2000.
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