The U.S. February jobs report eased investor concerns regarding inflation which is a main culprit to the recent surge in market volatility; the report showed greater than expected hiring with a slowdown in wage growth from a revised downward January figure. Additionally, more than 800,000 people entered the workforce which is the highest one month labor pool increase in over two decades. Meanwhile President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum went from zero exceptions to one with carve outs for the largest importers to the country. The President has agreed to meet, face-to-face, with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un; the first of such a meeting is contingent on the regime halting missile testing.
Global equity markets ended the week in the green and domestic stocks, fueled by the better than expected job’s report and less aggressive tariff news, led the advance. As stocks rebound from the turbulent second month of 2018, fixed income continues to disappoint as yields keep edging slightly higher. YTD each major domestic fixed income index is now negative, but the increase in yields creates the opportunity for investment at more attractive rates. Liquid alternative investments broadly remain rocky in 2018 although real estate saw a similar surge to domestic stocks during the week.
Click below image for larger view.