Depending on your source we have at least 4 – and as many as 7 Fed yakkers today. Unlike past times when there were disagreements in policy I think the Fed folks will generally be in agreement that another ¼% rate hike is needed in May–and I think we will see that hike.
Today we have economic news that could move markets. We have the weekly 1st time unemployment claims at 7:30 a.m. (central)–forecast is for 244,000 versus 239,000 last week. Continuing claims were at 1.81 million last week–and both new claims and continuing claims have been climbing slowly. Also at that time we have the Philly Fed Manufacturing number–forecast is -20 after a -23 last month. Remember we had a huge bounce higher in the New York manufacturing survey recently so we will see if these are in sync–or just pure baloney numbers. At 9 a.m. we have leading economic indicators (LEI) forecast at a -.7% versus -.3% last month.
Last night we had earnings from Zion Bancorp (ZION)–deposits fell by 16%, but commercial loan losses were manageable and the company pointed out their commercial loan portfolio is well diversified by sector and geography. I hope that all of these regionals are managed by competent folks as they have their job cut out for them especially if the recession arrives.
I did nothing yesterday–not even opening accounts until after market close. With my current portfolio composition I see a very much reduced amount of movement on a day to day basis and that is comforting. We’ll see how that changes as CDs and treasuries mature–my laddered holdings range mostly from 3 month to 3 years with maturities virtually monthly–although I did go ahead and lock down small CDs as far out as 5 years.
Well let’s get this day going–equities looking a bit soft, but who knows whether that is how the day goes.