U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds slipped Friday after the latest round of worse-than-expected U.S. economic news kept market sentiment muted.
U.S. stocks were mostly lower on mixed sector trading, with industrials and consumer goods dragging on the markets, following a number of soft first-quarter economic numbers. Nevertheless, U.S. markets remain near record levels as participants argue that the start of the year tends to exhibit weak economic growth and better-than-expected first quarter earnings also helped support the weakness while volatility fell below historical lows, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“It is notable that no matter what happens on the news, that might have otherwise resulted in some fear factor, has not really affected the market,” Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments, told Reuters. “I think complacency is a big part of that.”
Weighing on market sentiment Friday, retail sales fell short of expectations in April while a closely watched measure of underlying U.S. inflation also showed weakness. When excluding food and energy prices, the consumer-price index rose 1.9% in April year-over-year, the first time it’s been below 2% since October 2015.