Economic data coming out of the U.S. last week was disappointing. Initial jobless claims were higher than expected, while we saw lower-than-expected results from the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, the consumer price index and wholesale inventories.
Overseas economies also struggled, with retail sales in Brazil, CPI in China, and industrial production in the UK and France all disappointing. One bright spot: Economic data from Japan was better than expected, with higher core machine orders and producer prices.
Equities posted gains for the week, with U.S. energy stocks outperforming on expectations for strong first-quarter earnings. Technology stocks also outperformed in anticipation of strong earnings results. However, interest-rate-sensitive sectors (such as utilities and REITs) underperformed as interest rates rose during the week.
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Internationally, resource-focused sectors like energy and materials outperformed due to strength in commodity prices. European equities also outperformed, continuing their recent trend as investors seek a relative safe haven from the U.S./China trade dispute. But Japanese equities underperformed, as investors worried about potential fallout from the trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
In the fixed-income markets, long-duration Treasuries were the worst performers as interest rates rose last week (because longer-duration bonds are more sensitive to changes in interest rates than are shorter-duration securities). Emerging markets bonds outperformed as investors became more confident that stronger economic growth in emerging markets is sustainable.
Global equities rose for the week, with U.S. stocks outperforming foreign shares. Within the U.S. market, growth topped value. Our high-momentum position rebounded, while our emerging markets position lagged.