This Week follows on the best weeks we have had recently in the interest rate markets. Monday should, however, see some pressure in bonds and mortgages after such a deep decline in rates last week.
There isn’t a lot of data this week. March retail sales is the most critical with questions about how consumers are spending. Last week the two ISM indexes were weak, and the March employment report was very disappointing with only 88K new jobs and thousands more dropping completely out of the job market. This week starts earnings season for Q2. Alcoa always leads the way and will report on Monday evening.
Probably the most important thing this week is the release of the FOMC minutes from the 3/21 meeting. Markets will be looking for how discussions developed about how and when the Fed will begin withdrawing from the easings. After the weakness in most economic reports over the last couple of weeks it isn’t likely that the Fed has any plans to cut back, at least for now. That said, the Fed is talking and discussing the eventual withdrawal; this is the main force keeping stock markets moving higher. This week Treasury will auction $66B of notes and bonds beginning Tuesday through Thursday.