U.S. equities finished modestly higher in lackadaisical trading, with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ both marking new closing highs, amid a subdued earnings calendar and a mixed personal income and spending report. Caution was palpable, with Fed’s mid-week monetary policy decision and Friday’s labor report looming. Treasury yields were higher following the data and the U.S. dollar was lower, while crude oil prices were mixed and gold lost ground.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 11 points to 26,554, the S&P 500 Index was up 3 points (0.1%) to 2,943, and the NASDAQ Composite increased 16 points (0.2%) to 8,162. In light-to-moderate volume, 741 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.7 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI crude oil gained $0.20 to $63.50 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was down $0.02 at $2.03 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price decreased $5.78 to $1,280.38 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was down 0.2% at 97.85.
Personal income rose 0.1% month-over-month (m/m) in March, versus the Bloomberg forecast of a 0.4% gain, and compared to February’s unrevised 0.2% rise. Personal spending gained 0.9%, above estimates for a 0.8% increase, and following February’s unrevised 0.1% rise. The March savings rate as a percentage of disposable income was 6.5%. The PCE Deflator was up 0.2% m/m, matching expectations and north of the prior month’s favorably-revised 0.1% advance. Compared to last year, the deflator was 1.5% higher, versus February’s 1.3% increase. Excluding food and energy, the PCE Core Index was flat m/m, below expectations of a 0.1% rise and the prior month’s unrevised 0.1% reading. The index was 1.6% higher y/y, below estimates of 1.7% and February’s unrevised 1.7% rise.
The April Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index fell to 2.0, remaining in expansion territory (a reading above zero), and exceeding the expected fall to -2.6, following the downwardly-revised 6.9 level posted in March.
Treasuries were lower following the data, as the yield on the 2-year note ticked 1 basis point (basis point) higher to 2.29%, while the yields on the 10-year note and the 30-year bond were up 3 bps to 2.53% and 2.96%, respectively.
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