New global growth fears weighed on stocks and sent yield plunging. The S&P 500 fell 0.8% and the Dow dropped 1.3% for the week. Abroad, Japan gained 0.8% and Europe eased 1.3% for the week. The yield on 10-year Treasury fell below the yield of three months bills for the first time since 2007. It finished the week at 2.46%, its lowest level since early January 2018. The yield on the 10-year bond in Germany moved into negative territory for the first time since 2016.
At the conclusion of the Fed’s March meeting they announced they would not raise the Fed Funds rate and are unlikely to do so this year over concerns about slowing US growth. They may be near the end of the interest raising cycle that began over three years ago. They will begin slowing the reduction of their bond portfolio in May and end the runoff at the end of September. The Fed Funds rate is currently set at a range of 2.25% to 2.5%.
Factory output in the eurozone fell in March at the fastest pace in six years and manufacturing activity in the US moved to its lowest level in close to two years.
OPEC and its allies agreed to continue production cuts until the end of June.
Officials from the US and China are planning a new round of talks in hopes of having an agreement by the end of April.
The EU agreed to give the UK an extension until April 12th to work out an agreement for leaving the EU, far shorter than the 90 days UK lawmakers had sought.
Sales of previously owned homes jumped 11.8% in February.