After a difficult week, U.S. Equity Markets got slammed on Friday, closing lower by 3% across the board. To cap out the week, investors analysed first-quarter results from major firms to gauge the domestic economy’s health as inflation continues to pressure consumers and businesses. Of the companies that reported over the past several days, 80% offered figures above Wall Street’s expectations, which has helped provide some stability over the largely volatile week. Still, fears about inflation and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening policies remain a pivotal issue, as a rate increase next month would mark the first time since 2006 that the central bank increased its policy rate twice in a row. As a result, many are now becoming increasingly worried that the Fed’s actions may send the economy into a recession. Retailer Gap led the decline closing 18% lower after the announcement that its President and CEO Nancy Green departed from the company. Within the S&P 500, all the 11 sectors finished lower. European Markets closed lower. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde noted inflation may double its target by year-end, amplifying the need to work on normalising policy. S&P Global’s Preliminary Euro-Zone Composite PMI data for April was better than expected, fuelled by a rise in service-related activity. Germany’s Bundesbank said the country’s economy may contract 2% in 2022 if the war in Ukraine intensifies and Russian energy products are banned. French President Emmanuel Macron widened his polling lead against challenger Marine Le Pen in the lead-up to this weekend’s election. As I go to press the Exit Polls have Macron winning with 58% of the vote. In Asia, China’s Securities Regulatory Commission said banks, insurers, and the social security fund should purchase domestic stocks as long-term economic growth targets remained intact. The government of Shanghai announced a new round of COVID-19 testing requirements, adding that restrictions will be removed in batches as areas clear infection protocols. Japan’s Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) for March grew compared with February, fuelled by surging energy prices and a weakening Yen. Jibun Bank’s Preliminary Japanese Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (“PMI”) figures for April rose compared with March due to service activity moving into expansion territory. Elsewhere, Oil fell 2.05% due to China’s ongoing lockdowns and potential European sanctions on Russian crude, while Gold closed 1% lower on increased volatility.
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For anyone following my Platinum Service it lost 205 points on Friday and is now ahead by 1827 points for April after closing March with a gain of 5883 points. The Platinum Service made an impressive 5324 points gain in February, after ending January with a gain of 3878 points, more than making up for December’s 932 points loss, having made 2466 points in November, 1028 points in October, 2866 points in September, 1543 points in August, and 996 points in July. The Platinum Service made 1366 points in June, 1439 points in May, 1244 points in April, after ending March with an impressive gain of 3769 points. Since I started this New Platinum Service in June 2015 it has averaged a monthly gain of over 1600 points I have a YouTube Channel which contains recent interviews I have given This can be viewed by clicking HERE Please subscribe to this for new interview notification