May 30, 2018
The nation's deficit in goods trade was enormously large in April, at $68.2 billion, but still much lower than prior months in what is an early positive for second-quarter GDP. Interestingly, a sharp drop in imports of consumer goods, something that highlights ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China, was behind much of the improvement. Tariffs and risk of trade wars were topics of concern in today's Beige Book with their effects, however, limited but including higher prices for steel and aluminum.
Yesterday's risk-off run on Italy eased as the Dow, which lost 1.6 percent yesterday, rose 1.3 percent today to 24,667. But the movement out of bonds was not as heavy as yesterday's movement into bonds with the 10-year yield, which fell 15 basis points yesterday, up only 7 basis points to 2.85 percent. But gains were fully reversed for the dollar index which rose 0.8 percent yesterday and fell 0.8 percent today, ending at 94.10. Oil bounced back higher, up $1-1/2 and near $68.50, while gold, at $1,305, continues to hold steady.