In the U.S.: The US trade deficit in goods grew 10% last year to just over $891B, the widest on record. The reports dealt a blow to the current administrations trade policies which were meant to narrow the trade gap. February nonfarm payrolls were up only 20K which missed the180K consensus estimate. Although unknown factors such as the impact from the government shutdown and inclement weather could have altered the data, the report was disappointing and could factor into future Fed policy decisions. In earnings, 486 companies in the S&P 500 Index have reported, 71.4% beat, 1.2% were in-line, and 27.4% missed estimates. REIT Focus: An article in the WSJ highlighted that shopping center owners were warming up to the
In the U.S.: Reuters highlighted comments from Fed Chair Powell, who said signs of upward pressure on inflation appeared muted despite a tight labor market. Powell noted that productivity had shown signs of improvement which could help to allow wages to increase without adding to inflationary pressures. In earnings, 485 companies in the S&P 500 Index have reported, 71.5% beat, 1.3% were in-line, and 27.2% missed estimates. REIT Focus: Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) reported that it planned to cut costs by closing most retail store locations and that it was shifting to an online only sales model. The news could be viewed as a negative for Mall REITs such as Macerich Company (MAC), Simon Property Group (SPG), and Taubman Centers, Inc.
In the U.S.: February IHS Markit flash manufacturing PMI was 53.7 versus the consensus estimate of 54.8. The reading marked a 17 month low as new order demand slowed considerably. In earnings, 447 companies in the S&P 500 Index have reported, 71.4% beat, 1.4% were in-line, and 27.2% missed estimates. REIT Focus: Shares of Uniti Group Inc. (UNIT) fell over 50% this week as fears that their biggest customer, Windstream Holdings, Inc. (WIN), may declare bankruptcy following a stunning court defeat. In REIT earnings, 83 companies in the Wilshire U.S. REIT Index have reported, 46 beat, 4 were in-line, and 33 missed estimates. In China: US President Trump and China Vice Premier Liu will hold a trade meeting Friday
In the U.S.: December U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 1.2% versus November’s revised 0.1% gain. The sharp drop was the largest in more than 9 years and could factor into Fed’s future rate decisions. REIT Focus: Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) officially withdrew its plans to build a headquarters in New York. Wells Fargo noted that the decision would have little direct effect on NYC focused office REITs. In China: January CPI was up 1.7% y/y versus December’s 1.9% y/y reading. A sharp drop in food prices was cited as the main catalyst to the drop. January PPI was up 0.1% y/y versus December’s 0.9% y/y increase. The drop in PPI marked the seventh straight month of slowing factory gate inflation. As
In the U.S.: Louis President Bullard, a voting member, stated that the FOMC needs to tread carefully on policy. Mr. Bullard also stated that the Fed might miss its 2% inflation target. REIT Focus: The Washington Post reported that Amazon is reconsidering building one of its headquarters in New York City, citing local opposition. Both Office and Apartment REITs with New York City exposure are likely to be negatively impacted if Amazon scraps its plans. In China: The trade talks with the US seem to have taken a step backward as it was announced that President Xi Jinping and US President Trump would not meet till after the early March trade deadline. The WSJ reported that US negotiators lacked the