Announced this morning, Retail Sales for March increased 9.8%, much higher than expected. Sporting Goods & Hobby stores, and Motor Vehicle & Parts dealers were all up more than 15% in the month, while Food & Beverage (grocery) stores were relatively flat. The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials, and gas stations, increased 6.9% in March, which was a bit lower than expected. Meanwhile, Initial Jobless Claims were 576,000 for the week ending April 10th, a substantial decrease from the over 700k the previous week and a larger drop than expected. Overall, a strong rebound in retail sales from the negative readings the previous month; however, the increase follows fiscal stimulus that was recently released. The decrease in initial claims is welcomed, as the labor market continues to heal. Individuals working and feeling confident to spend money on a persistent basis moving forward will be closely watched in the months ahead, given the focus by the Federal Reserve on labor markets and inflationary pressures. In all, bond yields ticked lower following the data and equity futures are higher as we head into the market open.
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