[Chart courtesy of MarketWatch.com]
1. Moving The Markets
Wall Street fell Monday morning, a day after the current bull market’s fifth anniversary, weighed down by unexpectedly weak trade data from China, which resulted in a halt to the market’s record performance. Data out over the weekend showed that Chinese exports in February dropped 18.1% from a year ago, versus expectations of a 5% increase. Some economists say that the data is distorted by the long Lunar New Year that took place at the end of January.
In equities, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR) announced its decision to change its name to Keurig Green Mountain, Inc to reflect its current business and goal in the future. It will remain trading its stock under the ticker symbol “GMCR” at the Nasdaq stock exchange. Last month, GMCR announced the completion of its transaction with The Coca-Cola Company (KO). The beverage giant agreed to acquire a minority stake in the specialty coffee company for $1.25 billion. The stock closed the day down about 1.9%.
We received a strong indication from the Fed today that they will continue to wind down their bond buying program. Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Fed, stated that the Federal Reserve will continue to trim its monthly asset purchases at a rate of $10 billion. With the bond buying winding down, the Fed’s more immediate challenge is re-writing a pledge to keep rates near zero until well after the unemployment rate falls below 6.5 percent. Because joblessness has fallen quickly to 6.7 percent, policymakers are debating how to adjust that pledge without giving the impression they will tighten policy any time soon.
Our 10 ETFs in the Spotlight pulled back slightly with none of them making new highs today but 8 of them are currently showing gains YTD.