This Weekly Market Update reviews the top market headlines: Consumer Prices Rise, Industrial Production Rebounds, Retail Sales Surge

Top Three Market Headlines 

Consumer Prices Rise: The Labor Department reported last week that the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.6% in March from February, the fastest monthly pace since August 2012. A 9.1% jump in gasoline prices fueled nearly half of the increase. On an annual basis, prices grew 2.6%, the biggest increase since August 2018—though part of this rise reflected depressed comparison prices in the prior year that occurred as the economy shut down. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, the “core” CPI rose more modestly in March, at rates of 0.3% and 1.6% versus the prior month and year, respectfully.

Industrial Production Rebounds: After declining in February due to weather-related impacts, industrial production—a measure of manufacturing, mining, and utility output—started to rebound in March, gaining 1.4% from the prior month. On the bright side, auto and mine production increased 2.8% and 5.7% in March, respectively; however, warmer weather caused an 11.4% plunge in utility output—the largest drop since 1972—which detracted from overall results. Moreover, output numbers were suppressed by disruptions to the global supply chain resulting from the blocked Suez Canal.

Retail Sales Surge: Sales at retail establishments jumped in March, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Data showed that sales at online retailers, restaurants, and brick-and-mortar stores increased 9.8% from the prior month, the strongest monthly increase since last May. While gains were broad-based in the month, sales at restaurants and bars were especially strong, growing by 13% from the prior month and 36% from the year prior. Additional government stimulus payments distributed throughout March and a continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine helped drive the strong spending growth rate.

As of April 16, 2021 Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World 1.49% 4.76% 9.55% 52.98%
S&P 500 1.39% 5.41% 11.92% 52.02%
Russell 2000 0.86% 1.92% 14.86% 94.27%
MSCI EAFE 1.66% 4.22% 7.85% 48.51%
MSCI Emerging Markets 1.41% 2.52% 4.86% 55.57%
FTSE NAREIT 2.29% 4.66% 13.95% 39.70%
Bloomberg Commodity 2.97% 3.69% 10.87% 39.57%
Barclays U.S. Aggregate 0.35% 0.84% -2.56% -0.22%

WSJ 04/15, WSJ 4/13, Marketwatch 4/15, Department of Labor 4/13. Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC does not express an investment opinion regarding any specific commodity, sector or individual security. Unless otherwise expressly noted, the contents of this communication do not constitute securities or investment advice, nor should this communication be construed as an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice. The information provided cannot take into account all the various factors that may affect your particular situation, therefore you should consult your Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors consultant before acting upon any information or recommendation contained herein to discuss the suitability of the information/recommendation for your specific situation.