Stimulus Versus Strife

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries increased two basis points to 2.84 percent, the first advance in more than a week and 10 bps lower than a month ago. In economic news, the labor market is viewed as being near or at full employment with the jobless rate at an 18-year low of 3.8 percent. The United States is engaged in trade tariff war with its major trade partners, including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union, which analysts fear could disrupt supply chains and undercut business investment and potentially wipe out the fiscal stimulus. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that gross domestic product increased 2.0% in the first quarter of 2018; estimates were for 2.2% growth, which reflected weaker consumer spending. The $1.5 trillion tax cut package, which came into effect in the first quarter should spur faster economic growth in the current quarter.