Trade Deficit Widened in March

The Census Bureau announced this morning that the nation’s Trade Balance became more negative in March with a move to minus $90.6B from a slightly revised minus $87.1B. Analysts were only expecting a move to minus $88B. Earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that Mortgage Applications fell 2.5% last week after posting an 8.6% rise the week before. Purchase Applications fell 4.8% with Refis declining 1.1%. The Average Thirty-Year Fixed Rate fell to 3.17% from 3.2%.

Also out from the Census Bureau was the news that Wholesale Inventories rose 1.4% last month beating estimates looking for a 0.5% rise. The prior month’s 0.6% increase was revised to a rise of 0.9%. In a big miss in the other direction, Retail Inventories fell 1.4% when they were only expected to dip by 0.1%. Later today, the FOMC’s meeting will conclude with the Chairman’s Press conference at around 2:30 EDT. Meanwhile, Treasury prices have come back from some mild selling pressure and are mostly unchanged in early trading. The Long Bond is yielding right at 2.30% with the Ten-Year at 1.63% after yesterday afternoon’s sell-off. The Two-Year is yielding around 18 basis points. Crude oil is up about a half-dollar to $63.48 while gold has slipped about $10 to $1,766. Equities are looking a little weak.