Retail Sales Improve Outlook for Economic Growth By Hardika Singh

Retail sales jumped, signaling that consumers are continuing to spend. Meanwhile, higher-for-longer interest rates have intensified the scrutiny of the stock market's record run. And, Goldman Sachs reported a big jump in investment-banking revenue. Read on for this news and more.

Top News U.S. Retail Sales Surge 0.7% in March

U.S. retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in March compared with a month earlier , the Commerce Department said Monday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.3% increase. Excluding autos, sales were up 1.1%. Economists had expected an increase of 0.5%, sans autos.

U.S. Economy Here's What Higher for Longer Means for the Stock Market

Expectations that the Federal Reserve would aggressively cut interest rates this year have helped propel stocks to repeated records. Now that the case for rate cuts is weakening, scrutiny of the bull market is intensifying. Some investors are beginning to worry that future gains in the stock market may be more difficult to come by.

Financial Regulation Wall Street Powers Goldman Sachs to Sharply Higher First-Quarter Earnings

Goldman Sachs reported sharply higher profit for the first quarter , bolstered by strong performance in investment banking and its growing business of managing money and investments for wealthy clients. The bank on Monday said quarterly profit was $4.13 billion, up 28% from a year ago. That amounted to $11.58 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected $8.73 a share.

Forward Guidance Tuesday (all times ET)

2 a.m.: U.K. unemployment for March

8:15 a.m.: Canada housing starts for March

8:30 a.m.: U.S. housing starts for March

8:30 a.m.: Canada consumer-price index for March

9 a.m.: Fed's Jefferson speaks at International Research Forum on Monetary Policy, Washington, D.C.

9:15 a.m.: U.S. industrial production and capacity utilization for March

12:30 p.m.: New York Fed's Williams in moderated discussion at Economic Club of New York

1:15 p.m.: Fed's Powell and Bank of Canada's Macklem in moderated discussion at Washington Forum on the Canadian Economy


2 a.m.: U.K. consumer-price and producer-price indexes for March

5 a.m.: EU harmonized consumer-price index for March

7:15 a.m.: Bank of England's Breeden speaks at Innovate Global Finance Summit 2024

12:45 p.m.: ECB's Schnabel speaks at International Research Forum on Monetary Policy in Washington, D.C.

2 p.m.: Fed Beige Book

5:30 p.m.: Cleveland Fed's Mester speaks at South Franklin Circle Dialogues Series

7:15 p.m.: Fed's Bowman in fireside chat at Institute for International Finance Global Outlook Forum

Research Canada Government Likely to Have Wiggle Room Through Faster Growth

Stronger-than-expected economic growth could provide some extra fiscal wiggle room for Canada's Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, when she presents Tuesday the 2024 annual budget plan, says BMO Capital Markets' economist Robert Kavcic. BMO's forecast, based on a surprise jump in early 2024 economic activity, is for 1.2% GDP growth this year, or 0.8 percentage points higher than what was assumed in the Liberal government's fall economic update. "There appears to be some upside room, " Kavic says. - Paul Vieira

Basis Points Donald Trump's hush-money trial began Monday in one of the bluest parts of the country, where a jury full of Democrats could decide the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's fate. Jury selection in the case, involving the alleged coverup of a payment to buy a porn star's silence, could take a week or more. The presiding judge, as well as prosecutors and Trump's lawyers, are expected to question hundreds of prospective jurors to weed out anyone who can't set aside their views of a former president whose tenure sparked deep divisions. - James Fanelli This weekend's largely mitigated strike on Israeli borders by Iran is the focus of today's trading session, but longer-term drivers stay the same. "Our sense remains that, absent an even larger conflagration that disrupts energy supply chains, market participants will continue to focus on the usual suspects - growth, inflation, and the outlook for Fed policy," Jonas Goltermann of Capital Economics says in a note. - Kirk Maltais Diverging prospects for interest rates in the U.S. and eurozone have widened the gap between U.S. Treasury yields and those of German government bonds , a trend analysts expect to continue as data point to a strong U.S. economy against a tepid eurozone recovery. - Emese Bartha China's economy picked up pace in the first quarter as Beijing's plan to boost growth by pouring money into factories began to show results. - Jason Douglas Fitch Ratings has downgraded the outlook for six Chinese state-owned banks amid concerns about the government's ability to support the sector in the event of stress. The move comes after the rating agency cut its outlook for China's sovereign credit rating last week. - Sherry Qin Canada's annual budget plan is expected to levy higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy to help finance a slew of spending measures, which business groups and economists say could hamper business investment. - Paul Vieira U.K. unemployment ticked higher and wage growth slowed in the three months to February, adding to key signs that inflation is easing and making interest-rate cuts likelier in the coming months. - Joshua Kirby The Bank of England is likely to cut its key interest rate over the coming months , but exactly when is uncertain, the incoming deputy governor for monetary policy said Tuesday. - Paul Hannon About Us

WSJ Pro Central Banking brings you central banking news, analysis and insights from WSJ's global team of reporters and editors. This newsletter was compiled by markets reporter Hardika Singh in New York. Send your tips, suggestions and feedback to [].

This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.

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04-16-24 0715ET