Wall Street's Top Stories For Friday March 29th

The S&P 500 ended the week substantially higher, finishing out a strong quarter for stocks. In fact, the benchmark index had its best quarter since 2009 as major central banks, including the Federal Reserve and the ECB, have showed a renewed willingness to stay accomodative and U.S. officials have called for the Fed to cut rates.

ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., personal income rebounded 0.2% in February and spending increased 0.1% in January. The Chicago PMI Business Barometer Index for March came in at 58.7. New home sales rose 4.9% to a 667,000 unit rate in February, which was a surprise to the upside. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for March was revised up from a preliminary 97.8 to a final reading of 98.4. Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. rig count is down 10 rigs from last week to 1,006.

In trade news, the White House announced that officials, including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, "continued to make progress during candid and constructive discussions" on trade negotiations during their visit to China and that meetings are planned with Vice Premier Liu He and the Chinese delegation in Washington next week.

Meanwhile, Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow said in an interview on CNBC that he believes the U.S. economy looks fundamentally healthy and that the Fed should cut rates by 50 basis points "immediately." Kudlow's 50 basis point rate cut urging echoes the recently expressed sentiments of prospective Fed nominee Stephen Moore.

In Europe, President of the European Council Donald Tusk called a European Council meeting on April 10 following the rejection of the Brexit withdrawal agreement by the U.K. House of Commons.

TOP NEWS: Wells Fargo (WFC) announced on Thursday night that Tim Sloan, who took over as CEO of the bank in October 2016 after John Stumpf stepped down in the wake of the firm's fake account scandal, is resigning, effective immediately. Allen Parker, the bank's general counsel, will take over as interim CEO while the bank conducts an external search process for a new CEO and president.

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