The latest consumer confidence figures from the Conference Board showed that confidence came in at 95.2 versus 101.4 prior on expectations of the number rising to 102.5. This is the weakest print since 2014 even though spending was expected to climb on the back of lower energy prices. On a positive note, home prices rose across the US by 0.90% month over month and at a 5.00% annualized pace. However, homeownership rates continue to decline after the latest numbers showed ownership at 63.7% versus 64.0% prior, the lowest level since 1986 as America continues to undergo a transition to a rental market. Today’s FOMC Statement and preliminary GDP estimate for the first quarter will likely confirm that the Federal Reserve faces challenging decisions as economic activity contracts. Stocks shrugged off the data, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones gaining while the Nasdaq Composite trended lower.