U.S. and World News
- The sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States in November have cut Iran’s oil exports by roughly 1 million barrels per day, and after Thursday’s waivers have expired to some of Iran’s biggest customers, exports are expected to fall by another several hundred thousand barrels per day. At a time of heightened tensions, Iran’s oil minister warned that OPEC is “likely to collapse” due to unilateralism by certain members. Iran appears to be referring to Saudi Arabia’s and the United Arab Emirates’ cooperation with the United States in offsetting the reduction in supply of oil to stabilize prices, and causing substantial economic damage to Iran. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh told an Iranian news agency that “Iran is an OPEC member just for its interests and if certain OPEC members want to threaten and endanger Iran, Iran will not refrain from responding to them”. The next OPEC meeting is scheduled for June 25-26 in Vienna, where the members will decide whether to keep in place an oil supply limit that was established in January.
- Markets ended the week relatively unchanged from last week. The S&P 500 rose 0.22% and closed at 2,946. The Dow Jones fell 0.14% and closed at 26,505. Year to date, the S&P is up 18.21% and the Dow Jones is up 14.37%.
- Yields rose higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.32% and 2.53, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil dropped this week. Prices fell 2.27% and closed at $61.68 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 35.83%.
- The spot price of Gold fell 0.55% this week and closed at $1,279.11 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 0.26%.
- Initial jobless remained unchanged at 230,000 for the week. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 7,000 to 213,000. Claims rose by 7,000 in New York, 5,000 in New Jersey, and by 2,000 in Pennsylvania.
- Nonfarm productivity rose by 3.6% versus expectations for a 2.4% increase
- The core PCE index rose by 0.06% versus expectations for a 0.1% increase and the year-over-year rate fell to 1.55% versus expectations for 1.70%
- Personal income rose by 0.1% versus expectations for a 0.4% increase
- Personal spending rose by 0.9% versus expectations for a 0.7% increase
- The Conference Board index of consumer confidence rose by 5.0 points to 129.2 versus expectations for a reading of 126.8
- Pending home sales rose by 3.8% versus expectations for a 1.5% increase
- Private sector employment rose by 275,000 versus expectations for a 180,000 increase
- The ISM manufacturing index fell 2.5 points to 52.8 versus expectations for a reading of 55.0
- The ISM non-manufacturing index fell 0.6 points to 55.5 versus expectations for a reading of 57.0
- Construction spending fell by 0.9% versus expectations for a flat reading
- Factory orders rose by 1.9% versus expectations for a 1.6% increase
- Nonfarm payrolls rose by 263,000 versus expectations for a 190,000 increase
- The unemployment rate fell to 3.6% versus expectations for a reading of 3.8%
- Average hourly earnings rose 0.2% versus expectations for a 0.3% increase and the year-over-year rate remained stable at 3.2%
Fact of the Week
- On Wednesday 5/01/19, the USA began its 119th month of an economic expansion. The average length of all 33 expansions in the country since 1854 (not counting the current expansion) is 58 months(source: National Bureau of Economic Research).
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