U.S. and World News
- Earlier this week, China announced new tariffs on $60 billion of American imports in response to the tariff increase by the United States. The Trump administration will subsidize U.S. farmers with $15 billion in aid, in addition to the Department of Agriculture’s $12 billion compensation plan that was put into place last year. President Trump has stated his intention to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in June. The United States also has banned China’s Huawei Technologies from buying U.S. technology without special approval and has restricted its equipment from being any part of U.S. telecom networks. Equipment produced by Huawei Technologies, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, is allegedly used by the Chinese to spy, however Huawei has denied those allegations.
- Brexit drama heats up again after weeks of negotiations between Theresa May and opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn have closed with Jeremy Corbyn telling the media that his party will oppose the deal. The Conservative Party has been enraged with Theresa May over the past month for negotiating with the Labour Party and Theresa May has finally set a timetable for her departure as prime minister in the beginning of June. Jeremy Corbyn added that the strong probability of Theresa May soon being replaced had contributed to his decision to oppose her deal.
- As trade negotiations with China have been extended into the foreseeable future, the Trump administration has delayed tariffs on cars and auto part imports from the European Union and Japan for up to six months. In February, the Commerce Department had found that car imports and certain auto parts harm national security, leading to the planned auto tariffs. Agreements have already been made with Canada, Mexico, and Korea, while the European Union and Japan have rejected the idea.
- Markets are lower after another volatile week. The S&P 500 fell 0.69% and closed at 2,860. The Dow Jones fell 0.61% and closed at 25,764. Year to date, the S&P is up 14.96% and the Dow Jones is up 11.48%.
- Yields continued to fall this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.18% and 2.39, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose this week. Prices climbed 1.67% and closed at $62.69 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 38.05%.
- The spot price of Gold fell 0.63% this week and closed at $1,277.97 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 0.35%.
- Initial jobless fell to 212,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 5,000 to 225,000. Claims rose by 4,000 in California
- The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rose 8.1 points to 16.6 versus expectations for a reading of 9.0
- Housing starts rose 5.7% to 1,235k versus expectations for a 6.2% increase to 1,209k
- Building permits rose by 0.6% versus expectations for a 0.1% increase
- Import prices rose by 0.2% versus expectations for a 0.7% increase
- Import prices ex-petroleum fell by 0.6% versus expectations for a 0.2% increase
- Retail sales fell by 0.2% versus expectations for a 0.2% increase
- Retail sales ex-auto & gas fell by 0.2% versus expectations for a 0.3% increase
- Industrial production fell by 0.5% versus expectations for an unchanged reading
- The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment rose by 5.2 points to 102.4 in the preliminary report versus expectations for a reading of 97.2.
Fact of the Week
- From its closing high of 2946 on April 30th, the S&P 500 has fallen 3.56% to 2859. Since the beginning of the bull market on 3/10/09, the market has had 12 pullbacks of at least 5%, including 6 drops at least 10% and 3 of at least 15%. (Source: BTN Research)
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