U.S. and World News
- British Prime Minister Theresa May’s last ditch effort to deliver Brexit through a deal filled with compromises with the Labour Party has failed as calls for her resignation only grew louder. The U.K. participated in European elections this week, putting a sour taste into the mouths of British politicians who had originally planned to watch this event from the sidelines. Results of the European Union elections will be announced after 10P.M on Sunday and British Conservatives are expected to suffer a dramatic defeat. Theresa May has announced that she will resign on June 7th and stated that “It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit”. The British Pound has fallen substantially amid all of the uncertainty and the process to elect a new leader will begin next week.
- Chinese President Xi Jinping tone has shifted in regards to the trade war with the United States when he stated on Monday that China is embarking on a “new Long March, and we must start all over again!”. In addition, a propaganda song, titled “Trade War” about the U.S.-China trade war has gone viral in China. Reports say that China is exploring a retaliation move in response to the Huawei ban that will likely include cutting natural gas purchases from the United States. The Trump administration has announced a $16 billion trade aid program for American farmers who have been hurt by the trade war. Soybean farmers have been impacted the most as the value of soybean exports to China fell 74% in 2018.
- Markets continued to fall this week. The S&P 500 fell 1.14% and closed at 2,826. The Dow Jones fell 0.63% and closed at 25,586. Year to date, the S&P is up 13.66% and the Dow Jones is up 10.78%.
- Yields also fell further this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.12% and 2.32, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude oil plummeted this week. Prices dropped 6.34% and closed at $58.93 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 29.77%.
- The spot price of Gold rose 0.56% this week and closed at $1,284.69 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 0.17%.
- Initial jobless fell to 211,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims fell by 5,000 to 220,000. Claims fell by 2,000 in California and Illinois.
- Existing home sales fell 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.19 million units versus expectations for a 2.7% increase
- Sales of new single-family homes fell by 6.9% in April to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 673k units versus expectations for 675k units
- Durable goods orders fell by 2.1% versus expectations for a decline of 2.0%
- Durable goods orders ex-transport was unchanged versus expectations for a 0.1% increase
- Core capital goods orders fell 0.9% versus expectations for a 0.3% decline
Fact of the Week
- It would cost about $334 per person per year in Illinois to cover the funding costs for the 5 state pension funds. Illinois law current requires that the pensions funds be 90% funded by 2045. (Source: BTN Research)
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