U.S. and World News
- The decision to hold snap elections in the United Kingdom seems to have back-fired on Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservative Party as they lost their majority with the Labour Party gaining significant ground in Thursday’s vote. In April, Theresa May decided to hold the snap general election in an attempt to gain a significant majority for her ahead of the Brexit negotiations but with the poor results there have been calls for her resignation. The split parliament could make Brexit negotiations with the UK’s European Union partners more difficult.
- Four Arab states (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain) have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar, as well as closing air and sea routes. This marked a significant escalation of a rift between the Persian Gulf countries that has been brewing for a few months. President Trump stated that he wished to “de-escalate” the situation but appeared to support the isolation of Qatar, noting that his message against funding terror and extremism is being heeded by those other countries in the region.
- Citizens of Puerto Rico are voting this weekend in a referendum on the island’s political status. There will be three choices on the ballot: statehood, “current territorial status” and independence. It’s not clear what would happen in the case of any of these choices winning decisively or how Congress would interpret the results. This is the island’s fifth referendum since 1898 and comes amid a crippling economic crisis.
- Markets were mixed this week. The S&P 500 dropped by 0.27% and closed at 2,432. The Dow Jones gained 0.33% for the week and closed at a New All Time High 21,272. Year to date, the S&P is up 9.57% and the Dow is up 8.84%.
- Interest rates edged higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.77% and 2.20%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil lost 3.80% this week, closing at $45.85 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 14.65%.
- The spot price of Gold ended the week higher, closing at $1,267.45 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 10.45%.
- Initial jobless claims decreased by 10,000 from last week, coming in at 245,000. Most of the decreases in claims were attributed to California and Tennessee, reversing their increases last week. The four week moving average for claims moved up to 242,000.
Fact of the Week
- The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has more than twice the number of listed securities as the NASDAQ exchange (8,500 vs. 3,100). Despite this difference, The NASDAQ, which lists mostly technology companies, averages more than double the daily trading volume of the NYSE (2 billion shares for the NASDAQ vs. 880 million for the NYSE). (Average daily trade volume based on 1-month average figure)
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