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Key Measures Show Inflation increased YoY in May

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By PhotoMIX-Company from Pixabay

Key Measures Show Inflation increased YoY in May

by Bill McBride on 6/12/2018 11:07:00 AM

The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI this morning:

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (2.8% annualized rate) in May. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index also rose 0.2% (2.1% annualized rate) during the month. The median CPI and 16% trimmed-mean CPI are measures of core inflation calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland based on data released in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) monthly CPI report.

Earlier today, the BLS reported that the seasonally adjusted CPI for all urban consumers rose 0.2% (2.5% annualized rate) in May. The CPI less food and energy rose 0.2% (2.1% annualized rate) on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Note: The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI details for May here.  Motor fuel was up 23% annualized in May.

Inflation Measures

 

 

 

 

 

Click on graph for larger image.

 

This graph shows the year-over-year change for these four key measures of inflation. On a year-over-year basis, the median CPI rose 2.7%, the trimmed-mean CPI rose 2.0%, and the CPI less food and energy rose 2.2%. Core PCE is for April and increased 1.8% year-over-year.

On a monthly basis, median CPI was at 2.8% annualized, trimmed-mean CPI was at 2.1% annualized, and core CPI was at 2.1% annualized.

Using these measures, inflation increased year-over-year in May.  Overall, these measures are close to the Fed’s 2% target.

Published at Tue, 12 Jun 2018 15:07:00 +0000

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US consumer prices increase as expected in May

US consumer prices increase as expected in May

by Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON, June 12 (Reuters) – U.S. consumer prices rose marginally in May amid a slowdown in the pace of increases in the cost of gasoline, pointing to moderate inflation pressures.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday its Consumer Price Index increased 0.2 percent also as food prices were unchanged. That followed a similar gain in the CPI in April. In the 12 months through May, the CPI increased 2.8 percent, the biggest advance since February 2012, after rising 2.5 percent in April.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI rose 0.2 percent, supported by a rebound in new motor vehicle prices and a pickup in the cost of healthcare, after edging up 0.1 percent in April. That lifted the year-on-year increase in the so-called core CPI to 2.2 percent, the largest rise since February 2017, from 2.1 percent in April.

Annual inflation measures are rising as last year’s weak readings fall from the calculation. Economists had forecast both the CPI and core CPI rising 0.2 percent in May.

The inflation data was published ahead of the start of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. The U.S. central bank tracks a different inflation measure, which is just below its 2 percent target.

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates for a second time this year on Wednesday. Economists are divided on whether policymakers will signal one or two more rate hikes in their statement accompanying the rate decision.

The Fed’s preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy rose 1.8 percent on a year-on-year basis in April, matching March’s increase.

Economists expect the core PCE price index will breach its 2 percent target this year. Fed officials have indicated they would not be too concerned with inflation overshooting the target.

Last month, gasoline prices increased 1.7 percent after surging 3.0 percent in April. Food prices were unchanged in May after rising 0.3 percent in the prior month. Food consumed at home fell 0.2 percent.

Owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence, which is what a homeowner would pay to rent or receive from renting a home, rose 0.3 percent last month after increasing 0.3 percent in April. Tenants’ rent increased 0.3 percent after shooting up 0.4 percent in April.

Healthcare costs gained 0.2 percent after nudging up 0.1 percent in April. Prices for new motor vehicles rose 0.3 percent after sliding 0.5 percent in April.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani Editing by Paul Simao)

Published at Tue, 12 Jun 2018 12:53:48 +0000

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Ben Bernanke warns this is the Wile E. Coyote economy

May jobs report: Unemployment falls to 3.8%
May jobs report: Unemployment falls to 3.8%

Ben Bernanke warns this is the Wile E. Coyote economy

1. Don’t look down: Ben Bernanke fears that the American economy will soon look like a Looney Tunes episode.

The former Federal Reserve chief questions the wisdom of Congress for waiting until the economy looked healthy and then hitting the gas with massive corporate tax cuts and a burst of spending.

“What you’re getting is stimulus at the very wrong moment,” Bernanke said last week at an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.

He’s got a point. The unemployment rate is 3.8%, matching the lowest in half a century. Stimulating the economy further could overheat it, ending the recovery prematurely. And by expanding the federal deficit, Congress has left itself less room to borrow money to fight the next recession.

The other challenge is avoiding a nasty crash when the sugar rush fades from tax cuts.

“It’s going to hit the economy in a big way this year and next,” Bernanke said. “And then in 2020, Wile E. Coyote is going to go off the cliff and look down.”

Of course, it’s difficult to forecast that far out. And investors will recall that Bernanke famously said in March 2007 that the impact of the subprime mortgage collapse was “likely to be contained.” The Great Recession began nine months later.

For now, Wall Street doesn’t seem worried about a recession. Powered by blockbuster earnings, the Nasdaq raced back to a record high last week. The Dow and S&P 500 have recovered most of their losses from last winter’s sell-off.

Still, Bernanke’s warning underlines Washington’s peculiar sense of timing. Congress hit the brakes on the economy by cutting spending and letting tax cuts expire during the fiscal cliff standoff in 2013 — just as the slow-speed recovery needed a boost.

“I begged Congress,” Bernanke said, “not to raise taxes and cut spending as they did. It was the wrong time to do that.”

This Congress is making life more difficult for Jerome Powell, the current chairman of the Fed. The central bank, which meets on Wednesday, needs to keep inflation in check by raising interest rates, but not so quickly that it exacerbates a potential slowdown.

That’s not to mention the deep uncertainty and higher expenses for businesses caused by President Trump’s tariffs and trade threats.

Lindsay Piegza, chief economist at Stifel, told CNNMoney’s “Markets Now” last week that she already sees signs that economic momentum is “beginning to wane.”

“The risk of recession rapidly rises as we look out to the second half of 2019 and into 2020,” she said.

2. AT&T-Time Warner decision: A federal judge is expected to rule Tuesday on the fate of AT&T’s $85 billion bid to acquire Time Warner.

The Justice Department sued to block the deal. It argues that the combination would give AT&T (T) the power to charge its competitors more for Time Warner’s content, or to block the content entirely from the likes of Comcast, Verizon and Charter.

Time Warner owns HBO, Warner Bros. and the Turner networks, including CNN. AT&T and Time Warner say they need to join forces to compete with new competitors such as Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN). AT&T has argued that prices would not necessarily go up, and that it would have no reason to keep its content from competitors.

3. Rate hike coming: The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates this week for the second time this year. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will take questions on Wednesday after the announcement.

Investors will be listening for clues about whether the Fed will raise rates once more this year or twice.

The markets will also be eager to hear what Powell says about trade and the economic risk from President Trump’s tariffs.

4. Tariff details: By Friday, the Trump administration is expected to release the final list of Chinese products that will be subject to tariffs — about $50 billion in all. The White House says the tariffs will take effect “shortly thereafter.”

The United States reached a deal last week with ZTE, a Chinese tech company, and lifted a ban that blocked the company from buying American parts. The deal drew backlash, but some experts think the Trump administration was trying to win goodwill in trade negotiations with China.

5. Coming this week:

Monday — Net neutrality ends

Tuesday — H&R Block (HRB) earnings; AT&T-Time Warner decision

Wednesday — Fed interest rate decision and Powell press conference

Thursday — US retail sales for May

Friday — Deadline for White House to publish tariff list

Published at Sun, 10 Jun 2018 11:31:17 +0000

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Stocks lower on concerns US will be isolated at G7

Stocks lower on concerns US will be isolated at G7

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U.S. stocks turned higher Friday as leaders from the Group of Seven (G-7) nations met in Quebec to discuss trade and other topics.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 75.12 points to 25,316.53. The S&P 500 rose 8.66 points to 2,779.03. The Nasdaq Composite added 10.44 points to 7,645.51.

Stocks were modestly lower earlier in the session after President Trump squared off against some of his allies ahead of the meeting.

Ticker Security Last Change %Chg
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 25316.53 +75.12 +0.30%
SP500 S&P 500 2779.03 +8.66 +0.31%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 7645.5109 +10.44 +0.14%

Trade was expected to be a major topic of conversation at the meeting of world leaders, but hopes of a productive gathering have dimmed following tweets by both Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron suggested that a six-member agreement could be reached — without the U.S. — while Trump suggested both Canada and the EU are using unfair trading practices.

Meanwhile, late Thursday the White House announced that Trump would leave the G-7 before it ends to travel to Singapore for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In company news, Apple shares fell nearly 1% following a Nikkei report that it notified iPhone parts and technology suppliers to expect around a 20% drop in orders. Apple is said to be “conservative” in its approach toward smartphone shipments, expecting 80 million shipments of new phones compared with 100 million last year. Shares of iPhone suppliers also dropped.

Ticker Security Last Change %Chg
AAPL APPLE INC. 191.70 -1.76 -0.91%
LITE LUMENTUM HOLDINGS 59.00 -2.10 -3.44%
QRVO QORVO INC 80.16 -0.88 -1.09%
AVGO BROADCOM LIMITED 257.97 -6.71 -2.54%

Commodities were mixed. Gold was flat, while U.S. oil futures fell 0.3% to $65.74 a barrel.


 

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World’s Largest Hedge Fund Claims Investors Are In Danger

World’s Largest Hedge Fund Claims Investors Are In Danger

Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world, is warning clients that 2019 is looking particularly dangerous, blaming fiscal stimulus that result in a continued tightening of the markets from the Fed.

As reported by Zerohedge, citing a Daily Observation from Bridgewater, CIO Greg Jensen says that “for investors the danger is already here”.

“Markets are already vulnerable, as the Fed is pulling back liquidity and raising rates, making cash scarcer and more attractive—reversing the easy liquidity and 0% cash rate that helped push money out of the risk curve over the course of the expansion,” Jensen explained.

“The danger to assets from the shift in liquidity and the building late-cycle dynamics is compounded by the fact that financial assets are pricing in a Goldilocks scenario of sustained strength, with little chance of either a slump or an overheating as the Fed continues its tightening cycle over the next year and a half.”

And it’s not the first time in recent weeks that the giant hedge fund has hit the emergency button.

Earlier in May, Bridgewater took a net short position on U.S. equities, and said a crucial market driver had hit 10 o’clock. Once it hits 12 o’clock, this major driver of the stock market ends, and we’ll feel the pain because that means liquidity will be super tight.

The hedge fund sees the yield curve for Treasury bonds remaining flat. It also sees oil hitting $62, and the dollar declining 3.5 percent against other currencies.

So should we sit up and listen when the world’s biggest hedge fund sounds the alarm bells?

Coming on the heels of the latest jobs report—maybe we should.

So far, the stock market has been defying a strong jobs report. The June jobs report saw payroll growth at 223,000—the highest since February and far above expectations of 188,000. Unemployment fell to 3.8 percent—or the lowest since 2000. Average hourly earnings jumped 2.7 percent, in line with expectations.

By all accounts, the Fed should be confirming a third rate hike, one that is tentatively planned for this month, and the rising wages could mean a fourth.

 

Bridgewater is troubled by the fact that no one’s pricing in any tightening after 2019, with Zerohedge citing Jensen as saying: “Bond yields are not priced in to rise much, implying that the yield curve will continue to flatten. This seems to imply an unsustainable set of conditions, given that government deficits will continue growing even after the peak of fiscal stimulation and the Fed is scheduled to continue unwinding its balance sheet, it is difficult to imagine attracting sufficient bond buyers with the yield curve continuing to flatten.”

Not everyone agrees, of course.

Deutsche Bank chief international economist Torsten Slok says the yield curve’s flatness is no longer a useful economic signal.

“The U.S. yield curve is not helpful as an indicator of recessions because U.S. rates are moved around not only by U.S. fundamentals but also by many other things, including pension demand and safe-haven demand,” Marketwatch quoted Slok as saying.

By Michael Kern for Safehaven.com

 

Published at Tue, 05 Jun 2018 23:00:00 +0000

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Wednesday: Trade Deficit

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By Capri23auto from Pixabay

Wednesday: Trade Deficit

by Bill McBride on 6/05/2018 07:25:00 PM

Wednesday:
• At 7:00 AM ET, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

• At 8:30 AM, Trade Balance report for April from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for the U.S. trade deficit to be at $49.0 billion in April unchanged from $49.0 billion in March.

Published at Tue, 05 Jun 2018 23:25:00 +0000

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How much longer can the US economy keep rolling?

 

How much longer can the US economy keep rolling?

  @dwbronner

When will the US economic recovery run out of steam?

Stifel Chief Economist Lindsey Piegza warns that a recession could hit as soon as 2020 if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates too quickly.

Piegza will join CNN correspondent Paula Newton to talk about it Wednesday on CNNMoney’s “Markets Now.”

In addition to the staying power of the recovery, Piegza will discuss Wall Street’s reaction to escalating trade tension between the United States and other countries.

Last week, the Trump administration imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from three allies — Mexico, Canada and the European Union. All three promised their own tariffs on billions of dollars in American goods.

CNNMoney’s “Markets Now” streams live from the New York Stock Exchange every Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. ET. Hosted by CNNMoney anchor Maggie Lake and CNNMoney editor-at-large Richard Quest, the 15-minute program features incisive commentary from experts. Newton is filling in on Wednesday.

Recent guests include BlackRock (BLK)’s Rick Rieder, former Chrysler and Home Depot (HD) CEO Bob Nardelli and bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz.

You can watch “Markets Now” at CNNMoney.com/MarketsNow from your desk or on your phone or tablet. If you can’t catch the show live, check out highlights online and through the Markets Now newsletter, delivered to your inbox every afternoon.

Published at Tue, 05 Jun 2018 19:32:35 +0000

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Dollar At A Crossroads

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By PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Dollar At A Crossroads

by THE MOLEJUNE 5, 2018

Continued softness in the Dollar has now delivered it at a crossroads near its DX 94 mark. A push higher from here most likely puts it on course for a continued squeeze higher, while a drop through 93.8 has good odds to continue into 93.4 where the 25-day SMA may produce at least a temporary spike low.

Of course a correction at this stage was to be expected after a brutal four week long short squeeze. As you can see corrective forces materialized the first time in early May but were quickly overrun within a single session that put the old greenback back on course higher.

This time I however do not sense the same amount of vehemence and politically speaking there are fewer reasons for the Eurocrats to get their panties into a twist and thus flood MSM outlets with incessant reports of impending doom and gloom. So in my mind the situation is a 50/50 proposition which is difficult to gauge and needs to be negotiated with finesse. And that’s my cue!

As you know I’m already long the USD/JPY which much to my surprise has now advanced near enough to 1R MFE to justify advancing my stop to break/even. Truth be told I should have probably waited a few more pips but as I’m adding additional campaigns I need to manage my risk a bit more conservatively.

The EUR/USD has come back to its 100-day SMA and that’s a long for me with a stop < 1.162, that quick spike low last week which must have cleared out a hell of a lot of long positions.

The long term panel on the USD/CAD is starting to look every interesting and we are now looking at a possible break/out pattern pushing it > the rising diagonal trendline I have painted on the weekly chart.

Given that perspective and the neckline on the daily panel I’m now adding a long position with a stop < 1.289. So as you can see I’m starting to get positioned bi-directionally the USD as it’s difficult to determine which side will win.

 

Published at Tue, 05 Jun 2018 12:05:02 +0000

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Investors still bullish on US stocks and economy

Investors still bullish on US stocks and economy

Why are the markets moving higher? Companies are churning out profit, and the economy is healthy.

Tariffs, inflation, higher rates, and just about anything else that could spook the markets have taken a back seat. Investors care more about the fundamentals than they do the noise coming out of Washington.

Stocks were up again Monday. The Dow rose nearly 200 points, pushing it back into positive territory for the year.

The Nasdaq, the market exchange that’s home to Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and many other American tech giants, is now up nearly 10% in 2018.

Friday’s jobs report provided a Goldilocksian just-right scenario for bulls. Hiring and pay are going up, but wages aren’t rising so dramatically to spark fears of rampant inflation and aggressive rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

“Investors are looking at the broader data from the US and saying, ‘We’re still doing okay,’ — especially compared to the rest of the world,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager with Kingsview Asset Management.

“The market isn’t concerned with politics in the long-term. It’s focusing more on earnings and the economy,” he added.

And the numbers continue to paint a fairly pretty picture. According to estimates compiled by FactSet, analysts are predicting earnings growth of 18.9% in the second quarter and a continuation of double-digit growth for the rest of the year.

So even if the increase of 24.6% from the first quarter winds up a “high water mark” for earnings, as Caterpillar management warned it might in April, investors seem to realize that a nearly 20% increase in profits for the second quarter isn’t too shabby.

Companies are also showing optimism about the future by using more of their cash and stock to scoop up other companies. Merger mania is alive and well, with more than $2 trillion in deals announced already.

Microsoft’s $7.5 billion purchase of the red hot startup GitHub, a coding company that’s beloved by many leading software developers, is the latest example of how big companies are looking to grow their profits even further through acquisitions.

The jobs report showed that economic growth remains healthy in the United States. The Atlanta Fed’s latest forecast now calls for 4.8% growth in gross domestic product — the broadest measure of the economy — in the second quarter.

That may seem like a stretch, but the New York Fed’s less bullish forecast of 3.3% is still extremely strong too.

Vincent Catalano, global investment strategist with Blue Marble Research, said that investors — particularly the managers of giant mutual funds and hedge funds — need more tangible reasons to sell stocks. And they just aren’t there right now.

At worst, Catalano thinks stocks may remain stuck in a narrow range for the next few months because of all the “howevers” and “yeah, but” excuses investors may find to keep them from getting more bullish. But that’s not the same thing as doom and gloom.

As for that ongoing trade saga? Nolte thinks investors are growing immune to all the flip-flopping from the Trump administration. They seem to be betting that nothing can be taken at face value. It’s all part of an ongoing public negotiation.

“The markets are learning that the tactic that’s being used by the Trump administration is go for everything and then dial the expectations back. Whatever was said today or last week is likely to change in the coming weeks,” Nolte said.

Published at Mon, 04 Jun 2018 16:21:28 +0000

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Why Stocks Are in a Hidden Bear Market

Why Stocks Are in a Hidden Bear Market

By Shoshanna Delventhal | June 4, 2018 — 7:36 AM EDT

Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S equity strategist suggests that the bear market many investors are watching out for has already begun, and will last through the end of 2019.

“Every sector has gone down at least 11 or 12 percent at least once this year. Some were down 18, 19, 20 percent,” said Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson in an interview with CNBC on Thursday.

‘Rolling Bear Market’ Is ‘Fooling Everyone at the Index Level’

While this “rolling bear market” is “fooling everybody at the index level,” he indicated that “there’s a lot of pain out there.” The strategist highlighted cyclical stocks such as staples, homebuilders and many semiconductor names as among the hardest hit.

In a recent Investopedia story, Mark Kolakowski outlined a lengthy report released by Wilson and his team which highlighted long-term stock picks for a choppier market based on sustainability and quality of business model. These included Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI), JPMorgan Cash & Co. (JPM) and Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ).

Wilson added, “A bear market to me doesn’t [necessarily] mean the market has to go down 20 percent.” The classical definition of a bear market requires that stocks fall at least 20%.

“A bear market is a tougher environment, it’s hard to make money. Volatility is a lot higher, so I don’t care what kind of portfolio you’re running, you can’t run as much risk anymore, you just can’t do it.”

Wilson’s forecasts imply a meager 1% gain of the S&P 500 to 2,750 by year-end, the most bearish of all the 18 strategists followed by CNBC. Most investors say that we are in the ninth year of a bull market, and while concerns over a looming crash have increased lately, many do not see a bear market coming until 2019 or 2020.

Wilson isn’t alone among the bears, however. Mark Mobius, co-founder of Mobius Capital Partners, foresees a 30% correction as a “quite possible,” viewing a crash as a result of massive outflows from exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Other analysts with forecasts of 2,850 or less for the S&P 500 include Goldman Sachs’ David Kostin, Citigroup’s Tobias Levkovich, Wells Fargo’s Scott Wren, and BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s Jeff Mortimer.

Published at Mon, 04 Jun 2018 11:36:00 +0000

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Trump starts a trade war; US jobs report; More trouble at Deutsche

Trump starts a trade war; US jobs report; More trouble at Deutsche

  @ivanakottasova

premarket friday
Click chart for more in-depth data.

1. Trump’s trade bet: Markets took a hit on Thursday after the Trump administration opened a second front in its global trade war.

The US announced steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from three of America’s biggest trading partners — Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

The move came just two days after the White House said it was moving forward with tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods as punishment for intellectual property theft.

The European Union, Canada and Mexico have said they will respond with punitive measures targeting American products worth billions of dollars. China has also threatened trade retaliation.

2. Jobs report: The US Labor Department will publish its May jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The economy has added jobs every month for seven and a half years, the longest streak on record. In 2018, employers created on average 200,000 jobs a month. Economists predict a gain of 188,000 in May.

Unemployment stands at 3.9%, the lowest since 2000. If it falls to 3.8%, it will tie the lowest level since 1969 — a milestone in the recovery from 10% unemployment in 2009.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predict the unemployment rate will hold at 3.9% after a steeper fall than expected last month.

3. More trouble for Deutsche Bank: S&P Global Ratings has slashed Deutsche Bank’s credit rating, citing “significant execution risks” in its overhaul strategy.

The downgrade comes one day after news broke that the Federal Reserve had labeled the bank’s US business “troubled.”

The secret designation from the Fed took place about a year ago and forced Deutsche Bank (DB) to dial back its risk taking, The Wall Street Journal reported. In response, Deutsche said it is “very well capitalized and has significant liquidity reserves.”

Shares in Deutsche fell sharply after the Journal’s report was published on Thursday. But they rebounded on Friday, gaining 2.3% in morning trade.

Christian Sewing, who was named CEO in April, addressed the run of negative news in a message sent to employees.

“Many of you are sick and tired of bad news. That’s exactly how I feel,” he said. “But there’s no reason for us to be discouraged.”

4. Sigh of relief in Italy: Italy’s main stock market was 2.8% higher on Friday, and government bonds rallied.

Investor fears of a major political crisis in eurozone’s third biggest economy subsided with populist parties inching closer to forming a government headed by Giuseppe Conte, a law professor and political novice.

“While euroskeptics will still dominate … markets were considering this a preferable outcome to the alternative of fresh elections,” said Artjom Hatsaturjants, an analyst at Accendo Markets.

5. Global market overview: US stock futures were pointing higher.

European markets opened higher, while stocks in Asia closed mixed.

The Dow Jones industrial average shed 1% on Thursday, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.7% and the Nasdaq declined 0.3%. Still, the indexes notched their best month since January in May.

6. Companies and economics: Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and Big Lots (BIG) will release earnings before the open.

Australian authorities announced criminal charges against Citigroup (C), Deutsche Bank and Australian Bank ANZ over a placement of ANZ shares in 2015.

7. Coming this week:
Friday — May jobs report

Published at Fri, 01 Jun 2018 09:07:38 +0000

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7 things to know before the bell

 

7 things to know before the bell

  @AlannaPetroff

premarket thursday
Click chart for in-depth premarket data.

1. New tariff talk: President Donald Trump is preparing for a new global trade battle over cars.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Wednesday that following a conversation with Trump, he is launching an investigation into whether automobile imports are hurting US national security.

The type of investigation, known as Section 232, is the same approach the Trump administration used before it slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this year, citing national security concerns.

The imposition of any new car tariffs would be painful for foreign automakers and their US customers.

The biggest exporters of new passenger vehicles and light trucks to the United States last year were Mexico, Canada, Japan, Germany and South Korea, according to US government figures.

Carmaker shares were under pressure with Volkswagen (VLKAY) and Nissan (NSANY) falling by 1% or more. Shares in Toyota (TM) were down by 3% in Japan.

2. Deutsche Bank job cuts: Germany’s biggest bank is slashing more than 7,000 jobs.

Deutsche Bank(DB) announced plans to overhaul parts of its investment banking business and bring down costs.

It’s the latest effort by Deutsche Bank to turn around its business after years of losses. Last month, it ousted British CEO John Cryan, replacing him with Christian Sewing, who has spent his entire career at the bank.

3. Stock market movers — L Brands, Rusal, Samsonite: Shares in L Brands (LB) — the parent company of Victoria’s Secret — were dropping by about 5% in extended trading after the company released lackluster quarterly earnings. The company’s stock hit a peak in mid-2015 above $100 per share, but is now trading around $30.

Shares in the struggling Russian aluminum giant Rusal spiked by about 7% in Hong Kong trading after the company’s CEO and seven directors resigned. The exodus comes as the company tries to escape new US sanctions that threaten its future. Rusal is part of a tangled web of corporate entities controlled by the sanctioned Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska.

The US Treasury Department said last month it would consider easing sanctions on Rusal if Deripaska divests.

Shares in luggage-maker Samonsite (SMSOF) plunged by 10% in Hong Kong before they were suspended “pending the release of an announcement in respect of further clarification on a report containing allegations against the company,” the company said in a statement. Texas-based activist investor Blue Orca Capital earlier accused Samsonite of “questionable accounting practices.”

4. Global market overview: US stock futures were holding steady on Thursday.

European markets were making modest gains in early trading. Asian markets ended the day with mixed results.

Turkey’s benchmark stock market index was among the main gainers of the day, up about 1.5% after the central bank hiked interest rates on Wednesday to try to halt a collapse in the value of the currency. The lira rebounded slightly after the rate hike but then fell again and is currently trading near its record low against the US dollar.

US markets made modest gains on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.2%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the Nasdaq jumped 0.6%.

5. Earnings: Best Buy (BBY) and Hormel Foods (HRL) are releasing earnings before the open Thursdsay, while Gap (GPS) plans to report quarterly results after the close.

6. The privacy scramble: A sweeping new European data protection law that gives consumers much more control over how their personal details are used takes effect at 6.01 p.m. ET.

Regulators say the rules are necessary to protect consumers in an era of huge cyberattacks and data leaks.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to any organization that holds or uses data on people inside the European Union.

Companies are engaged in a last-minute scramble to ensure they are compliant with the rules. Many are sending out emails to warn customers about the changes.

7. Coming this week:
Thursday — Best Buy (BBY) and Gap (GPS) report earnings
Friday — EU General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect

Published at Thu, 24 May 2018 09:19:36 +0000

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Strong dollar hits Asian share markets, oil surges

Strong dollar hits Asian share markets, oil surges

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares skidded on Tuesday as a strong dollar sapped demand for emerging market assets while surging oil prices stoked concerns about a flare-up in inflation and faster U.S. interest rate increases.

Europe was set for a muted start, with futures for London’s FTSE index and the Eurostoxx 50 up 0.1 percent each but E-Minis for the S&P 500 were flat.

Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.2 percent lower and Australian shares fell 0.7 percent. Chinese stocks were in the red too with the blue-chip CSI300 off 0.5 percent.

Liquidity was relatively thin due to holidays in South Korea and Hong Kong.

Even though most major Asian markets edged lower, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan managed to eke out a small 0.17 percent gain.

The index is well below an all-time peak of 617.12 points hit in January, and is flat so far this year after a super-charged 33.5 percent gain in 2017.

“We are seeing U.S. dollar strength and that is causing money to flow out from emerging markets to the U.S. There is some sort of risk aversion going on,” said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

“People are cautious about taking exposure in emerging markets.”

Those concerns offset the boost to sentiment from overnight gains on Wall Street over the apparent reconciliation between the United States and China over import duties.

Analysts said investors in the region were worried about the growth outlook, with the U.S. Federal Reserve staying on its policy tightening path.

“Stocks have rallied several times on the belief that trade tensions were easing, only to fall back down as investors took the opposite view,” said James McGlew, executive director of stockbroking at Perth-based Argonaut.

“While the global economy remains robust and first-quarter earnings have been strong, stock markets have mostly traded sideways this year because many investors have started to fear that the pace of the expansion has already peaked.”

JPMorgan’s Shigemi said investors will now turn their focus to the next Fed meeting on June 13 where it is widely expected to raise rates for a second time this year.

A total of three hikes is almost fully priced-in by the market for 2018 although some investors expect the Fed to be more aggressive.

It was the fear of higher inflation and thus faster Fed rate rises that caused a bond market rout earlier this year, sending yields sharply higher and triggering a share market sell-off.

CURRENCIES AND OIL

The dollar hovered near five-month highs against a basket of currencies, boosted by the U.S.-China trade optimism.

The dollar index was last down 0.1 percent at 93.56 from Monday’s top of 94.058.

The euro eased to $1.1777, within spitting distance of a more than six-month trough of $1.1715 touched on Monday amid continued political risk in Italy.

Italy’s far-right League and the 5-Star Movement agreed on a candidate to lead their planned coalition government and to implement spending plans seen by some investors as threatening the sustainability of the country’s debt pile.

Italy’s 10-year bond yield jumped 8 basis points in early trades on Tuesday to hit a fresh 14-month high of 2.418 percent.

The Japanese yen steadied near four-month lows at 111.05 per dollar, while sterling eased 0.1 percent to $1.3416 as investors prepared for key data that could determine whether the Bank of England raises rates in 2018.

Elsewhere, oil prices soared to their highest since 2014 after Venezuela’s presidential election heightened worries that the country’s oil output could fall further.

The market is also weighing the possibility of additional U.S. sanctions on the country.

U.S. crude added 26 to $72.50 per barrel and Brent rose 19 cents to $79.40.

The combination of higher oil and conciliatory actions on the US-China trade front boosted the Australian dollar, a liquid proxy for risk, to a one-month peak.

As the dollar strengthened, gold prices eased to stay near the lowest since late December at $1,289.68.

Editing by Sam Holmes & Shri Navaratnam

Published at Tue, 22 May 2018 06:44:08 +0000

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Wall St. drops as Treasury yields surge

Wall St. drops as Treasury yields surge

(Reuters) – A surge in U.S. government bond yields to their highest level in almost seven years sent Wall Street shares sliding on Tuesday after strong retail sales data stoked inflation concerns and investors fretted about looming trade talks between the United States and China.

All three major U.S. stock indexes closed down, with the S&P 500 ending a four-day winning streak and the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its first loss in eight sessions.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes jumped to its highest level since July 2011, suggesting an uptick in inflation and sending the dollar index .DXY to its highest close in 2018, raising expectations for further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

“A combination of firm growth and higher interest rates is unnerving,” said Anthony Chan, chief economist for Chase in New York. “A stronger dollar means downward pressure. … A creeping up of these things continues to keep the market nervous.”

Core April retail sales – which excludes gasoline, automobiles, building materials and food services – rose at a brisker 0.4 percent monthly pace over March, as consumer spending is quickening its pace after a first-quarter slowdown.

Investors also remain preoccupied by the run-up to high-level talks between China and the United States set to commence this week in Washington. U.S. ambassador to China Terry Branstad said the two countries remain “very far apart” regarding a tariff resolution, after which White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Politico he supports efforts to reach an agreement.

“A little bit of today’s jitters are related to a hangover to yesterday’s wrongly placed exuberance that a trade deal was imminent, and the reality is we are in for a long slugfest between the U.S. and China,” said Jon Mackay, investment strategist at Schroders North America in New York.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 193 points, or 0.78 percent, to 24,706.41, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 18.68 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,711.45 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 59.69 points, or 0.81 percent, to 7,351.63.

The losses were broad-based, with all 11 major S&P sectors except energy .SPNY closing down. Real estate .SPLRCR, healthcare .SPXHC and technology .SPLRCT stocks posted the biggest percentage losses.

Home Depot Inc (HD.N) shares slipped 1.6 percent after the home improvement retailer missed sales forecasts as the long winter put a damper on demand for spring products. Smaller rival Lowe’s Companies Inc (LOW.N) was down 1.0 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.87-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.14-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 10 new 52-week highs and seven new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 82 new highs and 51 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.60 billion shares, compared with the 6.67 billion-share average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Published at Tue, 15 May 2018 21:41:51 +0000

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Tuesday: Retail Sales, NY Fed Mfg, Homebuilder Survey

 

Tuesday: Retail Sales, NY Fed Mfg, Homebuilder Survey

by Bill McBride on 5/14/2018 06:55:00 PM

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Sideways But Market Says They Shouldn’t Be

Mortgage rates were sideways to slightly higher today, and that’s actually a strong showing considering what transpired in underlying bond markets. In fact, I’d wager tomorrow morning’s rate sheets will be noticeably weaker if bonds are anywhere near their current levels. [30YR FIXED – 4.625%-4.75%] emphasis added

Tuesday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, Retail sales for April will be released.  The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in retail sales.

• At 8:30 AM, The New York Fed Empire State manufacturing survey for May. The consensus is for a reading of 15.5, down from 15.8.

• At 10:00 AM, The May NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of  70, up from 69 in April. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

Published at Mon, 14 May 2018 22:55:00 +0000

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Schedule for Week of May 13, 2018

Schedule for Week of May 13, 2018

by Bill McBride on 5/12/2018 08:11:00 AM

The key economic reports this week are April Housing Starts and Retail Sales.

For manufacturing, April industrial production, and the May New York, and Philly Fed manufacturing surveys, will be released this week.

—– Monday, May 14th —–

No major economic releases scheduled.

—– Tuesday, May 15th —–

Year-over-year change in Retail Sales

8:30 AM ET: Retail sales for April will be released.  The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in retail sales.

This graph shows the year-over-year change in retail sales and food service (ex-gasoline) since 1993. Retail and Food service sales, ex-gasoline, increased by 4.2% on a YoY basis.

8:30 AM ET: The New York Fed Empire State manufacturing survey for May. The consensus is for a reading of 15.5, down from 15.8.

10:00 AM: The May NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of  70, up from 69 in April. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

—– Wednesday, May 16th —–

7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts

8:30 AM: Housing Starts for April.

This graph shows single and total housing starts since 1968.

The consensus is for 1.325 million SAAR, up from 1.319 million SAAR in March.

Industrial Production

9:15 AM: The Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for April.

This graph shows industrial production since 1967.

The consensus is for a 0.6% increase in Industrial Production, and for Capacity Utilization to decrease to 78.4%.

—– Thursday, May 17th —–

8:30 AM ET: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for 217 thousand initial claims, up from 211 thousand the previous week.

8:30 AM: the Philly Fed manufacturing survey for May. The consensus is for a reading of 22.0, down from 23.2.

11:00 AM: The New York Fed will release their Q1 2018 Household Debt and Credit Report

—– Friday, May 18th —–

10:00 AM: State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) for April 2018

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2018/05/schedule-for-week-of-may-13-2018.html#pWv1obwHAriObvIu.99

Published at Sun, 13 May 2018 23:16:00 +0000

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Oil prices: How high before Wall Street freaks out?

Why are oil prices rising?
Why are oil prices rising?

Oil prices: How high before Wall Street freaks out?

1. Boom to bust: Wall Street is cheering the rapid rise in crude oil prices, even if drivers aren’t.

Investors are already piling back into Big Oil stocks, a bet that crude’s 50% spike in the past year will mean fatter profits and bigger share buybacks. Oil hit $70 last week, and it helped carry the stock market to its best week in two months.

Higher oil prices are undoubtedly a huge positive for the notoriously boom-and-bust oil industry — and its millions of workers. Those fortunes are being shared even more across the country thanks to surging US oil production from the shale boom.

Oil’s comeback is also evidence of an economy that’s humming along, and requiring more and more crude.

But that formula only works for so long. At a certain point, higher oil and gasoline prices will become a negative — for the stock market and the economy alike. Pain at the pump eventually eats into consumer spending, the main driver of the economy.

“You can’t argue crude going up every day is a good thing for the US consumer, who has little wage growth and record debt,” said Ian Winer, head of equities at Wedbush Securities.

Gasoline prices are up 22% this year to a national average of $2.86 a gallon, according to AAA, even before President Trump’s sanctions on Iran take effect. Drivers in 10 states are already paying $3 or more.

Higher gas prices are on track to cost Americans an extra $38 billion in 2018, erasing about one-third of the direct benefit from President Trump’s tax cuts, Morgan Stanley estimates.

Of course, oil and gas prices are nowhere near the extremes of 2008. And just two years ago Wall Street was freaking out about the oil crash, when crude plunged to $26 a barrel.

Still, all of this raises the question: How high is too high for oil?

Rather than a specific price, pay attention to the speed of the increase. It’s less of a shock if the change occurs over time.

Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, notes that the US economy tipped into a recession in 1990 when Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait caused oil prices to hit $40 a barrel, more than doubling in just three months.

History shows that when crude spikes by more than 80% in a year, it can pose serious problems, according to Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network.

“This has been a reliable signal of past recessions,” McMillan wrote to clients last week.

Crude was fetching about $47 a barrel a year ago. That suggests the price to watch is about $85 a barrel. That’s roughly 19% above current levels.

Even if crude rises that high, it could take time before the economic shockwaves reach Wall Street.

“For the moment, we’re not close to the danger zone,” McMillan said.

2. Big businesses sound off on tariffs: US trade officials plan to hold hearings this week to discuss proposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Companies and lobbying groups are expected to attend — and they’ll have a lot to say.

Corporations have warned that the tariffs, which are meant to punish China for intellectual property theft, could lead to higher prices for Americans and harm the economy. The Business Roundtable, which represents top CEOs, said in April: “Unilaterally imposing $50 billion of new tariffs without a long-term strategy that leads to economic reforms in China will only hurt America’s businesses, workers, and families.”

It’s still not clear when the tariffs would take effect. President Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said in April that Americans are “not likely to see any definitive actions for a couple of months.”

3. Macy’s and Nordstrom report earnings: Both retailers are struggling to compete with Amazon (AMZN). They’ll give investors an update this week.

Macy’s(M) has tackled the Amazon problem by selling real estate, shutting stores and investing in digital. Sales climbed last quarter, and the stock has risen 18% this year. Analysts say Macy’s still needs to do more. Morgan Stanley (MS) downgraded the stock last week, giving it an “underweight” rating.

Nordstrom(JWN) just opened its first-ever standalone men’s location, a gadget-heavy store in New York that’s designed to lure shoppers with a unique experience. Investors will want to know how customers are responding.

4. Retail rebound: The US Census Bureau is scheduled to release retail sales figures for April on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley analysts are expecting a rebound in consumer spending in the second quarter, led by an increase in sales at home improvement stores. That would bode well for Home Depot (HD), which reports earnings on Tuesday.

5. Coming this week:

Tuesday — Home Depot earnings; USTR hearing starts; US retail sales

Wednesday — Macy’s earnings

Thursday — JCPenney (JCP), Nordstrom earnings

Friday — Campbell Soup (CPB) earnings

Published at Sun, 13 May 2018 11:09:51 +0000

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What Comcast, Disney and Fox all see in Sky

 

Bob vs Brian: Which boss will win?
Bob vs Brian: Which boss will win?

For America’s most powerful media companies, the battle for dominance may be best fought overseas.

Comcast and Disney are both trying to buy Sky, which operates pay-TV services in the UK and other regional markets like Germany and Italy.

The bidding war has been brewing for months. Both companies are trying to diversify as a way of bolstering their influence in an industry that has been upended by Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN) and other tech companies.

“Between Fox and Sky, there’s a dramatic amount of overseas assets,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at BTIG Research. Comcast is still largely a domestic company, which Greenfield believes is influencing its desire to expand elsewhere.

Disney also sees the appeal. Last year, CEO Bob Iger called Sky a “a real crown jewel” in an interview on Bloomberg TV, and complemented the broadcaster’s “value proposition to their consumers.

International success has long been on the minds of American media companies. In a call with investors Tuesday, Discovery CEO David Zaslav used the Sky battle to tout his companies’ own global footprint.

“We’ve been hanging out outside the US for the last 25 years,” Zaslav said, citing the company’s reach in Europe, where it has a deal to broadcast the Olympics. “And so when we see people fighting over Sky, that looks to us like, ‘Hey, we’ve been there.'”

Newer services are also taking notice. Netflix, for example, has been investing heavily in its own worldwide expansion, and expects to have about 80 foreign-language shows this year.

Disney’s(DIS) role in buying Sky is unfolding by proxy through 21st Century Fox (FOXA), which agreed to sell most of its assets — including any Sky stake — to the former last year. Fox already owns 39% of Sky and struck a deal for the rest in late 2016.

But Comcast (CMCSA)seems intent on crashing that arrangement. Last month, it formalized its own bid for a majority stake in Sky as a challenge to Fox, leaving the broadcaster’s fate uncertain.

Now the NBCUniversal owner wants to up the ante. News broke earlier this week that Comcast is talking to investment banks about usurping the Disney-Fox deal, too. If it prevails, the company could walk away with all of Sky, along with a bunch of Fox film and TV assets.

Fueling the fire, Iger and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts deeply dislike one another because of a personal feud that dates back to Comcast’s hostile takeover attempt of Disney in 2004, sources familiar with their relationship tell CNNMoney. The battle for Fox and Sky could be unpredictable and irrational.

Some have questioned whether Disney would be willing to relinquish Sky. The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday reported that Disney may let Comcast have the company so it can keep the Fox assets.

Greenfield, however, called Sky “critical” to Disney’s growth.

“Disney’s keen interest in Sky supports our view that the only way Comcast can take control of Sky is to acquire all of Fox,” he wrote on his BTIG Research blog Wednesday.

The Comcast-Disney fight, meanwhile, may take some time to play out. According to a source involved in the deliberations, Comcast will probably only move forward with a Fox bid if AT&T is allowed to buy Time Warner, CNN’s parent company.

The Justice Department has sued to block AT&T’s (T) purchase of Time Warner (TWX), and a judge is currently working on a ruling in the case.

— CNNMoney’s Brian Stelter and Dylan Byers contributed to this report.

Published at Fri, 11 May 2018 10:34:43 +0000

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Wall Street rallies and Apple approaches $1 trillion value

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Wall Street rallies and Apple approaches $1 trillion value

(Reuters) – Wall Street jumped on Thursday, and Apple inched closer to a $1 trillion stock market value, as tepid inflation data eased worries of faster U.S. interest rate hikes this year.

Fueled by a $100 billion buyback plan unveiled last week, Apple rose 1.43 percent to a record high close of $190.04, lifting the S&P 500 more than any other stock. The iPhone maker is about 7 percent away from becoming the first company ever to have a market capitalization of $1 trillion.

The U.S. Labor Department’s consumer price index increased 0.2 percent in April, less than economists’ expectations, as rising costs for gasoline and rental accommodation were tempered by a moderation in healthcare prices.

Core CPI, which excludes food and energy components, edged up 0.1 percent in April, slower than the previous two months, and did little to alter traders’ expectations of a June rate hike. [MMT/]

A higher inflation number could have increased fears of more aggressive interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

“The CPI came in at a level where it’s not so alarming as far as what the Fed is thinking,” said Mark Kepner, an equity trader at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey. “There’s comfort that the Fed won’t have to move too quickly.”

The U.S. stock market rallied broadly, with all 11 major S&P sectors posting gains.

With investors setting aside concerns about a trade war with China, the S&P 500 has risen 3.55 percent in the past week, its strongest five-session showing since February. The S&P 500 reclaimed its 100-day moving average for the first time since April 19, suggesting to some traders that the market may move higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 0.8 percent to end at 24,739.53 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.94 percent to 2,723.07, its highest level since mid-March.

The Nasdaq Composite added 0.89 percent to 7,404.98.

CenturyLink gained 7.54 percent after its first-quarter report. That helped the telecoms sector jump 1.9 percent, more than any other sector.

AXA Equitable Holdings, the U.S. division of French insurer AXA, rose 1.7 percent in its market debut. Although its offering raised less than targeted, it was still the biggest U.S. IPO this year.

The top losers on the S&P 500 included Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands, which fell 7.15 percent, and Booking Holdings, formerly called Priceline, which dropped 4.74 percent. Both companies gave disappointing outlooks.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.57-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.65-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 37 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 165 new highs and 36 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.7 billion shares, compared with the 6.6 billion-share average over the last 20 trading days.

Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Savio D’Souza in Bengaluru; editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

Published at Thu, 10 May 2018 21:38:40 +0000

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Small Business Optimism Index increased slightly in April, “Poor Sales” Near Record Low

 

Small Business Optimism Index increased slightly in April, “Poor Sales” Near Record Low

by Bill McBride on 5/08/2018 08:57:00 AM

From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): April 2018 Report: Small Business Optimism Index

The Small Business Optimism Index sustained record-high levels increasing to 104.8 in April, driven by reports of improved profits, the highest in the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey’s 45-year history. Additionally, the number of small businesses reporting poor sales fell to a near record low.
..
Reports of employment gains remain strong among small businesses … Owners reported adding a net 0.28 workers per firm on average, the third highest reading since 2006 (down from 0.36 workers reported last month, the highest since 2006). …

Fifty-seven percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 4 points), but 50 percent (88 percent of those hiring or trying to hire) reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-two percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem (up 1 point), exceeding the percentage citing taxes or regulations.
emphasis added

Small Business Optimism Index

Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986.

The index increased to 104.8 in April.

Note: Usually small business owners complain about taxes and regulations.  However, during the recession, “poor sales” was the top problem.

Now the difficulty of finding qualified workers is the top problem.

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2018/05/small-business-optimism-index-increased.html#qXCpoTc4aWgqxiQ8.99

Published at Tue, 08 May 2018 12:57:00 +0000

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