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WALL STREET

For most of May, markets were relatively calm. Stocks didn’t move much, and investing looked slow.

Beginning in June the S&P 500 rose or fell around 1%  back and forth. It is reported that the S&P 500 had risen by 1% or more on 21 trading days in 2018 and fallen by the same amount on 15 days. That’s 36 trading days that have seen moves of 1% or more, and the year has seven months to go. This is after the closed at a record high over 26,600 in early January 2018 and now the Dow, toward the end of June 2018 is below 24,200. (The S&P has averaged 53 trading days of 1% moves or more annually since 1958)

Wall Street has spoke of many ideas as to the changes: a political mini-crisis in different European Countries, US’s new tariffs talks, and an 18 Year low jobs report showing unemployment at 3.8%.

Questions are out there now are risk and volatility back and for how long?  We are presently between what seems to be a very good economy, lower taxes, and deregulation and various future economic actions by different countries.

It seems hard to tell how much of the positive news is already priced into stocks and how much of the unpredictable actions can actually be quantifiable.

 

 ISM's

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index, which covers almost 90 percent of the  Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in May 2018, and the overall economy grew for the 109th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business. The May 2018 PMI® registered 58.7 percent, an increase of 1.4 percentage points from the April reading of 57.3 percent from February 2017 57.6 and the 56.5 in January 2017. Readings above 50 signal growth.

A measure of business activity climbed to the previous second-highest level since 2005 and order growth quickened, the report showed. Combined with the ISM’s latest reading on manufacturing, which grew at the fastest clip since August 2014, the services figures signal widespread optimism about the economy.

A measure of business activity climbed to  a past high level in 2005 and order growth quickened, the report showed.

 

Consumer confidence:

The May 2018 Report suggested Consumers’ assessment of current conditions increased to a 17-year high

 

Emerging and world-markets:

 

Jobless Claims: U.S. employers added jobs in February 2017 at what was started as an above-average pace for a second month based it appears per reports on gains in construction and manufacturing. February’s 235,000 increase followed a 238,000 rise in January. This while wage growth picked up, as the labor market continued its steady improvement in the 2017 new year. Information provide said the average hourly earnings rose by 0.2 percent from the previous month. January’s year-over-year increase was revised up to a 2.6 percent gain.

 

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