Stocks went a tiny bit higher on the final day of this shortened trading week. The Dow and S&P 500 were little changed, but with a positive close, the S&P 500 made another all-time closing high. The Nasdaq lost 8 points.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,717.17 (+18.4, +0.1%)
- S&P 500: 1,923.57 (+3.5, +0.2%)
- Nasdaq: 4,242.62 (-5.3, -0.1%)
Top stories of the day:
- The University of Michigan’s latest consumer confidence survey for May came in at 81.9, down from an 84.1 reading in April. Economists had been expected a reading of 82.5. The economic conditions subindex fell to 94.5 from 98.7. Following the report, Barclay’s Cooper Howes said, “Expectations of real income and labor markets improved, however, as the percentage of consumers expecting faster increases in wages than in prices climbed to 17% (previous: 15%), and the percentage of respondents looking for lower unemployment in the coming year jumped to 28% (previous: 21%). The latter in particular is at its strongest level since November 2012 and would be in line with our expectations of a continued drop in the unemployment rate through the end of this year.”
- The Chicago PMI reading for May jumped to 65.5 from 63.0 in April, the index’s highest reading since October. Of the report, Pantheon Macro’s Ian Shepherdson said, “The Chicago PMI is in large part a lagging indicator of orders for Boeing aircraft, which have been strong. It’s not clear it tells us much about the broader economy, though increases in the Chicago index are more likely than not to be followed by gains in the national ISM. With the Milwaukee PMI also reported up this morning – it soared to its highest level since April 2011 – and other regional reports like the Philly Fed also strong for May, we have to expect the ISM to nudge up a bit. The report is released on Monday. These numbers, taken together, offer a more useful snapshot of the state of the post-winter economy than the consumption data released earlier.”
- April personal spending fell 0.1%, worse than the 0.2% gain that had been expected by economists. Income for April grew 0.3%, in line with expectations. Core PCE, which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, grew 0.2% month-over-month and 1.4% year-over-year, which was in line with expectations. Pantheon Macro’s Ian Shepherdsen said, “The consensus forecast for spending always looked much too high, given the plunge in utility output already reported by the Fed. This translates directly into real spending on services, which duly fell 0.2%. This won’t be repeated in May, but with spending on now utilities back on trend, we don’t expect a rebound. Spending on goods fell in line with the retail sales numbers, which were hugely distorted by the late Easter. Expect a clear May rebound. Q2 consumption looks to be headed for about 2.5%, not too bad but below consensus 3%; expect GDP forecasts to be revised down by a two or three tenths.”
- Bill Ackman and Valeant increased their offer for Botox-maker Allergan for the second time in a week. Ackman and Valeant’s latest offer increases the cash portion of their offer to $72 per share of Allergan from $58.30.
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