STOCKS DO NOTHING: Here's what you need to know

Stocks barely budged on Tuesday.

But all three major indices closed slightly in the red.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 21,042.40, -37.88, (-0.18%)
  • S&P 500: 2,414.12, -1.73, (-0.07%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,205.57, -4.53, (-0.07%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.213%, -0.037
  • WTI Crude: $US49.48, -0.32, -0.64%

1. Trump tweets at Germany. “We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military,” the US president tweeted. “Very bad for U.S. This will change.” Trump has repeatedly criticised trade deficits and members of NATO for not hitting the agreed-upon threshold of 2% of gross-domestic-product spending toward defence.

2. There are several problems with Trump’s focus on the trade deficit with Germany. First, bilateral trade deficits are not particularly useful indicators of countries’ economic performance in relation to others. And second, Germany is part of the European Union and therefore trades with the US and other nations as a bloc.

3. Amazon hits $US1,000 a share for the first time. Amazon has now turned a profit for eight straight quarters, largely because of the strength of its cloud-computing business, Amazon Web Services. Amazon shares have surged 40% over the past year and more than 50,000% over the last 20 years.

4. Trump: Senate Republicans should use the “nuclear option” to pass healthcare and tax cuts. More concretely, he said the Senate should get rid of the legislative filibuster. Changing the floor rules to end the filibuster has been considered a “nuclear option” for lawmakers, as it could come back to bite the GOP if the Democrats were to retake the Senate.

5. Consumer confidence fell more than expected. The Conference Board‘s consumer confidence index fell for a second straight month, to 117.9 in May. Economists had forecast a reading of 120.3. “Looking ahead, consumers were somewhat less upbeat than in April, but overall remain optimistic that the economy will continue expanding into the summer months,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

6. The euro jumped following a report that the European Central Bank will discuss removing easing bias next week. The currency was up by 0.3% at 1.1194 against the dollar in the late afternoon after sliding in early morning trade.


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