US Stocks ended the week mixed after a mid-week selloff. The Federal Reserve minutes released Wednesday indicated the FED could raise rates in June and strong economic data also bolstered concerns about higher interest rates happening sooner than previously expected. Due to continued supply disruptions in Canada, Libya and Nigeria oil prices rose again getting close to $50 a barrel. Treasury yields and the dollar rose while gold declined.
In economic news this week:
- The Commerce Department reported:
- Housing starts rose 6.6% in April. Single Family starts increased 3.3% and Multifamily starts rose 10.7%. April housing starts were 1.7% lower than last April.
- Building permits rose 3.6%. Permits indicate future housing starts. Permits were 5.3% lower than last April.
- The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in April, much better than expectations. The biggest increase was in the Utilities sector after a cooler April followed a warmer March and the demand for electricity and natural gas rose. Factory output also rose 0.3% largely due to increased demand for machinery and automobiles. Mining production fell 2.3% due to weak oil and coal production.
- The Labor department reporte:
- Consumer prices rose 0.4% in April. Excluding volatile food and energy prices rose 0.2%. Year over year prices rose 1.1% from a year ago. Excluding food and energy, prices rose 2.1% from a year ago.
- Capacity utilization rose 0.5% to 75.4% which is still 4.6% below the historical average.
- First time claims for unemployment fell 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 278,000. The four week moving average of claims rose 7,500 to 275,750.
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in the prior week:
- Crude oil inventories rose 1.3MM barrels.
- Crude oil production fell from 8.88 to 8.83MM barrels.
- Gasoline inventories dropped 2.5MM barrels.
- The National Association of Home Builders reported that existing home sales in April rose a seasonally adjusted 1.7% from March and 6.0% from a year ago.
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Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF® Erik Smith
Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management 269-441-4143
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Battle Creek, MI 49017
Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091
Toll Free: 800-513-8180
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