US Equity Markets rose for a second consecutive week, as investors were pleased that US and Mexico reached a deal to avert the imposition of tariffs on Mexican goods, and the market remained hopeful for positive outcomes from the upcoming Fed meeting. The S&P 500 increased 0.5% for the week to bring its gains for the year up to 15.2%. The Nasdaq was up 0.7% for the week and is now up 17.5% for the year, while the Russell 2000 (small-cap stocks) rose 1.1% for the week to bring its gains for the year to 13.9%.
Global equity markets were mixed last week, as growing tensions in the Middle East and political uncertainty in Europe impacted markets. As a result, Developed Markets fell 0.3% for the week to bring gains for the year to 9.4%. Emerging Markets rose 0.8% for the week thanks to strength in Brazil and India. For the year, Emerging Markets are up 5.1%.
US economic data continue to suggest a healthy US economy. Inflation remains tame, with year-over-year core inflation coming in at 2.0%, down from 2.1% in April. Retail Sales for May topped expectations at 0.5%, and April Retail Sales data were revised notably higher, suggesting the US consumer remains confident.
Of Interest to Us
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, which measures confidence among US small business owners, hit its highest levels for the year in May, suggesting growing confidence in the strength of the US economy. Small business owners' expectations for sales, business conditions, and expansion all rose, and plans for capital spending increased. Capital expenditures hit their highest levels since February 2018.
for the week ending 6/14/2019
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