Markets Push Higher… Will It Continue?

Major stock indexes continued higher last week, as a light retail sales report may have provided confidence inflation will continue to slow, leading the Fed to lower short-term interest rates.

Retail sales edged up less than expected, increasing just .01% for the month in addition to the prior month being revised downward.

For the week the Dow led the way, increasing 1.46%, followed by the S&P 500 .67%, the Russell 2000 .52% and the Nasdaq .06%.

Foreign stocks moved higher .24% and emerging markets 1.16%.

Bond yields were range bound with the 10-year US Treasury ending the week yielding 4.257%.  This is up from 3.86% at the start of the year, however down from 4.7% on April 25th

There are no “major” announcements this week however there is plenty to pay attention too.

On the economic front, we’ll hear May’s results for new and existing home sales, along with the US housing price index.

On Friday, we’ll here the Fed’s favorite inflation report, the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) for May.  This may influence investors view, as to how many times, if any, the Fed will cut rates this year.

On the earnings front, we’ll hear from Fed Ex.  It’s always important to hear comments on business and personal usage.

This Thursday at 9pm eastern time, President Biden and former President Trump will square off on national television.  Needless to say, there is plenty at stake over the next 4 plus years.  The president, going forward will have a full plate of issues.

One of the issues that may not be highly debated this week is our debt.  I read this weekend, the interest for 2024 fiscal year will be $892 billion.  So far this year, our interest cost is the 3rd highest governmental expense after Social Security and Medicare.  It may move down the list slightly as the year continues, however the message is clear.

The next term of the President, will witness annual debt interest payments in excess of $1 Trillion per year.  Neither candidate can boast about deficit or debt reduction, as both have justified, increasing our debt to fund their chosen programs.

I have low expectations for Thursday’s debate, however on the surface, I like the idea only 1 candidate will be able to speak as the other microphone will be muted.  The facial expressions and body language should in the very least, be entertaining.

This past week should serve as a reminder, we must remain vigilant with our personal information, all the time.

CDK serves 15,000 retail automobile dealership locations in the US providing software for the inter-workings of the dealership.  Vehicle registrations, financing, repairs, maintenance, warranties, etc.

CDK was hacked last week, stopping most of the 15,000 dealerships from operating in a normal fashion.  According to the news, the hackers are from Eastern Europe, demanding a ransom of several million dollars.  As of my last update, CDK is considering paying the ransom.

In addition, to CDK being hacked and stopping operations, customer information from the dealership may also exposed. 

Just a reminder to use non-obvious passwords and to consider freezing your credit reports with the 4 credit bureaus.

A little extra work today may provide a huge sigh of relief going forward.

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