Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 27th

US stocks ended their losing streak with strong gains for the week as data may indicate inflation has peaked. The Dow was positive after seven consecutive weeks of declines, the longest stretch since 2001. The S&P 500 gained 6.6% for the week and the Dow ended the week 6.2% higher. Foreign markets were also positive with the FTSE All World Ex US up 2.6% for the week. US crude increased for the week ending at $115.07 per barrel up from $110.69 the week prior. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was relatively flat ending the week at 2.74% down from 2.79% the week prior.

The personal consumption expenditures index, the inflation gauge the Fed prefers, was up 0.2% in April and 6.3% from a year earlier. Data shows inflation is easing when compared to March which was up 0.9% monthly and 6.6% annually.

Fed minutes show officials believed they would need to raise rates by a half percentage point at each of their next two meetings to combat high inflation.

US consumers continued to increase their spending in April for a fourth straight month but data shows many may be tapping into savings to offset the increased costs due to inflation. Consumer spending rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in April. US savings rates hit a 14 year low.

The US government is considering a release of diesel fuel from federal reserves to address high prices.

The ECB is likely to increase its key interest rate from -0.50% to zero by September and could keep raising rates after that. A sharp pivot by the European Central Bank from indicating it would increase interest rates only gradually. The ECB suggested it could raise its key rate by 0.25% at each of its next seven meetings, reaching a level of 1.25%.

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