E US Stock Market Weekly Update May 11- May 15, 2020

The US stock market closed on Friday, May 15, 2020, lower for the week for all major stock indexes. It was a week with plenty of important economic news and statements made by the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, which moved the stock market and reaffirmed our belief that volatility and caution in investing, will both be too important in the following months.

The key economic indicators released during the previous week showed a plunge in the retail sales, a significant decline for the inflation, a worse than expected initial jobless claims report, and an unexpected increase for the Michigan consumer sentiment index.

The Fed Chairman warned about lasting damage in the broader economy and essentially significantly lowered the probabilities for a V-shaped economic recovery.

U.S. Retail Sales

“Retail sales in the US sank 16.4 percent from a month earlier in April of 2020, worse than forecasts of a 12 percent drop. It is the sharpest decrease in retail sales ever due to the coronavirus pandemic which forced Americans to stay at home and many businesses to close. The biggest declines were seen in sales of clothing and accessories (-78.8 percent), electronics and appliances (-60.6 percent), and furniture (-58.7 percent). Sales at gasoline stations decreased 28.8 percent after oil prices turned negative for the first time ever in April. Other decreases were also seen in food and beverage stores (-13.1 percent) and food services and drinking places (-29.5 percent). Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales tumbled 15.3 percent. Year-on-year, retail sales went down 21.6 percent, also a record drop.”

Source: Trading Economics

 The extent of recovery for retail sales and consumer spending will be especially important for the path of economic growth for the US economy.

For the week of May 11– May 15, 2020, the major US stock market indexes closed as follows:

• Dow Jones Industrial Average: Close 23685.42, -2.65% for the week, -17.01% Year-to-date (DIA)

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Disclosure: I have no position in any stock mentioned

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