Record-Setting Week for Stocks

Financial News for the Week Ending May 18th

U.S. stocks had another record-setting week on positive consumer sentiment and other economic readings. The S&P 500 gained 2.1% and the Dow rose 1.6% for the week. Japan saw stocks advance to a 52-week high, gaining 3.6%, and Europe rose 1.2%. On the positive upswing for stocks the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to 1.95% and gold sank to $1,364.90 an ounce.

IPOs are on pace to raise the most money since the financial crisis. So far in 2013, 64 companies have raised $16.8 billion in initial public offerings.

Retails sales rose 0.1% in April as declines in food and gas prices allowed consumers to spend more elsewhere.

Japan’s GDP grew 3.5% to start the year outpacing expectations, an early sign that Japan’s stimulus measures are having an effect on the economy. The mark was up from the 1% growth seen in the 4th quarter.

The eurozone has now entered its worst slump since the end of World War II as first quarter GDP was -0.9%, the sixth straight quarter of contraction for the country bloc. The readings raise more questions about fiscal austerity, and there remains a stark contrast between the slightly positive growth of the northern countries and the near depression conditions of the southern countries.

The CPI-U for April fell 0.4% driven by falling food and energy prices for the second straight monthly drop. The annual inflation rate is now at 1.7% excluding food and energy prices, well below the Fed’s target rate.

Reposted from the Raffa Wealth Management Blog.

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

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