New Housing Starts up 20.2% in April; Highest Level Since 2007

Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through May 23rd

US Stocks rose slightly for the week on the Fed statement along with the ECB moving their bond buying forward. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% while the Dow fell 0.2% for the week.  Internationally markets surged, Japan gained 2.7% and Europe jumped 2.8% for the week. The 10 year Treasury yield rose to 2.21% to end the week on higher inflation.

New housing starts shot up 20.2% in April from March to the highest level since November of 2007.  US existing home sales fell 3.3% in April after having a strong March.  The sales pace rose 6.1% over the prior year and prices have risen 8.9% from a year ago as well.

The ECB announced it would step up its bond purchases ahead of a summer lull; in effect front loading its purchases.

Fed minutes released from their April meeting said in the clearest terms yet that raising rates in June was essentially off the table given the trends in the US economy.

In a speech Yellen said the Fed was still on pace to raise interest rates this year.

The CPI rose for a third straight month in April up 0.1% and the core rate gained 0.3% above expectations.  However, compared to a year ago, prices fell 0.2% and core prices rose 1.8%.

bank-settlements
Photo courtesy of cbc.ca

Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, RBS and UBS agreed to pay collectively $5.6 billion in fines for manipulating foreign currency rates for their gain.  Four of the five also pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

CVS announced it was purchasing Omnicare, a prescription fulfillment company, for $10.4 billion.

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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