Consumer prices rise

Through Friday we have seen the following move in world stock markets for 2017 (NASDAQ).

Mexico – +19%
Emerging Markets – +18%
France – +17%
Europe – +10%
Nasdaq 100 – +17%
S&P 500 – +7%
Russell 2000 – +2%

Consumer prices rose 0.2% in April after dropping in March. Energy prices rose 1.1%. Over the past 12 months, inflation is up 2.2%. (Labor Department)

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index finished April with a reading of 97, up from 89 for the same month a year ago. (CNBC)

Retail sales rose 0.4% in April, missing consensus expectations of 0.6% growth. The pattern appears to be increasing spending on experiences, such as dining and entertainment, rather than goods. More spending is moving to online. (LPL Research)

Apple has issued $7 billion in corporate bonds, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apple has been using debt to pay shareholders while holding most of its $256 billion in cash overseas to avoid repatriation taxes. Since Apple launched its shareholder-return program in 2012, its long-term debt has risen from zero to nearly $85 billion.

The S&P 500 is up 5 and the NASDAQ is up 1. The MSCI international index is down.

Oil is up $1.48 at $49.32 a barrel.

Gold is up $5 at $1232 a Troy ounce.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.


Financial Focus • May 15, 2017

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