CONSUMERS UPBEAT IN MAY, SPEND LESS IN APRIL
Consumer spending slipped 0.2% in April, with a 4.4% drop in purchases of gas, electricity and other energy goods and services being a major influence. In better news, the Commerce Department noted a 3.4% rise in personal spending in Q1, and the two most-watched consumer confidence gauges beat consensus forecasts last week. The Conference Board’s May survey came in at 76.2, topping the 72.5 projected by analysts polled by Briefing.com. The final May consumer sentiment survey from the University of Michigan rose to 84.5; the same group of forecasters had projected it at 82.5.
HOME PRICES GAIN NEARLY 11% IN A YEAR
To be precise, 10.9%: that was the 12-month improvement across 20 cities noted in the March edition of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. In other housing news, the National Association of Realtors announced a 1.5% rise in pending home sales for April, bringing the annualized gain to 7.0%.
AN UPDATE ON MEDICARE’S LONG-TERM HEALTH
Last week saw the release of the 2013 Medicare and Social Security trustee reports. While Social Security is still projected for a shortfall in 2033, Medicare’s board now forecasts that the program can run until 2026 without depleting its trust fund, citing projected savings from the Affordable Care Act. That is two years longer than previously projected. Friday, Health & Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she did not foresee an increase in Medicare Part B premiums in 2014.
S&P 500 NOTCHES 7-MONTH WINNING STREAK
Even though it sank 1.14% for the week, the broad U.S. benchmark gained 2.08% for May, ending the month at 1,630.74. While the Dow (-1.23% to 15,115.57) and NASDAQ (-0.09% to 3,455.91) didn’t advance last week either, they respectively gained 1.86% and 3.82% last month.
THIS WEEK: ISM’s May manufacturing PMI arrives Monday, plus Commerce Department figures on May auto sales. Tuesday, Dollar General announces Q1 earnings. Wednesday, ISM’s May service sector index comes out along with the May ADP employment report, a new Federal Reserve Beige Book and data on April factory orders; Q1 results arrive from Hovnanian and VeriFone. On Thursday, the Bank of England and European Central Bank wrap up policy meetings, and the May Challenger job cuts report comes out along with initial unemployment claims data and earnings from Ann and JM Smucker. Friday, the Labor Department releases the May employment report.
About the Independent Financial Advisor
Robert Pagliarini, PhD, CFP®, EA has helped clients across the United States manage, grow, and preserve their wealth for the past 25 years. His goal is to provide comprehensive financial, investment, and tax advice in a way that was honest and ethical. In addition, he is a CFP® Board Ambassador, one of only 50 in the country, and a real fiduciary. In his spare time, he writes personal finance books, finance articles for Forbes and develops email and video financial courses to help educate others. With decades of experience as a financial advisor, the media often calls on him for his expertise. Contact Robert today to learn more about his financial planning services.