Geopolitical uncertainty affected stocks last week, as the historic summit between the U.S. and North Korea began to look less likely. On Thursday, May 24th, President Trump announced that the summit was off, and stocks stumbled in reaction. The next day, Trump said the meeting might still occur next month, leaving investors questioning the eventual outcome.[1] 

Also on the geopolitical front, an announcement that Saudi Arabia and Russia would consider easing back oil supply restrictions affected stocks. U.S. crude oil prices dropped in response, pulling energy stocks down with them.[2]  

Despite these developments, major domestic indexes increased last week. The S&P 500 gained 0.31%; the Dow added 0.15%; and the NASDAQ grew by 1.08%.[3] International stocks dropped, with the MSCI EAFE decreasing by 1.60%.[4] 

What kept U.S. stocks in positive territory for the week? 

Solid corporate earnings helped drive upward movement. 

A number of companies experienced double-digit stock growth last week after releasing their latest data. This strong performance helped balance the declines and uncertainty that the week's geopolitical headlines created.[5] 

What other economic perspectives did we receive?

From durable goods to home sales, various data came out last week:[6]

  • The factory sector could drive economic growth, as steel and aluminum tariffs are contributing to rising value of orders and inventories for metals.
  • Business confidence and 2nd-quarter investment could increase, as strong core durable goods orders may indicate good news for companies.
  • Housing is underperforming, as growth in home sales volume and prices have softened recently. 

Overall, last week provided a mix of insight about the current economic strength and geopolitical environment. In this week's four trading days, we'll gain more perspectives on consumer confidence, Gross Domestic Product, manufacturing, and employment. We will use this data to continue building our understanding of what may lie ahead in the markets - and how to prepare our clients for the future. If you have any questions, we are here to talk. 

ECONOMIC CALENDAR

  • Monday: U.S. Markets Closed for Memorial Day
  • Tuesday: Consumer Confidence
  • Wednesday: GDP, ADP Employment Report
  • Thursday: Jobless Claims
  • Friday: Employment Situation, PMI Manufacturing Index, ISM Mfg Index, Construction Spending

Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies. 

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

  The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a measure of output from U.S. factories and related consumption in the U.S.  It does not include products made by U.S. companies in foreign markets.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.

[1] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-24/asia-stocks-set-for-losses-as-kim-summit-collapses-markets-wrap
[2] www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-24/asia-stocks-set-for-losses-as-kim-summit-collapses-markets-wrap

www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks/sp-dow-fall-as-oil-drop-hurts-energy-chipmakers-boost-nasdaq-idUSKCN1IQ1KE

[3] http://performance.morningstar.com/Performance/index-c/performance-return.action?t=SPX®ion=usa&culture=en-US

http://performance.morningstar.com/Performance/index-c/performance-return.action?t=%21DJI®ion=usa&culture=en-US

http://performance.morningstar.com/Performance/index-c/performance-return.action?t=@CCO
[4] www.msci.com/end-of-day-data-search
[5]  www.cnbc.com/2018/05/25/us-stocks-point-to-higher-open-after-trump-scraps-key-north-korea-summit.html
[6] wsj-us.econoday.com/byshoweventarticle.asp?fid=494533&cust=wsj-us&year=2018&lid=0#top