Market Update: Fri, May 22, 2020 | LPL Financial Research


Memorial Day Holiday. LPL Financial and the markets will be closed Monday, May 25, in recognition of Memorial Day. We will resume normal business hours Tuesday, May 26.

Stocks pared earlier losses and opened slightly lower. The S&P 500 index is trying to add to its 3% week-to-date gain this morning ahead of the long weekend, despite an increase in geopolitical tensions and concerns that stocks may have come too far too fast. Global markets were jittery overnight after Beijing announced plans to impose a national security law on Hong Kong. The Shanghai Composite slipped 1.9%, while stocks in Europe were slightly higher, led by Italy and Spain. Gold prices rose while oil fell.

More worries over China. Rhetoric between the United States and China heated up this week, and this morning more concerns are showing. China has moved forward with a sweeping proposal of new security laws that effectively take a firm control over Hong Kong and the continuing anti-government protests, and that take steps to integrate the city with southern China. This move is expected to incite more protests and will add to growing US-China tensions. In other news, China officially scrapped its long-standing practice of setting an annual target for gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time since 1994.

Leading Indicators. The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) fell 4.4% month over month in April, a slight improvement from the -7.4% in March. We discuss what that may mean for the US economy and investors today on the LPL Research blog.



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