Stocks displaying strength. The S&P 500 Index opened above the 3,000 level, as equities around the world continued to rally on reopening optimism. Fiscal stimulus is in the air as well, as the European Commission is reportedly set to propose a 750 billion euro recovery package, while Japan is finishing a $1.1 trillion stimulus package. Tensions between the United States and China remain heightened, but contained new cases of COVID-19 are helping offset those worries. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book will be released later today and will give a glimpse into how the overall economy is doing in the face of the pandemic.
A closer look at COVID-19. As more and more states slowly open up, worries about new cases are a very real concern. The good news is many states have been opening up for several weeks now, and the numbers haven’t shown any significant spikes in new cases, deaths, people in hospitals, or on ventilators. We look at some of the positive COVID-19 trends in the United States later today on the LPL Research blog.
The bottom is in. According to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, consumer confidence unexpectedly increased in May, well above expectations. Not to be outdone, new home sales in April ticked higher from March, according to the US Census Bureau, again surprising economists who expected a weaker result. The economy is still almost certainly in a recession, but it is looking more like the bottom is in and economic improvement may be coming, as all 50 states are opening back up.
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