Charles-Henry Monchau

Chief Investment Officer



WEEKLY SUMMARY: US stocks near record highs on light volumes

The S&P 500 Index is moving back towards its all-time high and recorded its third consecutive week of gains. The other major indexes also advanced, with value stocks generally outperforming growth shares. Market volumes were especially low over much of the week. A surprise rise in weekly jobless claims seemed to dominate the week’s economic calendar: unemployment benefits rose to 231,000 in the week ended the previous Wednesday, its highest since last August. Likewise, continuing claims broke a four-week downward streak and rose to 1.79 million. Friday brought another sign that the labor market and broader economy might be cooling: the University of Michigan reported that its preliminary index of consumer sentiment in May tumbled unexpectedly to 67.4, down from a final reading of 77.2 in April and marking its lowest level in six months. The yield on the US 10-year U.S. Treasury note ended the week relatively unchanged after dipping to a nearly one-month intraday low on Tuesday. The pan-European STOXX Europe 600 Index ended 3.01% higher on better-than-expected corporate earnings and increased optimism that major central banks would soon start cutting interest rates. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index and the broader TOPIX Index registered marginal weekly losses. In commodities, WTI oil was whacked from the near $80bbl handle, tumbling down to a low $78 after Friday’s report. Gold and silver slid on a strong dollar. 



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