Business News

Deflation at the Manufacturing Level

Inflation at the manufacturing level declined 0.4%. That was more than expected and shows no inflation across the board. (Fox Business News)

Retail sales were flat in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and other big-ticket items. March's retail sales were revised higher to show a 1.1% increase. Retail sales have trended weaker despite households getting a massive windfall from lower gasoline prices. Consumers appear to have saved much of the money from the cheaper gasoline. (Reuters)

Are they like Lazarus being raised from the dead?  For the first quarter J.C. Penney reported an increase of 3.4% in sales posting a loss of $75 million from operations, but that was a 70% improvement over last year. Gross margins improved 3.3%. They are still losing money but moving in the right direction. (Forbes)   

Department store operator Kohl's Q1 sales were hurt by colder-than-usual weather in February, but still jumped 1.4%. The company's profits rose to $127 million from $125 million a year earlier. Net sales rose 1.3% to $4.12 billion. (Reuters)

The S&P 500 is up 13 and the NASDAQ is up 33. MSCI International Index is up 0.80%.

Oil is down 31 cents at $60.37 a barrel. Oil inventories fell 2.2 million barrels last week to below 485 million barrels. Gasoline and distillate stockpiles also declined. Inventories are still about 20% higher than a year ago. (Reuters)
 

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