Dr. Eric Wattenburg

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Dr. Eric Wattenburg

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Stocks were lower yesterday as Wall Street digested a strong rally this week along with the latest weekly jobless claims data and rising tensions between China and the U.S.
 
The Labor Department reported another 2.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week.  This report brings the total number of filings during the pandemic to more than 38 million. The number of continuing claims was at 25.07 million, its highest level on record.
 
Sales of previously-owned homes slid nearly 18% in April as the pandemic upended the U.S. real estate market.  Existing-home sales occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 4.33 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.  It was the lowest level for sales since July 2010.  Compared with last year, sales were down 17% in April.
Maybe we are seeing some green shoots.  U.S. private sector firms reported a slightly slower rate of contraction in activity in May.  The manufacturing purchasing index rose to 39.8 in May from 36.1 in April. Meanwhile the services managers index rose in May to 36.9 from 26.7.  Any reading below 50 indicates worsening conditions.  At least the numbers are headed in the right direction.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I?m Tyler Simones.

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