Stocks were higher yesterday as a record jump in retail sales — coupled with positive trial results from a potential coronavirus treatment and hopes of more stimulus — sent market sentiment soaring. Stocks of airlines, hotels, cruise lines, and retailers that are tied to the economy reopening all traded sharply higher.
Sales at U.S. retailers roared back in May as the economy started to reopen and claw its way out of what’s likely to have been the shortest and deepest recession in American history. Retail sales jumped a record 17.7% last month. Economists had forecast an 8.5% increase. The rebound in sales largely reflects the loosening of restrictions on business activity after two months of stay-at-home orders. Along with pentup consumer demand, federal tax payments to families and more generous unemployment benefits also helped stoke higher sales.
The coronavirus pandemic may be far from over, but home builders have a positive outlook on the housing market for the first time since April. The National Association of Home Builders’ monthly confidence index rose 21 points to a reading of 58 in June. It’s a marked rebound from April, when the index fell to its lowest level since June 2012. Inventory is tight, mortgage applications are increasing, interest rates are low, and buyer traffic more than doubled in one month. Any reading over 50 indicates improving confidence.
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I’m Tyler Simones.