A survey of consumer confidence fell slightly in May to a three-month low, reflecting worries about high inflation and a slowdown in the economy. The U.S. economy is still growing, but government spending has tapered off and high inflation is forcing the Federal Reserve to jack up interest rates. Higher rates could eventually slow the economy. On the flip side, the strongest labor market in decades and rising wages have offset some of the damage from high inflation and allowed consumers to keep spending. Consumer spending is the main driver of the U.S. economy.
A slew of Chinese stocks listed in the U.S. rallied after the country’s COVID lockdown measures eased. The lockdown in Shanghai was announced in March and had been an overhang for the Chinese stock market.
Energy stocks rose along with oil prices after an agreement from European Union leaders to ban most crude imports from Russia stoked inflation fears.
The consumer products giant Unilever saw their stocks jump 9.4% after they named activist investor Nelson Peltz to their board. The CEO and founding partner of Trian Fund Management acquired a 1.5% stake in the company.