- The major U.S. equity indices posted strong gains in May. The Nasdaq Composite increased 2.5%, the S&P 500 added 1.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% for the month. Better than expected Q1 earnings and improving economic data were the main drivers for the upward move.
- U.S. crude prices declined approximately 10% over the last two weeks to $46 a barrel. Excess supply around the world coupled with attractive rents for oil tankers is disrupting petroleum flows. The U.S. is on track to export one million barrels of oil a day, double the pace of 2016. While U.S. exports account for only 1% of global oil volumes, it is a new factor keeping a lid on oil prices.
- British Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for a general election to increase her 17-seat majority backfired when her ruling Conservatives fell short of the 326 seats needed to win a majority in Britain’s 650-seat Parliament. The results have put pressure on the pound and U.K. stocks and have created new uncertainties as the country prepares its exit from the European Union.
* This commentary reflects the opinions of Welch & Forbes based on information that we believe to be reliable. It is intended for informational purposes only, and not to suggest any specific performance or results, nor should it be considered investment, financial, tax or other professional advice. It is not an offer or solicitation.
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