Economic and market updates

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Monthly market summary: April 30, 2015

Economic Update for May 26, 2015   |   Download PDF

Highlights of news-making events of the past week, from the economy and profits to Europe and interest rates.

economy

The BLS reported the CPI rose 0.1% and core CPI moved up 0.3% in April. Housing starts jumped 20.2% in April, the Commerce Dept. stated. The NAR found existing home sales declined 3.3% in April. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index increased in April. Japan's Cabinet office found GDP grew at an annualized rate of 2.4% in the first quarter.

employment

Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 274,000 in the week ended May 16, 2015, according to the Labor Department. The four-week moving average was 266,250.

profits

As of May 12, 2015, of the 458 S&P 500 Index companies reporting first-quarter earnings, 309 — or 67.5% — beat analysts' estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

emotion

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to 42.4 in the week ended May 21, 2015, from 43.5 in the prior week.

europe

Eurostat reported annual inflation in the euro area was 0.0% in April, up from -0.1% in March. In a first estimate, Eurostat found the euro area was expected to record a trade surplus in March. The Markit Flash Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index showed slower growth in May. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany declined in May, and the Ifo Business Climate Index slipped marginally.

rates

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose.

risks

  • Interest-rate volatility as the market considers when the Fed will raise interest rates
  • Geopolitical risk in Eastern Europe and the Middle East
  • Deflation risk and currency instability in Europe

All economic and performance information is historical and does not guarantee future results. The views and opinions expressed are those of Putnam Investments, are subject to change with market conditions, and are not meant as investment advice.