Mortgage interest rates improved slightly on the week as economic data was mostly weaker than expected. Economic data weaker than expected included May Retail Sales excluding automobile sales, May Industrial Production, May Capacity Utilization, and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. In Europe, the Euro-area economy contracted 0.2% in the first quarter, extending its recession into a sixth quarter. In China, industrial production was below forecasts on a year over year basis. The World Bank cut its forecast for global economic growth from 2.4% to 2.2%. Inflation data in the U.S. was mostly tame. May Export Prices Import Prices were weaker than expected. The May Producer Price Index (PPI) increased more than expected but core PPI, excluding the food and energy components, increased only 0.1%. As a result, there is increasing belief that the Fed may not taper its current quantitative easing as soon as expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently at 15,105, down almost 150 points on the week. Crude oil spot prices are currently at $97.70 per barrel, up slightly on the week. The Dollar weakened versus the Yen and Euro on the week.
Next week look toward Tuesday’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Housing Starts, Wednesday’s FOMC Meeting Announcement, and Thursday’s Jobless Claims, Existing Home Sales, and Philadelphia Fed Survey as potential market moving events.