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Consumer sentiment index falls to a six-month low

The S&P 500 fell Friday as concerns around the US economy dampened investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 8.89 points lower, or 0.03 per cent, to close at 33,300.62. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.35 per cent, ending the day at 12,284.74. The S&P 500 slipped 0.16 per cent, closing at 4,124.08.

The S&P 500 and Dow fell for a second consecutive week, down 0.29 per cent and 1.11 per cent, respectively. The Nasdaq gained 0.4 per cent.

A preliminary reading on the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to a six-month low of 57.7. Economists polled by the Dow Jones expected a May reading of 63.0. The survey also showed the outlook for inflation over the next 5 years climbed to 3.2 per cent, tying the highest clip since June 2008.

Investors are also keeping an eye on Washington as concern around debt ceiling negotiations persisted. CNBC reported that a debt ceiling meeting between President Joe Biden and congressional leaders that was set for Friday was postponed to this week.

In the world of regional banks, PacWest fell 2.9 per cent. PNC lost roughly 1 per cent, and Zions Bancorporation closed 1.1 per cent lower. On Thursday, regional banks dropped after PacWest said its deposits fell sharply last week.

Meanwhile, weaker-than-expected wholesale prices data issued Thursday, a sign of easing inflation, failed to shield investors from ongoing concerns of a downturn — particularly as a handful of stocks continue to carry the market.

Import prices were 0.4 per cent month over month in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday, marking the first rise so far in 2023. Economists polled by Dow Jones were expecting a 0.3 per cent rise last month, compared to the decline of 0.8 per cent the prior month.

The upcoming week will have a strong focus on the consumer, but it’s possible that claims could be more significant. The spotlight will be on the retail sector as Q1 earnings reports are released, with Target’s report scheduled for Wednesday and Walmart’s for Thursday. Additionally, retail sales data for April will be released on Tuesday, and preliminary analyses suggest that there may be a slight decline in non-automobile sales.

Overall, on Friday, the US sectors were mixed. Utilities was the best performing sector, whilst Consumer Discretionary was the worst.

The SPI futures are pointing to a 0.1 per cent gain.


One Australian dollar at 7:10 AM is buying 66.50 US cents..


Iron ore futures are pointing to a 3.44 per cent gain.

Gold lost 0.03 per cent. Silver dropped 1.11 per cent. Copper added 0.50 per cent and oil lost 1.17 per cent.

Figures around the globe

Across the Atlantic, European markets closed higher. London’s FTSE added 0.31 per cent, Frankfurt gained 0.50 per cent while Paris closed 0.45 per cent higher.

In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.90 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.59 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 1.12 per cent lower.

On Friday, the Australian sharemarket closed 0.07 per cent higher at 7257.


ANZ Group Holdings (ASX:ANZ) is paying 81 cents fully franked
Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is paying 450 cents 40 per cent franked
WAM Capital (ASX:WAM) is paying 7.75 fully franked

Dividends payable

Charter Hall Long WALE REIT (ASX:CLW)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.


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