Report (Premium Edition) Updated 06-7-2021

Key Market Trends

Tip: Use this as a quick guide on the short-term direction of key markets. I once had a client that would call me nearly every day asking the direction of the markets. This is a quick cheat sheet to know the trend and help understand what is happening with the markets in the short term.

LastCHG %CHGHIGHLOWTREND
Dow34756.40.52%179.3534772.1234618.69Bull
S&P 5004229.880.88%37.024233.454206.05Strong Bull
Crude (WTI)69.26-0.17%-0.17769.97368.914Bull
Gold1884.86-0.32%-6.111891.721881.36Bull
10 Year1.5791.64%0.0261.6131.565Bear
Bitcoin/USD36484.291.89%675.44368013552.17Neutral
US Dollar Index90.1730.04%0.03990.30190.098Bear
VIX17.114.20%0.6917.3517.03Bear

S&P 500 Sector Trends

Tip: Use this section to know the performance of various sectors, weight portfolios, or look for trades. Modern portfolio theory stresses the importance of diversification, but recently several sectors like technology have outperformed others like utilities. This is also a way to narrow the sectors to find investment opportunities.

REIT Alert: Due to Covid-19, there is a large percentage of people that have not paid rent or mortgages. We are very worried about the effect it could have on real estate investment trusts (REITS) value. Even though the sectors may trending bullish, we believe that REITs could have a significant drop in value.

Sector Name5-Day Return1-Month Return3-Month ReturnYTD ReturnYTD Return vs S&P 5003-Year Return5-Year ReturnTrend
 Basic Materials0.60%3.00%20.30%23.10%10.10%51.40%102.00%Bull
 Communication Services0.40%2.20%8.90%16.00%3.00%72.40%68.80%Bull
 Consumer Cyclical-0.90%-2.50%9.90%9.90%-3.10%87.40%162.00%Bear
 Consumer Defensive1.00%2.50%13.40%7.90%-5.10%54.90%55.00%Bull
 Energy7.30%10.90%11.30%52.00%39.00%-16.00%-0.30%Bull
 Financial Services1.00%4.00%15.70%30.30%17.30%44.70%116.80%Bull
 Healthcare-1.00%-0.50%9.20%6.50%-6.50%56.00%94.40%Neutral
 Industrials0.10%1.40%14.30%18.70%5.70%49.70%105.80%Bull
 Real Estate2.70%4.40%20.00%21.40%8.50%44.30%49.10%Bull
 Technology0.90%2.10%9.80%6.40%-6.60%107.00%263.40%Neutral
 Utilities0.50%-1.60%11.70%5.00%-8.00%40.70%53.40%Bull

Key Drivers for the Week of June 7, 2021

TIP – This is a 1-minute brief bullet-point summary. It is a tool that gives investors and financial a fast and simple list of what to watch for and talking points for the week.

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  • Central bank QE dynamics continue to preoccupy the markets
  • Will ECB maintain a “significantly” enhanced monthly purchase schedule
  • Bank of Canada expected on hold after trimming weekly QE in April by C$3 bln
  • Underwhelming U.S. jobs report eases market worries over Fed tapering
  • U.S. focus on CPI, sentiment, JOLTS, trade; Treasury auctions $120 bln in coupons
  • China trade CPI, PPI; Japan has revised GDP, PPI, BSI business outlook survey 
  • German production, trade, manufacturing orders; Eurozone final Q1 GDP data due
  • UK: jump in virus threatens scheduled June 21 reopenings; GDP, trade, production due

Week Ahead: Tapering on the Agenda?

The dollar has lifted out of its post-U.S. jobs report lows, as has the 10-year Treasury yield. Both remain well off their pre-data levels, however, being modestly firmer in a “dust settling” trade following the sharp drops that both the greenback and longer-dated bongs saw in the wake of the data miss on Friday. The DXY USD index earlier scaled to a rebound high of 93.30 after printing a low at 90.03 on Friday. The 24-day high that was seen ahead of the U.S. data is at 90.63.

The disappointing jobs report will remain the focus after the data-soothed worries that the FOMC will start to think about tapering sooner than later. Tapering risks continues to preoccupy the markets as the global recovery zooms ahead and inflation gauges surge higher. Treasury yields had been on the rise on that threat, and shorts scrambled to cover following the data.

Market participants are now focusing on Thursday, which is when the ECB will announce its decision following its latest policy review and when the U.S. releases May CPI data, which has heightened impact potential on markets given the prevailing focus on the Fed tapering debate.

We retain a dollar bullish view in the bigger picture, putting weight on the outsized level of fiscal stimulus in the U.S. while anticipating an eventual pivot at the Fed. For now, however, the higher inflation rate in the U.S. relative to peers coupled with investors continuing to buy into the Fed’s policy stance should keep the greenback on a weakening tack.

The 4HR chart above shows the USD vs. the 10YR US starting in April. The interesting thing is that the 10YR is down -8.54% compared to the USD -3.36. We think this this is confirmation that the USD will not drop in value as inflation rates increase. However, bond rates will likely go up as they have historically in markets. We will be watching the USD to see how it responds to the CPI Report.

The ECB is in the spotlight this week, with the main question of whether or not the bank will maintain the “significantly” enhanced monthly purchase schedule. A thin data docket in the U.S. puts the emphasis on May CPI, where further acceleration in the annual growth rate is anticipated.

NORTH AMERICA

U.S. markets will continue to digest the various aspects of the May employment report while looking ahead to the other key component of the FOMC’s policy dynamic, inflation. May CPI (Thursday) features on this week’s calendar as the markets are closely monitoring the extent and duration of rising prices with an eye toward anticipating Fedspeak about whether they are going to start thinking about talking about QE tapering.

The disappointment in the May employment data diminished worries over the Fed, and it is unlikely that even a beat in the upcoming price release will significantly revive concerns since the Fed is more concerned over weak employment conditions than accelerating prices. The bond market recognized that as the benchmark 10-year and 30-year rates plunged to 1.553% and 2.23%, respectively, the lowest since April 22 on the 10s and since May 7 on the 30s.

Increases of 0.3% are projected for headline and core CPI (Thursday) in May, more tempered than the 0.8% and 0.9% increases in April. Results in line with our forecasts would leave 12-month measures accelerating to a 4.5% y/y pace versus the 4.2% clip in April for the headline, and 3.3% y/y versus 3.0% for the core. The annual growth rates for all the inflation gauges are climbing sharply in Q2 due to easy comparisons to the year-ago collapse, leaving likely peak gains in May for both the headline and core. Notably, CPI gasoline prices look poised to ease -0.9% in May, despite the Colonial pipeline disruption that lifted prices on the east coast. The Fed will continue to interpret the Q2 inflation spikes as transitory, though it is not clear if upward commodity price pressure will abate anytime soon.

The April trade report (Tuesday) and June consumer sentiment (Friday) will also be of interest this week. The trade deficit is expected to shrink to -$67.5 bln from the all-time wide of -$74.4 bln seen in March, courtesy of a 1.5% gain in exports and -1.4% decline in imports. The preliminary consumer sentiment report for June should be worth a look, especially the inflation gauges: In May, the 12-month inflation measure climbed to a 4.6% rate from 3.4%, which tied for the largest gain since March and April 2011. The 5-year price index rose to 3.0% in May from 2.7% in April, the fastest pace of growth since March 2011.

Treasury auctions are another focal point this week with the $120 bln in coupon sales. The rally in Treasuries on Friday reflects little fear of the auctions. Ironically, the richening in yields may work to diminish demand. On tap is a $58 bln 3-year (Tuesday), a $38 bln 10-year reopening (Wednesday), and a $24 bln 30-year reopening (Thursday). When issued yields have all dropped sharply on the day as Fed tapering concerns have been pared back. The wi 10-year led the move, tumbling 7.5 bps to 1.565%, having traded as cheap at 1.66% Thursday. The wi 30-year slid 6.5 bps to 2.240%, and was as high as 2.37% Thursday. The wi 3-year declined 2.5 bps to 0.325%, versus Thursday’s 0.36%. Recent auctions have seen decent, if not good results, putting the disaster 7-year sale in February on the back-burner for now. However, other sovereigns auctions have not fared too well, including the recent offerings from Japan and Germany. And stop-outs at current levels would be the lowest in a few months, and that may inhibit strong participation, especially amid inflation uncertainties.

The earnings docket is very thin this week. Monday has Marvell Technology, Coupa Software, and Vail Resorts. Tuesday is empty. Wednesday has Brown Forman, Gamestop, Campbell Soup, and RH. Thursday has Adobe, Chewy, SK Telecom, and Plug Power. Friday is devoid of reports.

In Canada, the Bank of Canada’s policy announcement (Wednesday) dominates an otherwise light schedule of data and events this week. No change to the 0.25% rate setting is widely expected. The BoC surprised at the April announcement by reducing the QE purchase program by $3 bln per week of GoCs. While Q1 GDP undershot their expectations, the broad swath of data remains consistent with their recovery outlook. But the labor market is still soft, running well short of its pre-pandemic strength (long-term unemployment held nearly steady at a near-record high in May). Also, fresh restrictions weighed on economic activity during April and May, leaving steady as it goes as the most likely outcome from the Bank of Canada this month. The April trade report (Tuesday) is seen revealing a widening of the deficit to -C$1.5 bln in May after the -C$1.1 bln shortfall in April. The capacity utilization rate (Friday) for Q1 is seen rising to 81.0% from 79.2% in Q4.

ASIA

Covid will remain on the regional radar screen this week, as cases in several countries continue to rise, causing economic restrictions and factory closures. Thailand and Vietnam have been hit by fresh outbreaks, while Malaysia last week put a total lockdown in place. The restrictions will ultimately impact incoming data in the region. This week’s slate includes trade, CPI, PPI and loan data from China. Japan has growth and price data with revised Q1 GDP, PPI, current account, and the BSI business outlook survey. Elsewhere, the usual production, trade, prices and employment figures are slated. There are no central bank meetings scheduled.

China May trade (Monday) is expected to see the surplus widen to $45.0 bln from $42.9 bln in April. Both imports and expects should pick up from April’s pace as the global economy continued to improve. As with most of the rest of the world, May inflation data (Wednesday) should firm further amid rising demand and limited supplies, as well as on base effects. CPI is projected to warm to a 1.5% y/y pace from 0.9% y/y, and PPI should jump to 8.5% y/y from 6.8%. May loan figures are tentatively due Wednesday as well. Japan 2nd preliminary Q1 GDP (Tuesday) is expected to be revised to -5.0% y/y from the preliminary -5.1% and is down from the 11.6% Q4 clip. GDP has plotted a very choppy course over the past six quarters, crashing to a -28.6% contraction rate in Q2 2020, then rebounding to a 22.9% pace in Q3, from where it’s slowed to an 11.6% rate in Q4, then to dropped to -5.1% last quarter. The April current account surplus (Tuesday) is expected to narrow to JPY 1,600.0 bln from JPY 2,650.1 bln. May bank loan data are due Tuesday as well. May PPI (Thursday) is forecast to heat up to 4.7% y/y from 3.6%. This would be a third straight month in positive territory and a sixth consecutive monthly gain from the -2.3% in November. Prices had been in deflation from March 2020 through February 2021. The June BSI business outlook survey (Friday) likely worsened to -5.5 from -4.5. Ongoing Covid restrictions in Japan should temper sentiment for the foreseeable future.

Taiwan May CPI (Tuesday) is forecast to have lifted to 2.3% y/y from 2.1% previously. May exports are also due Tuesday as well. They posted a 38.7% y/y pace of growth in April versus 27.1% in March. India April industrial production (Friday) should surge to a 100% y/y rate of growth from 22.4% in March given the easy comp. The April 2020 reading was a Covid depressed -57.3%. But production likely has been measurably impacted by the reemergence and acceleration of the virus and resulting state lockdowns. South Korea revised Q1 GDP (Wednesday) is seen unchanged at 1.8% y/y, while May unemployment (Wednesday) is set to drop to 3.5% from 3.7%. Malaysia April industrial production (Friday) is set to jump to a 35% y/y clip from 9.3% previously, with the surge again resulting from the covid-related weakness from last April, when production fell -32% at the peak of the pandemic. Philippines April unemployment is due Tuesday. It was at a 7.1% rate in March. The April trade deficit (Wednesday) seen narrowing slightly to $2.3 bln from $2.4 bln.

In Australia, a thin docket is on offer, with ANZ job ads for May (Monday) and a speech by the RBA’s Kent (Wednesday). Last week, the RBA kept policy settings unchanged, matching widespread expectations. Officials confirmed a decision will be made in July on whether to extend the yield target and undertake further quantitative easing. There was a lot of positive noise on not just growth, but also unemployment developments. However, Governor Lowe said “despite the strong recovery in the economy and jobs, inflation and wage pressures are subdued. Moreover, “The Board is committed to maintaining highly supportive monetary conditions to support a return to full employment in Australia and inflation consistent with the target. It will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range. For this to occur, the labour market will need to be tight enough to generate wages growth that is materially higher than it is currently. This is unlikely to be until 2024 at the earliest.”

New Zealand: it’s a light week with a holiday Monday for the Queen’s birthday. The sparse calendar has May manufacturing PMI (Friday), which may be of interest as the dramatic pick-up in producer sentiment amid climbing demand and rising prices is closely tracked. There is nothing from the RBNZ this week. Last month, the bank shook global markets via projections in the monetary policy statement that showed a possible hike in the OCR (overnight cash rate) in the second half of 2022. The bank left rates unchanged, downplaying inflation risks and stressing that “considerable time and patience” would be needed by policymakers before they could be confident that inflation and employment objectives were met. Nonetheless, the RBNZ’s OCR projections were the latest tentative sign that some central banks — the Fed remaining a notable exception — are pivoting ever so slightly to cover the risk that inflationary pressures might sustain, and the associated risk that uber stimulus is setting up global asset markets for an eventual crash.

EUROPE

Eurozone: the ECB meeting (Thursday) will take centre stage this week. Overall policy settings, including the PEPP framework are widely expected to remain unchanged.But the question is whether the ECB will stick to the “significantly” enhanced monthly purchase schedule. Against the background of strengthening growth, we suspect the central bank will drop the explicit reference to purchase targets and focus on the flexible nature of the program. It is also likely to hint at the need for a “technical” adjustment to account for generally quiet market conditions over the summer. That would allow the central bank to scale back purchases, while keeping a close eye on spreads and step in, if necessary.

Flexibility on purchase volumes within the EUR 1850 bln PEPP envelope, the fact that the EU’s EUR 750 bln stimulus program is making progress and that there will likely be spillover effects from very sizeable U.S. stimulus should allow the ECB to take the foot off the accelerator slightly in coming months. And as ECB’s Villeroy has stressed, even if PEPP is phased out in March next year, as currently penciled in, the ECB’s overall policy stance will remain very accommodative for a long time to come, and the ECB would still have room to react to any undue tightening in the future. The deposit rate would still be negative, purchases under the APP program would still continue at EUR 20 bln a month and any reduction of the ECB’s continuously widening balance sheet is still very far in the future.

Data releases this week focus on German June ZEW investor confidence (Tuesday), which is expected to confirm the recovery story and lift to 85.0 (med 85.3) in the headline from 84.4 in the previous month. The current conditions indicator should outperform as demand picks up and activity strengthens, although the fact that this is an investor confidence reading means taper speculation could keep a lid on the headline.

The rest of the calendar is mainly backward looking. Eurozone Q1 GDP (Tuesday) expected to be confirmed at -0.6% q/q, although there were some major revisions in national numbers, that could shake things up a bit. More up to date German April industrial production (Tuesday) is seen rising 0.7% m/m, while a sharp pick up in import price inflation is likely to weigh on the German trade surplus (Wednesday) for that month. German manufacturing orders (Monday), are the most forward looking numbers of the month and we are looking for a rise of 0.8% m/m (med 0.7%) as Germany’s manufacturing sector increasingly benefits from strengthening global growth.

French production data and final inflation readings for June are also due. Germany sells 2050 bonds and there is also supply from Italy.

U.K.: the incoming data have been underscoring the robust recovery the UK economy has been seeing. The UK’s final May composite PMI, for instance, came in with a headline reading of 62.9 — a new record high for the data series going back to January 1998. The prognosis for the months ahead is looking good, though a sharp jump in new Covid cases is threatening to spoil the party, causing the prime minister to publicly ruminate that the fourth and final phase of the government’s “roadmap” to reopening, scheduled for June 21, might be delayed. But there are good grounds to expect this won’t develop into a full blown wave, a least in terms of serious health impact and mortalities. The spread, which is being driven by the Indian or Delta variant, is mostly among younger, unvaccinated people, while the the vaccinated majority are proving to be resistant. Nevertheless, and this being a global consideration, it underscores that likely reality that SARS-CoV2 virus is likely to be with us indefinitely, similar to flu, with new mutations appearing over time.

The calendar this week will be highlighted by the release of April and second-revision Q1 GDP data, alongside April industrial production and trade data. The GDP and production data (both Friday) are expected to show strength. The median forecast for April GDP is 2.4%, up from 2.1% in the month prior. April industrial production has a median forecast for a 1.2% m/m gain, with the y/y figure is seen rising by 30.2%, with the outsized figure a reflection of the pronounced recovery from last year’s “mother lockdown”.

Switzerland: the calendar brings May unemployment and inflation reports (both Monday). The median forecast for headline CPI is 0.6% y/y, rising from 0.3% y/y in April.

Stocks & ETF Watch List

Tip: Use this section to find stocks and ETFs to add value to your portfolio by increasing the alpha (return) and decreasing beta (beta). Our list is updated weekly to help provide our readers with timely insights. Readers should do their own research before making any investment. In order to make our report easier to read, we are now including the stocks as lists for readers in separate posts.

Inflation Stock Picks

List of stocks that we think should perform better in a rising inflation environment. Click here

Solid Picks

This group of stock/ETF picks is likely to experience growth and perform well into the near future. Click here.

Dividend Stocks

List of stocks that have excellent dividends and business performance. Click here.

Dividend Growth Stocks

List of stocks that have a history of growing dividends. Click here.

Dividend ETFs Picks

This list of ETFs are selected for their ability to pay dividends. Click here.

Dogs of the Dow

This list of DOW stocks based on H. G. Schneider’s Article in the Journal of Finance in 1951 that used the price-earnings ratio. The general idea is that blue-chip companies that pay a dividend are more likely to withstand an economic downturn. Click here.

Economic Data Calendar

We have a limited release schedule for the second week of June. The trade deficit is expected to narrow in April from an all-time high in March, as imports gave back some of their big March gain. Wholesale sales and inventories likely posted big price-led April gains, as seen in March. We expect more moderate May CPI gains for the headline and core indexes after hefty April increases, with a gasoline price drop despite the Colonial pipeline disruption. We expect a small June bounce in Michigan sentiment following the May drop from a cycle-high in April.

Complete Calendar: Click here to view the complete complete calendar of all the events.

Week of June 7

We now have four U.S. jobs reports over the February-May period with an average payroll gain of 540k, leaving a growth path that lies well short of the optimistic hopes of those advocating the two big Q1 stimulus packages alongside the current hyper-accommodative monetary policy. The May gain of 559k lies close to this average, and we assume 550k payroll gains over the coming three months that largely extend the pattern.

We’re now able to gauge the “speed limit” for the U.S. economy. Demand may as well be infinite, as shortages and capacity constraints are limiting “real” growth in most sectors, imports are maxing-out port capacity, and prices for a wide array of commodities are soaring as sellers absorb the cash intake from heightened stimulus-fueled spending.

Beyond base-effects, wage gains are accelerating, with a 2.0% y/y May gain that follows a 6.7% y/y surge in May of 2020, leaving a 2-year rate of wage growth of a lofty 4.3% over the period. The workweek is just a tick below the 21-year high of 35.0 hours, suggesting little room for workers to extend their workweeks to expand output.

For the various speed limits, we now expect “only” an 8.0% real GDP gain in Q2, while residential construction looks poised for roughly 4%-5% growth beyond elevated Q1 levels. Imports are climbing at a 9% rate. The vehicle assembly rate is declining further in Q2 due to semiconductor shortages, and vehicle sales fell -9.5% in May with the plunge in inventories, though this hit will hopefully be at least partly reversed in the second half of the year. We now expect a hefty Q2 inventory liquidation rate of -$107 bln, before a rebuild into 2022.

The housing sector is providing a severe example of how capacity constraints are affecting quantities and prices. We are likely now close to fully employing all those who know how to build a home, as construction jobs fell -20k in May despite the climb in residential construction to record-highs. We’ve now heard reports of people paying $1 mln over asking price for homes in Silicon Valley, while existing home sales have fallen back sharply from their October 2020 peak. Few households are willing to relinquish their homes, and builders are unable to build new homes fast enough despite massive gains for the home price indexes, due to limited supplies of labor, buildable land, and materials.

It’s clear that the real economy is growing as fast as it can, though it is leaving behind businesses that are poised to see a lower level of demand in the post-pandemic economy. Suburbanites no longer see cities as safe, so the service sectors in major cities will need to downsize, just as the economy attempts to slowly expand capacity everywhere else.

Trade Deficit: -$67.5 bln

The trade deficit is expected to narrow to $67.5 bln from an all-time high of $74.4 bln in March and a prior high of $70.5 bln in February. We expect exports to grow 1.5% to $203.1 bln, while imports fall -1.4% to $270.6 bln. The trade deficit should average -$69.3 bln in Q2, after gaps of -$70.9 bln in Q1 and -$66.7 bln in Q4. For 2021, we expect a -$70.1 bln average deficit, versus a -$56.8 bln average in 2020. The oil price uptrend stalled in April, hence providing some restraint for gains in petroleum sector trade. Trade in vehicles fell sharply in April after March gains, with ongoing disruptions from semiconductor shortages. We expect a -$28 bln bilateral goods balance between the U.S. and China with elevated import and export figures as businesses rebuild inventories. We saw a -$43.1 bln all-time wide bilateral gap in October of 2018.

Wholesale Inventories: 0.8%/1.5%

Wholesale sales are estimated to grow 1.5% in April, after a 4.6% March pop, while inventories grow 0.8% after a 1.1% March gain. Rising commodity prices will lift the nominal measures as was seen in March, following a big February hit from weather disruptions. The I/S ratio should fall to a new 6-year low of 1.21 from a prior low of 1.22, versus an all-time low of 1.12 in June of 2008 and an all-time high of 1.66 in April of 2020. The ratio is struggling to climb back toward the pre-pandemic reading of 1.32 in January and February of 2020. Business inventories should fall -0.1% in April, with other component readings of 0.3% for factories and -1.6% for retailers, as shown in the advance indicators report. The wholesale sector has been boosted by the robust recovery in trade with China. International trade is disproportionately captured at the wholesale level of production.

CPI/Core: 0.3%/0.3%

We expect May gains of 0.3% for both the CPI headline and core, following April gains of 0.8% for the headline and 0.9% for the core. CPI gasoline prices look poised to ease -0.6% in May, despite the Colonial pipeline disruption that lifted prices on the east coast. As-expected May figures would result in a 4.5% headline y/y increase, following a 4.2% pace in April. Core prices should show a 3.3% y/y rise, up from 3.0% y/y in April. As with PPI, the headline inflation figures are being lifted by big commodity and trade price gains, fed by disruptions from the Texas freeze in February, the Suez canal closure in March, and ongoing ship backlogs at the nation’s ports. The headline y/y gains for all the inflation gauges are climbing sharply in Q2 due to easy comparisons, leaving likely peak-gains in May for both the headline and core. We expect respective PCE y/y chain price gains of 3.7% and 3.0%. The Fed will continue to interpret the Q2 inflation spike as transitory, though it’s unclear if upward commodity price pressure will abate anytime soon.

Initial Jobless Claims: 380k

Initial jobless claims are expected to fall -5k to 380k, after a drop to 385k from 405k in the prior week. Initial claims have turned sharply lower over the past six weeks, following a restrained drop-back through the start of April from the holiday peak. Claims are expected to average 431k in May, after averages of 582k in April, 724k in March, and 800k in February. The 444k May BLS survey week reading follows prior survey week figures of 566k in April, 765k in March, and 847k in February. We assume a 550k June payroll rise, following a 540k average monthly gain over the last four months.

Continuing claims grew by 169k to 3,771k in the week of May 22, following an downwardly revised 3,602k figure. We expect continuing claims to fall -91k to the 3,680k area for the week ending May 29. The downtrend in the continuing claims data has moderated over the past six weeks, just as the drop in initial claims has picked up steam. We saw a continuing claims dip of -11 between the April and May BLS survey weeks. We saw prior drops of -188k in April, -628k in March, -409k in February, -555k in January, and -705k in December.

Michigan Sentiment, Preliminary: 84.0

We expect the preliminary June Michigan sentiment report to reveal a 1.1 point rise to 84.0 from 82.9 in May, following cycle-highs of 88.3 in April and 84.9 in March, and a 6-month low of 76.8 in February. We expect current conditions rise to 91.0 from 89.4 in May, following cycle-highs of 97.2 in April and 93.0 in March, and a 4-month low of 86.2 in February. Expectations should rise to 79.5 from 78.8 in May, following cycle-highs of 82.7 in April and 79.7 in March, and a 3-month low of 70.7 in February. The 1-year inflation gauge should slip to the 4.4% area from a 13-year high of 4.6% in May that matched highs in April and March of 2011. We saw a 9-year high of 3.4% in April. The 5-10 year inflation measure should sustain the May rise to a 10-year high of 3.0% last seen in 2013 from 2.7% in April and a 7-year high of 2.8% in March that was last seen in July of 2015. The climb in confidence with vaccines, stimulus deposits, and the easing of coronavirus restrictions may have peaked, given May drops for Michigan sentiment, consumer confidence, and the IBD/TIPP index, though the Langer index rose in May.

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