Market Update - May 16, 2014

As we close in on the midpoint of today’s trading, the market is remaining relatively flat with some mixed choppy trading. Earlier this week, we saw the Dow start off strong, with an upward revision of March’s retail sales data and encouraging small-business sentiment. Investors were enthused by the upward revision of March’s retail sales data from 1.1% to 1.5%, which marked the biggest gain in four years. The past two days we have seen some weakness in the market, with some fault due to Wal-Mart’s earnings and revenues, which failed to meet expectations.

The Commerce Department announced that housing starts in the U.S. jumped more than 13% in April to an annual rate of 1.07 million, with all four parts of the nation seeing improvement. Even more extraordinary, the 8% rise building permits to 1.08 million marked the best level in almost six years. Unlike housing starts, which are more weather-dependent as they reflect actual building activity, permits should theoretically not have been as influenced by weather conditions, and that has economists more excited about what the increase implies for future homebuilding.

Have a good weekend, and enjoy some time outdoors!