Joe Quinlan: Good morning. This is the market update from May 22nd. Joe Quinlan, Chief Market Strategist for the CIO office. I'm going to start with just kind of the market performance. Last week the S&P, the NASDAQ, and the Dow Industrial Average all posted gains and for the year, the Dow is up 1.7% total return, S&P’s up almost 10%, the NASDAQ doing fabulously at 26.6% year to date through the end of last week on Friday. Pretty good tone to the market overall. In particular, earnings - around 95% of the S&P is reported - the top and bottom line better than expected. Not as bad as most folks had feared when it came to the earnings and to the revenue growth, and that's given the market more or less a really good undertone for where we are today. It is obviously being led by big technology. They have the big bid out there. If you look, the biggest five companies of technology, they have a combined market cap of $8.7 trillion at the end of Friday. They now account for around 25% of the S&P 500 cap and roughly 80% of the S&P 500 gains this year has come from these five companies. So it has been a narrow rally, but we do expect more breadth as we dive deeper into this year. This year we talk about it's really about the fed and the economy. Let me just start with the really economy. The numbers from April leading into May - better than expected. Retail sales came in at 0.4%. Still growth. We saw that was all from the declines in February and March. So we're seeing the retail, the consumers start to come back. They're spending more on services rather than goods, but autos are also getting a boost. Autos is big when it comes to industrial production and you're seeing consumers finally going out and trading up or into their new cars or trucks, so automobile production is ramping up. When you look at the housing market, mixed numbers in terms of new home sales, permits starts, really the mixed picture. It's also a mixed picture when you look at manufacturing. Some slowdown there related to capital expenditures. So when you kind of step back the $26 trillion US economy is chugging along albeit our economists are still looking for that recession call beginning in the third quarter of this year. A lot of the recession call will rest with the fed. There's a 22% chance according to the latest numbers that the fed will raise rates in June. The odds are that the fed are on pause, but really kind of when you look across the landscape, the fed may be on pause but they're going to keep the fed funds rate elevated. That's the expectation/the consensus. So the work is not done albeit there could be a pause in June in terms of the next rate hike and the markets are working their way through that as we speak. Overseas, something is to note - the weakness in China, whether it's retail sales, factory activity, fixed asset investment, very weak numbers for April coming through and that's weighed on oil prices and some other commodities as well, so that's something to watch very carefully. Europe keeps chugging along, around 1% growth and nothing dramatic out there, but nevertheless, global growth is soft heading into the summer and we do think it's going to continue to remain soft because while the fed could be on hold, there's a lot of work in Europe to fight inflation. Inflation expectations, inflation itself is much higher in Europe than it is in the United States. So kind of when you step back, it's a constructive outlook albeit there’s sogginess to earnings yet to play out. The economy still kind of working its way through a very aggressive fed tightening cycle, fed’s on pause, earnings coming in better than expected and really, we got to step back and just see how the consumer plays into Q2 - Q3 because remember, the US economy 70% of GDP is consumption. The consumers - we're looking at a good labor market, solid labor market relatively speaking, you're still seeing income gains, less inflation biting into the real incomes of US consumers - that's going to be key in terms of like where we go from here. Clearly when you look at the earnings, when we look into the second half of this year, companies leveraged to the consumer or technology, particularly artificial intelligence, that seems where there's a lot of play, a lot of activity, a lot of optimism in terms of between now and next 12 months in terms of where we're headed. So to kind of wrap up, we do have one big nut out there I'm going to talk about in a moment, but the economy continues to chug along. Earnings are better than expect. Little weaker than expected out of China. Europe’s chugging along. Then the big issue/the elephant in the room is the debt ceiling debate and this is a tough call. The principles are speaking. President Biden came back early from the G7 [unintelligible] meet with the republican leadership. It’s a very tough call between now and the X date which is anywhere between early June to mid-June. We do continue to expect consensus on The Street that the debt ceiling will be raised. That’s number one. Number two, however, what's the fallout? What's the spending cuts? What’s the plan look like in the aftermath? Spending, tax receipts, tax increases, the revenue and spending side. So we're the markets are a little still very much on edge and very much focused on the debt ceiling debate and we're nearing the end game in terms of the two parties finding some solution, but I want to emphasize that we do expect the debt ceiling to be raised. It’s just how do we get there and we're now looking for a default. We're going to see some volatility between now and then, but I would urge investors – remember, the US economy - pretty resilient, pretty dynamic. Earnings better than expected. We're looking for slowdown ala recession in the second half of this year, but we're still seeing some opportunities to put money to work whether its equities and fixed income with the US bias. So I will end there. That's it for the market update for May 22nd. Joe Quinlan from the CIO office. Thank you.
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