Stocks cratered in the final minutes of trade as a downgrade of Spanish debt weighed on the markets. The Euro took a big hit on the Spanish day and ultimately finished the day 0.75% lower. The dollar rallied on the news and commodities continued to decline. Stocks lost 1.25% on the day. Volume was moderate, breadth was negative at 2:1. Investors will be eager to leave the month of May behind them after the 8.2% MoM decline.
From Daily Futures:
The U.S. Commerce Department said that personal incomes were up .4% in April, as expected. Consumer spending was unchanged in April, weaker than expected. The June 2011 eurodollars closed up .09 at 98.705.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ index fell from 63.8 to 59.7 in May, less than expected, but still a sign of expansion.
The University of Michigan’s index of consumer confidence increased from 72.2 to 73.6 in May, better than expected.
Grains and Cotton
According to Dow Jones Newswires, Egypt bought 180,000 tons of wheat from Russia. July wheat closed down 8.75 cents at a new contract low of $4.59.
July corn fell 13.25 cents to $3.60 with favorable U.S. growing weather in the forecast. There is also talk that China’s government wants to try to hold down prices by limiting speculation.
There was talk of a possible cotton shortage last month, but so far, there is not much evidence of it and a bigger U.S. crop is expected this fall. July cotton fell 1.23 cents to 80.05, the lowest close in three weeks.
After the close, the USDA estimated this week’s beef production at 503.6 million pounds, up 4.0% from a year ago. Pork production was estimated at 392.4 million pounds, up 6.0% from a year ago. August hogs ended down .10 at 82.80.
July orange juice ended up 1.70 cents at $1.4290 after yesterday’s prediction by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for an active hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin.
According to Dow Jones Newswires, Chile’s government said that copper production totaled 454,979 tons in April, up 6.4% from a year ago. July copper closed down 5.40 cents at $3.1045.
Japan’s unemployment rate increased from 5.0% to 5.1% in April with 3.56 million unemployed. Consumer prices were down 1.2% in April from a year ago and household spending was down .7% in April from a year ago. In spite of the disappointing news, the June yen ended up .0006 at 1.1017, supported by Europe’s woes.
Fitch Ratings cut its credit rating for Spain from AAA to AA+ with a stable outlook. The June euro finished down .0055 at $1.2324.
Canada’s Department of Finance said that its early estimate of the 2009-2010 budget deficit was C$46.9 billion, less than expected.
Some U.S. markets closed early today ahead of the Memorial day holiday. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.