Rover's Weekly Market Brief — 5/15/2020


DJIA: 23,685.40 (-2.65%)

NASDAQ: 9,015.00 (-1.17%)

S&P 500: 2,863.70 (-2.26%)


Gold: 1,753.70 (+2.32%)

Copper: 233.55 (-2.93%)

Crude Oil: 29.66 (+19.89%)

Value Investing with Stock Rover

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A steep drop in gasoline prices led declines for both consumer and business prices in April. Consumer prices dropped -0.8% for the month, and were up only +0.3% for the year vs a +1.5% yearly rate in March. In addition to falling energy costs, consumer prices fell for apparel (-4.7%), transportation services (-4.7%), and used vehicles (-0.4%), with only grocery prices posting a significant increase at +2.6% . Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, was down -0.4% for the month and at +1.4% for the year. Wholesale final demand prices were down -1.3% for the month, and yearly inflation was down -1.2% for the year. As with consumer prices, the drop in gasoline prices was the primary factor in lowering wholesale prices, and excluding food, energy, and trade margins, core wholesale inflation was limited to a -0.9% drop for the month and a -0.3% yearly drop.

Retail sales fell a record -16.4% in April after an upwardly revised -8.3% drop for March, and were down -21.6% from April 2019. Nonstore (i.e. internet) retailers were the only retailers with increasing sales at a +8.4% (+21.6% Y/Y) gain over March, with sales dropping the most for clothing stores (-78.8%, -89.3% Y/Y), electronics (-60.6%, -64.8% Y/Y/) and furniture stores (-58.7%, -66.5% Y/Y). Despite dropping for the month, sales were up on a yearly basis for grocery stores (+13.2%), and building/garden supply dealers (+0.4%). The retail sales report does not take price changes into account and the falling price for gasoline helped contribute to gasoline sales drops of -28.8% for the month and -42.8% for the year.

The March Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey found that as of the last business day of March job openings had decreased to 6.2 million, and hires had dropped to 5.2 million. Separations increased to a series high of 14.5 million, of which 11.4 million were layoffs. Over the previous 12 months, there had been 69.8 million hires and 76.9 million separations, yielding a net loss of 7.1 million jobs. Initial unemployment claims have exceeded 2 million/week since the third week of March, but the pace of new claims has been decreasing over the past four weeks and fell to 2.98 million (-195,000) for the week ending on May 9th. For the week ending April 25th, there were 25.3 million people claiming unemployment benefits, and 3.4 million claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

Upcoming Economic Reports:

Tuesday May 19 – Housing Starts

Thursday May 21 – Existing Home Sales

Earnings Calendar:


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Hospitality REIT