Markets are getting that sinking ceiling feeling, with equities under a bit of pressure after a mixed day yesterday. Crude oil is up modestly, while gold and silver are down along with Treasuries. The dollar is up just a bit.

As for yesterday’s debt ceiling talks at the White House between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden, the update from McCarthy was “We don’t have an agreement yet.” But he added that “the tone tonight was better”...and Biden called the talks “productive.” So take from that what you will. The two are set to meet every day now in an attempt to seal a deal.

Saudi Arabia continues to ratchet up its war of words on oil market short-sellers. Crude oil prices have slumped into the low-$70s from more than $80 earlier this year on concern about future demand. That prompted the Saudis and the other 22 nations in the OPEC+ alliance to announce a surprise production cut last month.

Will we get another cut when the group meets June 3-4? Keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, shares of the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) continue to lose altitude after a stellar 2022. The benchmark energy stock ETF is off about 8% year-to-date.

Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE)
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The social media platform TikTok fired back at the state of Montana, which recently passed legislation banning the app in the state starting Jan. 1, 2024. The Chinese-owned company filed a lawsuit in US District Court for the District of Montana, calling the ban unconstitutional and a violation of its First Amendment rights. The fight over data privacy and national security issues will likely play out over several quarters, if not years.