It was an “All Tech, All the Time” kind of rally in markets yesterday. Today, we’re seeing a slightly broader advance in the early going.
Crude oil is also higher, while gold and silver are flattish along with Treasuries. The dollar is a bit lower.
On the news front...
Pick your media outlet. They’re all reporting some version of the same message: A debt ceiling deal is near! It will reportedly raise the ceiling for two years in exchange for the installation of caps on discretionary spending. Military and veteran-related spending would rise, however, while the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may lose some of the $80 billion in expanded funding Congress threw its way last year.
The legal debt “limit” is currently $31.4 trillion. The Treasury Department has been warning the US could default by June 1, though some Wall Street experts said we might be able to last until June 8 or 9.
As for the economy, we got a host of data this morning – and it was a mixed bag. Durable goods orders rose 1.1% in April. But if you strip out defense and transportation orders, they missed expectations. On the other hand, personal spending handily beat forecasts for April. Income was in line, and the inflation numbers embedded in the report were a tinge hotter than expected.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) won the bidding for First Republic Bank, the San Francisco institution that collapsed amid the deposit flight crisis earlier this year. Now, it’s giving about 1,000 former First Republic employees their walking papers. The remainder of the bank’s 7,000 employees will stay on temporarily during the transition or permanently in new roles at Chase.
Planning to hit the road – or the skies – this Memorial Day weekend? Well, I have some good news...and bad news. AAA says traveling by car will be a bit cheaper for the more than 42 million Americans expected to drive 50 miles or more. The reason? Gas prices are down a buck from last year to an average price of $3.57 per gallon. The average cost of a hotel room is also $208 per night, down 6% year-over-year.
But while flying domestically is looking cheaper, flying to foreign markets is not. International airfares are the most expensive they’ve been since the pre-pandemic days. Overseas hotel rates have jumped, too.