Sell in May and go away

The old Wall Street cliché goes “sell in May and go away”. Should you worry? In fact, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq have not fallen in May since 2012. (CNBC)

Consumer spending was unchanged in March showing weak domestic demand in the first quarter. Adjusted for inflation, consumer spending increased 0.3%. Spending has been constrained by the mild winter, which undercut demand for heating and utilities production. Delays in income tax refunds also weighed on consumer spending. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. (Commerce Department)

Personal income gained 0.2%. Income at the disposal of households after accounting for inflation increased 0.5%, the biggest gain since December 2015. Savings increased to $849 billion from $819 billion in February. (Reuters)

Wages and benefits accelerate. The Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index, which includes both wages and benefits, rose 0.8% in the first quarter of 2017, ahead of expectations and the best quarterly rate of growth since before the Great Recession. Stronger wage growth points to a tightening labor market, although spare capacity and a low participation rate will likely keep any possibility for outsized wage acceleration in check. (LPL Research)

The S&P 500 is up 2 and the NASDAQ is up 9. The MSCI international index is up.

Oil is up 30 cents at $49.15 a barrel.

Gold is up $1 at $1257 a Troy ounce.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

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Financial Focus • May 2, 2017


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