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U.S. stocks staged a comeback yesterday afternoon after starting the day sharply lower, amid developments in U.S. international trade relations that were being viewed as optimistic by investors who have become increasingly sensitive to tariff headlines.  The market‘s gains were broad, with shares of internet-related and information technology companies climbing the most.

Sales at U.S. retailers fell in April for the second time in three months, a sign that Americans are exercising caution over how much they spend with the economy facing increased headwinds.  Retail sales dropped 0.2% last month.   Sales declined in most major segments including automobiles, home centers and internet stores.

The National Association of Home Builders’ monthly confidence index jumped three points to 66 in May. That was the highest reading since October.  The May increase beat consensus estimates for a one-point rise.  Any reading over 50 signals improvement in home building.  Builder confidence slid throughout 2018 as conditions in the housing market darkened, but it’s perked up over the past few months.

Oregon taxpayers could receive a record-shattering $1.4 billion “kicker” tax rebate next year, state economists told lawmakers during a revenue forecast in Salem yesterday morning.  But Democratic leaders immediately suggested that at least some of the windfall be used to help hedge against a future economic downturn and expand government programs rather than be directed back to taxpayers.