U.S. Equity Markets were volatile yesterday as investors digest jobs data and Federal Reserve actions, ending the day lower, led by the NASDAQ 100 which closed with a loss of 1.07%. This move lower saw the VIX rise over 3%. The Federal Reserve and jobs data were the main focuses during yesterday’s session. After I posted yesterday morning, the Fed said it would sell the roughly $14 billion worth of corporate bonds and exchange-traded funds acquired during the market rout last year by the end of 2021. This removed some of the central bank support from the economy. But jobs data were positive. Jobless Claims hit a post-pandemic low for the fifth straight week. And ADP’s Employment Survey showed that private companies added nearly 1 million jobs last month. Both of these data points are strong signs for the economic recovery. Infrastructure was also in the news, with reports that President Joe Biden said he could back a $1 trillion infrastructure bill (versus the current $1.7 trillion proposal). But talks are still ongoing, and there is minimal progress. European Markets closed lower despite positive economic data. Markit Euro-Zone’s final composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (“PMI”) data for May rose versus the preliminary reading, as services sector momentum continued to build. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said it is committed to favorable financing and strong policy support will remain in place to ensure an economic. The International Monetary Fund boosted its Italian economic growth estimate, from 4.2% to 4.3%, as Rome plans to run a higher deficit in order to spur activity. In Asia, The White House was said to prepare plans for a new China blacklist, that would impose financial penalties on companies with ties to the defense and surveillance technology sectors. Markit Caixin’s composite PMI numbers for May weakened versus April, but remained in expansion territory, as new orders fell and input prices rose. Markit Japan’s final composite PMI data for May rose versus the preliminary reading, as services sector output and new orders weakened. Australia’s export figures for April were weaker than expected, as two of the country’s top exports – iron ore and gold – saw shipments abroad decline. Elsewhere, Oil closed flat while Gold fell 1.93% on renewed Dollar strength.
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