U.S. stocks were positive during May with small cap stocks moving higher than large cap stocks. Year-to-date through the end of May, Large Cap stocks are up 3.2% while Small Caps are up 3.9%. The market continues to teeter on the back of mixed economic data. New home sales and construction has continued positive movement while unemployment rates have not made significant moves. On the contrary, manufacturing and consumer spending are weakening along with the continued drop of oil prices. Much of the market sentiment continues to rely on Janet Yellen’s (Chair of the Federal Reserve) decision of when to increase interest rates. While the Fed continues to “kick the can further down the road,” many continue to believe we will likely see incremental hikes later this year.
International markets slowed down from their hot start to 2015. Emerging Markets continue to be the big winner this year, up 6.6% YTD through the end of May. European markets have continued to show improvement after news of quantitative easing and lower oil prices. A deal on Greece’s debt remains on the horizon for markets to either retract or move positively through the remainder of the year.
Bond markets continue to wait for a decision on interest rates. Core bonds dropped 0.45%.