This week’s economic calendar is packed full of reports that could surely impact trading in the capital markets. Readings on manufacturing, inflation at the wholesale and consumer level, housing figures, weekly claims and consumer sentiment will give investors a broad look at the U.S. economy. Both Stocks and Bonds are lower this morning to start the trading week. Losses can also be seen in the price of oil as a report showed that demand declined in China along with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries boosting output.
This morning, a report showed that the consumer is still alive and kicking and spent money on a broad array of goods in April. The Commerce Department reported that Retail Sales rose unexpectedly last month by 0.1%, above the -0.3% that was anticipated by economists. A spike in car sales was also a contributing factor in the rise. Consumer spending is an important economic barometer as it accounts for more than 2/3s of overall economic activity.
A troubling report of government branches over stepping their authority has surfaced. It was learned late Friday that tax agents at the IRS singled out several non-profit groups seeking tax exempt status and looked for such words, such as Teat Party or Patriot. The agents then took that one step further and looked for key words from groups like “how the country is being run”. The agents would continually change their criteria of groups and would target them for closer examinations. The agents also focused in on phrases from groups that focused on making “America a better place to live”. The findings were contained in portions of an investigative report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.