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David Becker


US stocks were mixed on Friday, with the Dow edging lower and the S&P 500 index higher. For the week the major averages were also mixed with the S&P 500 index rising 1.3% but the Nasdaq 100 declining 1.85% notching up its first decline in 3-weeks. Sectors in the S&P 500 index were mixed with Utilities outperforming and Energy underperforming. The VIX volatility index moved sideways closing the week near 28. US Housing starts came in strong than expected, putting some downward pressure on US note prices. The dollar continues to decline with the dollar index dropping .75% for the week. This put upward pressure on gold prices which helped buoy the miners. COVID remains a concern for US stock investors as the US hit a record number of new cases on Thursday.

US Housing Starts Climb

US Housing starts increased by 17.3% to an annual rate of 1.186 million units last month, according to the Commerce Department. Data for May was revised up to a 1.011 million-unit pace from the previously reported 974,000. Expectations were for housing starts to rise to a rate of 1.169 units


The Rig Count Continues to Fall

Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the number of oil and gas rigs in the US fell by 5, to 253, marking the nineteenth straight loss in the number of active rigs. The total oil and gas rigs are now sitting at 701 fewer than this time last year. The number of natural gas rigs declined by 4. The number of oil rigs decreased for the week by 1 rig bringing the total to 180 compared to 779 active rigs this time last year.

Job Posting Continue to Fall

Job postings declined in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., in the past two weeks, according to Glassdoor. Job-opening decreases were less steep in states with sharp rises in virus infections, including Florida, Texas and Arizona, possibly reflecting broader reopenings in those states.

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