The OPEC meeting in Vienna this week comes in the midst of an oil price increase. Friday’s release of the U.S. employment numbers for May will be closely watched to see if they are in line with earlier positive data. If so, the likelihood of a Fed rate increase in June goes up considerably, which could lead to more dollar appreciation.
The good news in the municipal bond market: There is strong investor demand, which is bidding up prices. Not only is the domestic desire for munis running hot, the presence of negative interest rates in developed Europe and Asia has escalated the amount of money flowing in from overseas banks, pension funds and other institutions.
While U.S. stocks managed to eke out a small positive in the first quarter of 2016, bottom-line growth for the same period is coming in negative. It’s the fourth-straight quarter of negative earnings growth for the Standard & Poor’s 500. The last losing streak this long came during the depths of the financial crisis/Great Recession.