Even though recent numbers showed that the U.S. economy dropped by .07 percent, the stock market is still showing small gains. Manufacturing numbers look slightly better than expected, as consumer spending has stalled. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.2 percent Monday. Intel agreed to purchase Altera Corp. for $16.7 billion, causing Altera to rally by 5.8 percent. Current economic numbers are not really positive, but are not too negative either, so the market continues to climb.
Many analysts believe that the economic data will temper the Fed’s interest rate raising activity. That should help stock prices move higher. The recent Merger and Acquisition activity has given the market a bit of a boost also. Consumer spending has been surprisingly lower than expected. Consumer spending is the major push for the U.S. economy, and it does not seem to be as robust as it usually is. If this becomes a long-term trend, it may be quite a while before the U.S. economy picks up steam. Slow growth, may be good for the stock market.
Health care companies and pharmaceuticals have been the best sectors during the past month. Bristol Meyers was up 2.9 percent. Stock trading volume was the lowest it has been for the year during the month of May. The trading range of the Dow Jones Industrial Averages had a very narrow trading range during the month as well.
Although, things seem to have slowed down a bit, the Dow and the NASDAQ have made new highest recently, on lower volume. Software companies help boost the NASDAQ, with EBay and Intuit up 1.9 percent. Facebook also helped the tech sector move higher with an increase of 1.4 percent. Overall, the U.S. stock market looks good for the time being. With just most short-term interest rate increases, there could be even more highs reached this year.