The S&P 500 index reached another new high this week. On Monday, June 9 it closed at 1951.27. Year to date the index continues to be up, returning 4.75%. For the June 13 week however, the market lost some of its exuberance ending at 1936.16 with a one week return of -0.68%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average also reached a new high this week. On Tuesday, June 10 it closed at 16,945.92. However, for the week it was also down with a one week return of -0.88%. Year to date it falls slightly behind the S&P 500 returning 1.2%.
Weekly return leaders in the Industrial Average included Intel, Chevron and Merck. Intel had a weekly increase of 6.03% while Chevron and Merck returned 2.47% and 1.43%. Caterpillar continues to lead the Dow Jones Industrial Average year to date returning 18.9%.
On Friday, June 13 the Commerce Department released its monthly report on producer prices which is one measure used to gauge the direction of price inflation in the U.S. The May Producer Price Index (PPI) reading showed a decrease of 0.2% seasonally adjusted. The Producer Price Index is a significant market moving news release and the worse than expected results likely had an effect on the market’s downward turn for the week.
The PPI’s negative 0.2% reading is a signal of price deflation and means prices for goods and services demanded from producers in the U.S. were down 0.2% for the month of May. The last decrease in the PPI occurred in February 2014. Previous monthly readings were positive increasing 0.6% in April and 0.5% in March.
Leading economists had estimated an increase in the May PPI of 0.1%. The month’s lower index level brought the 12 month total for the PPI down to 2.0% from 2.1% in April.