It’s been a volatile couple of weeks as the world waited for President Trump make his Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Deal) announcement, tariff deadlines were extended, and the Federal Reserve made decisions about inflation. Now that Wall Street knows we are exiting the Iran Deal, tariff deadlines will be extended for some major trading partners, and the Fed won’t be changing rates yet, things are looking up.
With sanctions likely to prohibit Iranian oil exports in the not too distant future, the U.S. benchmark crude-oil rose to over $71 a barrel, it’s highest level since November 2014. The rapid rise in price might cause consumers to drive a little less, but for now, the increased spending at the pump is helping the energy sector recover from last year. There is a chance that domestic production will increase too rapidly and drive prices back down, but for now, that’s not likely.
While some are hesitant to call it a comeback, technology and internet stocks seem to be doing just that with Facebook back up to its trading level before the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and Apple setting a record for its biggest weekly gain in six years. Apple’s boost followed the announcement that Warren Buffett bought 75 million shares. That wasn’t the only thing that helped Apple beat its previous record: quarterly earnings results brought good news when investors learned they were well above expectations. With Apple and Facebook both leading the way, the Nasdaq is on the rise.
Oil and tech aren’t the only things making investors happy these days. The initial University of Michigan consumer sentiment index didn’t change in May, and the Fed announced that after being dislocated over the past decade, households are now on the same footing as employers. There are still inflation concerns overall, but the fed says it isn’t likely that the yield curve will be of concern until near September, leaving the entity plenty of time to adjust rates as needed.