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“You take an educated gamble. If you don’t occasionally make a mistake, you’re not doing your job.” – James Sinegal

Morning stock market summary

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Is this the week markets finally manage to scratch out a rally?  Barring an absolute collapse into the three day weekend, US stocks are poised to finish off the week significantly higher, but before we get to the closing bell, there’s a bunch of economic data to get through, including Wholesale Inventories, Personal Income and Spending, the PCE Core Deflator, and Michigan Confidence.

Treasuries are modestly higher, equities are flat, crude oil is slightly lower, and bitcoin is down heading into the final session before a three-day weekend.

In today’s Morning Lineup, we recap major market moves out of Asia and Europe as well as the comparison in the performance between US and European stocks so far this year.

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to the summer driving season, and prices heading into the period have surged both this month and on a YTD basis.  The national average price of a gallon of gas, according to AAA, sits at $4.60 per gallon, which is up just under 10% this month (third-largest increase since 2005) and 40% YTD (second largest YTD increase since 2005).  The 40% YTD increase is more than twice the historical average and follows what was a 35% YTD increase last year.  There’s pain at the pump.

Gas prices have no doubt surged, but if there’s any potential silver lining, it is that from a seasonal perspective, we’re at the point in the year where prices tend to peak.  Whether prices follow that seasonal pattern this year, though, remains to be seen.

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