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“Often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller
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It’s a new month and markets are looking to start off on a good note with equity futures modestly higher across the board. Positive sentiment this morning has been driven by earnings from Salesforce (CRM) and Victoria’s Secret (VSCO). In economic data, German Retail Sales came in weaker than expected for the month of April, and PMI data for the month of May in both Asia and Europe generally showed a slowing but still growing trend.
Looking ahead here in the US, Construction Spending (April), ISM Manufacturing (May), and JOLTS (April) will all be released at 10 AM.
In today’s Morning Lineup, we discuss recent trends in the natural gas market (pg 4), activity in Asian and European markets (pg 4), May PMI trends from around the world (pg 5), and then selected economic data from Asia and Europe (pg 6).
We’ve noted the wide divergence in performance between individual sectors this year, but within the commodity space, the discrepancies are even wider. As shown in the snapshot of our Trend Analyzer below, the spread in YTD performance among commodity-related ETFs through the end of May is over 130 percentage points! At the top of the list, the US Natural Gas Fund (UNG) has rallied more than 123% even after falling more than 7% over the last five trading days. Behind UNG, the next best performing ETFs are also energy-related but they’re up less than half as much as UNG. At the other end of the spectrum, precious metals have been the worst performers YTD as Silver (SLV) is down nearly 8%, while gold-related ETFs are barely hanging on to gains. That may not sound like much, but compared to equities, which are down by double-digit percentages this year, flat is 2022’s version of up.
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