Despite lower-than-expected sales figures for April, the increase in revenue this spring selling season is an encouraging sign the economy is still recovering. Chain store sales rose 0.8% this spring. Consumer spending is still expected to slow because of high unemployment rates, tight credit, and cooler weather, but with unemployment applications decreasing for a third straight week, profitability is still expected to improve as the job market continues to recover. [5 Ways to Play the U.S. Recovery.]
- Vanguard Consumer Discretionary (NYSEArca: VCR)
Amid the surging U. S. dollar and rising U. S. crude inventories, oil prices were fluctuating around $80 a barrel Thursday. Crude had dropped 10% from an 18-month high of $87.15 as the debt crisis in Europe continued to affect the euro, making commodities priced in dollars more expensive for investors holding euros as the U. S. currency strengthens. [ETF Strategies for the Jim Rogers Bull.]
- United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO)
The euro’s woes continue as the European Central Bank failed to offer any substantial news of plans to address the euro zone sovereign debt crisis, bringing the euro to a 14-month low at $1.2690, its lowest mark since March 2009. Meanwhile, protesters in Greece are still gathering. Greece needs at least $11.6 billion by May 16 if it’s going to cover a round of debt payments. [VIX Sent Higher.]
- CurrencyShares Euro Trust (NYSEArca: FXE)
Jobless claims fell for the third straight week, settling in at 444,000, down roughly 7,000. While signs the job market is slowly recovering continue, many economists believe the figure needs to reach 425,000 to signal sustained job growth.
Aaron Hurst contributed to this article.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.