Following a 0.3% gain in January, 0.6% gain in February, and a 2.1% gain in March, April retail sales increased 0.4%. With the continued volatility of European markets, and slumping oil prices, this is perhaps the best news of all for a struggling global economy.
While initial reaction to the retail sales report has been limited due to soft details surrounding weak performance in several key retail components like new vehicle sales and building materials, the average total for March and April came in at $365.6 billion, which is in line with the $357.3 billion mark in February. [Will Retail ETFs feel the Mother’s Day Love?]
- SPDR S&P Retail (NYSEArca: XRT)
European woes have returned to the economic headlines yet again as stocks slumped in early morning trading due to strict cost-cutting measures in countries like Greece, Spain, and Portugal. The euro fell to an 18-month low, $1.2519 to $1.2469, based on fears that such measures will slow the continent’s economy to a crawl, which is likely to affect the domestic economy as well, with a decrease in demand for U. S. exports. [Sovereign Debt ETFs: A Good Bet After Europe’s Bailout?]
- CurrencyShares Euro Trust (NYSEArca: FXE)
Amid weakening demand due to the effects of continued European woes, oil fell to nearly $73 a barrel early Friday. With rising U. S. oil supplies, crude prices have decreased roughly 15% from early last week. With analysts originally predicting the usual summer peak in U. S. gas prices, around $3 per gallon, the recent slump has analysts now looking for prices to merely stabilize, if not move even lower. [Gas ETFs: Why They May Not Spike this Summer]
- United States Oil (NYSEArca: USO)
“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.