Consumer inflation rose in April boosted by rising gas prices along with increasing rents and healthcare costs, though underlying inflation remained tame. The Core PCE, the Fed's favorite inflation gauge, rose 1.6% in the latest report, below the Fed's target range of 2.0%. The Labor Department reports that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.3% last month, just below the 0.4% expected and down from 0.4% in March. Low inflation levels will continue to keep the US Federal Reserve holding interest rates at current levels, while mortgage rates will remain low in the foreseeable future.
US stocks are extending losses on the last trading day of the week due to concerns of a protracted trade dispute between the US and China. The US has increased tariffs to 25% on $200 billion worth of imported goods coming into the US. The news has sent stock prices lower all week as the closely watched S&P 500 Stock Index has declined by 3.6% from its all-time closing high of 2,945, hit on April 30. Keep in mind that markets don't go straight up or down, and when at all-time highs, investors look to cash in some profits and look for the next opportunity.