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Jun 04, 2024

May 2024

Equities returned to winning ways in May following a down April that had stunted three straight months of gains in 2024. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.6% in May, the S&P 500 advanced 5%, and the NASDAQ surged 7%. EAFE gained 4% in May, while Small Caps bested Large Caps by three-tenths of a percentage point.

Utilities was the best-performing sector for the second straight month, jumping 9% in May. Technology and Communication Services followed with respective gains of 7.1% and 7%. The only negative sector in May was Energy, which slipped 0.3%.

Both new single-family home sales and existing home sales slumped in May; at the same time, the median existing home sales price advanced above $400,000. Inflation remained in the mid-three percent range for the tenth straight month, while US PPI increased to 2.17%. The unemployment rate increased to 3.9%, and April’s job gains were the lowest in seven months.

Yields on mid- to long-term Treasury bonds declined in May while T-Bill instruments saw minimal movement. For the second straight month, the 5-year Treasury note saw the largest movement of any duration on the curve, down 20 basis points. The 2-year, 3-year, 10-year, 20-year, and 30-year all decreased by double-digit basis points, while yields on the 1-month and 3-month T-Bills were unchanged.

Bond funds saw some gains on the back of lower yields. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) advanced 2.9%, the largest increase of any bond fund tracked on our chart (below).

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