Daily Data Flow: Stocks Rise; Factory Activity Edges Up; Dollar Weakens

Daily Data Flow

Stocks Rise on Official’s Stimulus Comments (Bloomberg)

Stocks rose today, with the S&P 500 erasing earlier losses, after Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said central bank officials are committed to record stimulus measures. “There certainly seems to be an acute fixation on the timing of any adjustment to the asset purchase program and I guess I would just encourage everyone to not lose sight of the bigger picture,” Lockhart said. “Any adjustment is not a major policy shift. The high level of accommodation will stay in place.”

Factory Activity Edges Up, but Growth Sluggish (CNBC)

A survey today showed that manufacturing picked up slightly last month, even though the pace was sluggish, suggesting that the sector might be a drag on the economy in the second quarter of this year. “The survey paints a downbeat picture of U.S. manufacturing business conditions. Output, order books and employment are all growing modestly, suggesting the sector is at risk of stalling,” said Chris Williamson, Markit chief economist.

Dollar Weakens after Strong Run in May, Outlook Remains Intact (Reuters)

The dollar hit a fragile bump today, as investors pared back bets and consolidated last month’s steep gains on the greenback from recent strong economic data. The dollar’s outlook, however, continues to remain upbeat due to growing expectations that the Federal Reserve could reduce its stimulus program. “There was a lot of dollar buying in May partly due to some upbeat U.S. data, and now market participants are stepping back a little bit to capitalize on these gains,” said Brian Kim, currency strategist at RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut.

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Even though this morning’s equity futures are signaling an up day today, there are a growing number of reasons to be concerned near term following the late drop in the market on Friday. As I’m sure you are aware, in the last two hours of Friday’s trading, the S&P 500 fell 1.42%, just shy of 24 points, and that capped the S&P 500’s gain to 3% for the month of May. While the S&P 500 exited May up 14.4% on a year-to-date basis, the last several days have raised concerns as to wh

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