This Weekly Market Update reviews the top market headlines: Retail Sales Unchanged in April, Consumer Prices Jump in April, Colonial Pipeline Shutdown Drives Higher Gas Prices

Top Three Market Headlines 

Retail Sales Unchanged in April: Sales at retail establishments unexpectedly stalled in April from the prior month, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. On the plus side, auto and parts sales increased 2.9%, while sales at restaurants and bars rose 3% as capacity restrictions are increasingly eased. Offsetting these gains, however, spending at stores that sell clothing, sporting goods, and furniture decreased. Although sales were unchanged on the month, the overall level of sales remained higher than before the pandemic, reflecting the overall positive trend in consumer spending.

Consumer Prices Jump in April: The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose a greater-than-expected 0.8% in April from the prior month and 4.2% over a one-year period, the latter being the largest annual increase since 2008. Higher prices for used automobiles, which surged 10% on the month as a global chip shortage limited supplies of new autos, accounted for more than a third of the overall CPI’s monthly increase. Also, energy prices overall jumped 25% from a year earlier. While prices have risen, base effects (low prices at this time in 2020) have distorted year-over-year comparisons in the short term, partly a reason why the Federal Reserve believes the current increase in prices is transitory.

Colonial Pipeline Shutdown Drives Higher Gas Prices: A cyberattack caused the Colonial Pipeline, which carries gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined oil products to 14 states, to shut down operations on May 7. The stoppage strained gasoline supplies and spurred a run on gas stations along the East Coast. This drove gasoline prices to their highest level in more than six years: The national average price of gasoline ended the week at $3.03 per gallon, up more than seven cents from the time of the shutdown. By week’s end, Colonial Pipeline Co., operator of the pipeline, had resumed delivering fuel to all of its markets, though warned that it would take several days for product delivery to return to normal.

As of May 14, 2021 Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World -1.53% 4.07% 8.83% 49.03%
S&P 500 -1.35% 5.23% 11.73% 48.72%
Russell 2000 -2.04% 0.27% 13.01% 81.80%
MSCI EAFE -1.29% 4.31% 7.94% 47.60%
MSCI Emerging Markets -3.00% -0.49% 1.79% 48.17%
FTSE NAREIT -1.28% 6.24% 15.67% 50.71%
Bloomberg Commodity -1.87% 10.23% 17.86% 50.22%
Barclays U.S. Aggregate -0.37% 0.69% -2.70% -0.24%

WSJ, CNBC 05/12/2021, Department of Commerce, WSJ 5/14/2021, WSJ 5/13/2021; data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC does not express an investment opinion regarding any specific commodity, sector or individual security. Unless otherwise expressly noted, the contents of this communication do not constitute securities or investment advice, nor should this communication be construed as an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice. The information provided cannot take into account all the various factors that may affect your particular situation, therefore you should consult your Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors consultant before acting upon any information or recommendation contained herein to discuss the suitability of the information/recommendation for your specific situation.