Initial Guidance | 15 June 2016

US retail sales rose 0.5% in May, following a 1.3% surge in April, the Commerce Dept. reports. “As has been the case in the prior two years, the modest first-quarter disappointment in consumer spending now appears to be a short-lived soft patch,” Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan, tells Reuters. “This number also lends credence to the idea that the big miss on May payrolls may have been sending an overly pessimistic signal on growth.”

The Fed will probably leave interest rates unchanged today when it publishes its monetary policy announcement this afternoon at 2:00 pm eastern.

Small business optimism in the US inched higher for a second month in a row in May, advises the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). But the trade group notes while its sentiment index is creeping higher, small business owners have “no real enthusiasm for making capital outlays, increasing inventories, or expanding.” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said that “politicians in Washington credit any insignificant growth in the economy to their policies, but realistically, it’s the increase in the population. At this point, we should expect the same slow growth for the rest of the year.”

Redbook says that US retail sales fell 1% in the first half of June vs. the same period from a year ago.

MSCI decided to postpone adding China’s A shares to its widely traded emerging markets index.