Earnings season slowed down last week, but conference presentations took up some of the slack. Presentations are a nice change of pace, because they tend to focus more on strategy and long-term plans. There was some positive macro commentary though coming out of these presentations: Conditions didn't change much in May.
The retail sector continued to report soft earnings last week. As retail spending moves increasingly online, it's clear that the United States has too many retail outlets, and that the industry will need to shrink over time. That could pose problems for those with investments in the sector.
Macy's was the first department store retailer to report results for the first quarter and it set a negative tone for the industry. It's not necessarily surprising that a brick-and-mortar retailer is struggling, but the extent of the deterioration did seem worse than expected.
Low-income earners never really exited the recession, and in fact, their situations have gotten worse. Inflation is outpacing wage growth for this demographic.
It was a holiday-shortened week last week, so there weren't a lot of companies talking. It is annual report season though, so a lot of this week's quotes come from shareholder letters. Commentary continues to be positive. Optimism has rebounded with the markets.
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