Q: How did Wall Street close last Friday?
A: Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the broader S&P 500 hit new
records last Friday, spurred by positive readings on job growth,
manufacturing and inflation. The Dow gained 40.47 points to close at
13,668.11, having hit an all-time intra-day high of 13,691.43, while the S&P
500 was up 5.72 points to 1,536.34. The tech-laden Nasdaq ended at its
highest point in six years, up 9.40 points to 2,613.92. Employers added a
higher-than-expected number of jobs -157,000 – to their payrolls in May,
after adding a downwardly revised 80,000 in April. The unemployment rate held
steady at 4.5% while the average hourly earnings rose 0.3%, both in line with
forecasts. The core PCE deflator, part of the personal income and spending
report, rose a smaller-than-expected 0.1% in April. On the manufacturing
front, the May ISM index rose to 55.0 from 54.7 in the previous month, versus
forecasts for a fall.
Q: A US$40 billion tax windfall for China?
A: The Financial Times reported that if turnover on Chinas markets stays at
the current levels, China will gain as much as US$40 billion from the tax
increase on share trading that was announced last Wednesday. In a bid to
apply some cooling pressure to China’s hot stock market, the PRC government
had tripled the stamp duty on stock trades to 0.3% from 0.1%.