Markets Mixed to Begin the Week…..

U.S. equities finished the first trading day of the week mixed, as investors continued to weigh the economic recovery optimism against persistent inflation uncertainty and the implications it could have on the Fed’s timing of tapering its monthly asset purchases. Economic news was in short supply, as a steady consumer credit report was the lone item on the docket today ahead of a busy schedule later in the week. M&A news dominated the equity front, notably Blackstone Group’s deal to acquire QTS Realty Trust for $10.0 billion including debt, and Blackstone’s separate agreement to partner with Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman to acquire a majority stake in medical-supply company Medline Industries in a transaction valuing the company at more than $30.0 billion. Elsewhere, Vulcan Materials agreed to acquire U.S. Concrete in a deal representing a total equity value of $1.29 billion. Meanwhile, shares of Biogen soared following the approval of its treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Treasuries dipped, modestly lifting yields, and the U.S. dollar declined, while gold was higher and crude oil prices saw modest losses. Overseas, Europe finished mostly higher to modestly extended a recent rally, while markets in Asian were mixed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 126 points (0.4%) to 34,630, the S&P 500 Index shed 3 points (0.1%) to 4,227, while the Nasdaq Composite increased 67 points (0.5%) to 13,882. In moderate volume, 887 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 4.5 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil lost $0.39 to $69.23 per barrel. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price rose $8.10 to $1,899.69 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—declined 0.2% to 89.95.

Consumer credit remains steady to kick off busy economic week…..

Consumer credit, released in the final hour of trading, showed consumer borrowing expanded by $18.6 billion during April, short of the $20.0 billion forecast of economists polled by Bloomberg, and matching March’s figure that was downwardly-adjusted from the originally reported $25.8 billion. Non-revolving debt, which includes student loans and loans for vehicles and mobile homes, rose $20.5 billion, a 7.6% increase year-over-year (y/y), while revolving debt, which includes credit cards, fell by $1.9 billion, a 2.4% y/y decline.

Treasuries were lower, as the yield on the 2-year note ticked 1 basis point (bp) higher to 0.15%, while the yields on the and 10-year note and the 30-year bond advanced 2 bps to 1.57% and 2.25%, respectively.

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