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Theresa May Is Britain’s New Prime Minister, Replacing David Cameron

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DOW + 24 = 18,372
SPX + 0.29 = 2152
NAS – 17 = 5005
10 Y – .03 = 1.47%
OIL – 1.37 = 45.43
GOLD + 9.60 = 1343.30

The cost of imported goods increased 0.2% in June, led again by the higher cost of fuel. Import prices have risen four straight months following five straight declines, largely because of the price of oil has climbed from multiyear lows. Excluding fuel, the cost of imports fell 0.3% in June. Over the past year, import prices are still 4.8% lower, reflecting a big drop in the oil prices in 2015.

That’s helped to keep overall U.S. inflation on the low side. Import prices minus fuel are down 1.8% in the past 12 months. U.S. export prices climbed 0.8% in June. Export prices are 3.5% lower in the past 12 months.

Corporations are paying less to the Treasury this fiscal year, and the government’s budget deficit is ballooning because of it. In its latest monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said the deficit through June was $401 billion, up 27% from the same period a year ago. In the month of June, the government managed to post a budget surplus of $6 billion, but that was down from a surplus of $50 billion in June of 2015.

While individual income tax collection has risen so far this fiscal year, it’s a far different story with corporate taxes: revenues are down 11%. The government’s budget year runs from October through September. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office blamed the tax extenders, legislation that gives breaks for both businesses and individuals, for helping to blow up the federal debt in the long term; another possible culprit is that the decrease in corporate taxes may partly reflect lower taxable profits earned so far this calendar year.

The Federal Reserve published its Beige Book yesterday, two weeks before the next FOMC policy meeting. The anecdotal assessment finds the economy chugging along through the end of June with little indication of inflation now or in the near future. Despite a strong rebound in U.S. job growth in June; pressure to raise wages at the end of the second quarter was centered on skilled workers and difficult-to-fill positions. Fed districts also reported some signs of softening in consumer spending but most retained an optimistic outlook, the report said. Manufacturing activity remained mixed while growth in the services sector was seen as “slight to modest.”

Oil industry hopes that markets are about return to balance, ending a global glut that pulled down prices by over 70 percent between 2014 and early 2016, might be abruptly dashed. Despite recent disruptions and output cuts, there is mounting evidence that plentiful supplies and brimming inventories will...