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DOW – 23 = 20,919
SPX – 5 = 2394
NAS – 13 = 6115
RUT – 9 = 1390
10 Y – .01 = 2.40%
OIL + .46 = 47.79
GOLD + 6.00 = 1225.80

Thursday morning, we got two pieces of economic data that show the U.S. economy remains strong, with producer prices — a measure of inflation — rising 0.5% over the prior month, more than the 0.2% that was expected.

With last month’s jump in prices, the PPI shot up 2.5% in the 12 months through April. That was the biggest gain since February 2012. Core PPI, which excludes food, energy prices and trade, rose 0.7% in April after a 0.1% gain in March. Core PPI increased 2.1% in the 12 months through April.

Additionally, initial jobless claims also topped expectations, totaling just 236,000 last week, with continuing filings for unemployment insurance hitting the lowest in 28 years. The Bank of England on Thursday left its key interest rate at 0.25%, meeting widely held expectations.

It was an ugly day for retail stocks. Macy’s (M) reported earnings per share of $0.24, less than the $0.35 expected by analysts, on same-store sales that dropped 4.6%. Macy’s shares were slammed for a 17% loss today.

Also in retail earnings, Kohl’s (KSS) reported earnings per share that topped estimates though same-store sales declined more than expected during the quarter. Kohl’s reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.39, topping estimates for $0.29, while same-store sales fell 2.7%, more than the 1.1% expected by analysts. Kohl’s dropped almost 8% today.

Nordstrom (JWN) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and quarterly revenue in line with expectations but it didn’t escape the pall over department stores in general. Nordstrom said it earned $63 million, or 37 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with $46 million, or 26 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Net sales reached $3.3 billion, compared with net sales of $3.2 billion a year ago. Comparable-store sales for the first quarter decreased 0.8%. Shares dropped 4.5%.

In an interview today with NBC’s Lester Holt, President Trump called fired FBI chief James Comey a “showboat” and “grandstander”. Trump said he would have fired Comey even without a recommendation to do so by the two top Justice Department officials. That ran counter to previous administration explanations from White House aides and Vice President Pence of Comey’s dismissal.

Trump also gave further details of his account that Comey informed him three times that he was not under investigation. That interview airs tonight.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe directly contradicted the White House on two points related to Comey’s firing and the law enforcement agency’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.

McCabe said there is an investigation, it is significant and it is underway and will continue but he sidestepped the question of whether Comey directly told Trump on 3 occasions that there...


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