Morning Report – The 2016 Democratic race gets more crowded 5/14/15

Markets are higher this morning as bonds are rallying and the dollar weakens

Initial jobless claims came in at 264k, another strong reading. The fear that there would be mass layoffs in the oil patch so far has not come true. Plus, oil is now rebounding as firms have adjusted to the new price levels.

Inflation remains nowhere to be found, with the producer price index falling 0.4% in April. Ex food and energy, prices are up .7% on a year over year basis. This is about 1/3 of the level the Fed would like to see.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell slightly to 43.5 last week. 1/3 think the state of the economy is positive, while 2/3 think it is negative. Personal finances, are a net positive however. So it seems the perception of the economy is a bit worse than people’ actual financial situations.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is planning to enter the 2016 race, adding at least the appearance of a speed bump to Hillary’s coronation as the Democratic candidate. Both O’Malley and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) plan to run to Hillary’s left. So far, Hillary has managed to avoid taking any questions about the Trans Pacific Partnership, the trade deal that has become a litmus test on the left. The media doesn’t want to mess up Hillary’s candidacy, so they are leaving her alone on this one.

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