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May Unemployment, Market Winners and Losers

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Behind The NumbersJune 17, 2024 | 2 min read
  • The Strong Sectors – Utilities was the top performing sector in May 2024 with a 9% gain. The Technology and Communication Services sectors followed close behind, with May 2024 gains of 7.1% and 7%, respectively (source: Y Charts).
  • In a Steady State – May 2024 unemployment ended at 4.0%, up from 3.9% in April 2024. The healthcare sector alone added 68,000 jobs in May 2024, followed by 43,000 government positions filled, and 42,000 jobs filled in the leisure and hospitality industry (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • First Place Finisher – First Solar Inc., a semiconductor and equipment company in the info tech sector, was the S&P 500’s winner in May 2024 with a gain of 54.2%. This brings the gain from January 2024 through May 2024 to 57.8% (source: Y Charts). 
  • Put On Your Productive Hat – The nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased by 0.2% in Q1 2024. This creates a 2.9% year-over-year increase from Q1 2023, the largest four-quarter increase since Q1 2021’s 5.9% jump (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). 
  • Rock Bottom – The Energy sector was the only sector with negative performance in May 2024, finishing the month with a -0.34% decline. This follows a decline of -0.94% in April 2024 (source: Y Charts).
  • Climate Control – Emerson, a global technology and software company, reached an agreement with Blackstone, an asset manager, to offload its remaining stake in its Copeland joint venture for $3.5 billion. This creates a 40% equity ownership in Copeland, a company focused on revolutionizing climate technology (source: Reuters). 
  • The Biggest Loser – EPAM Systems Inc, a software engineering company in the info tech sector, was the S&P 500’s biggest loser in May 2024 with a -24.4% decline in value. The year-to-date decline for EPAM Systems Inc. was -40.2% (source: Yahoo Finance).
  • Halt! – There were 33 major work stoppages in 2023, which represents the highest number of stoppages since 2000 with 39. A major work stoppage is one where 1,000 workers or more have stopped all work-related activities, whether due to strikes, economic conditions, or environmental impacts (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). 
  • Flipping to the Top – Simone Biles, an American gymnast, won her ninth U.S. Championship all-around title on June 2, 2024, solidifying her reign as the most decorated women gymnast of all time (source: CNN).
  • Deer in Headlights – Netflix is facing a new $170 million defamation lawsuit following the release of ‘Baby Reindeer,’ a series based on a woman stalker. The lawsuit is brought forward by the individual who the stalker character is based on, alleging misrepresentation of the actual facts (source: Forbes).

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This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation regarding any specific product or security. Past performance is not indicative of future results. You cannot invest directly in an index. All references to tax or legal matters are provided for informational purposes only. You should consult your legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. All investing is subject to risk, including possible loss of principal.

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