The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.3% in Monday morning trading as travel and leisure stocks took the hardest hit with new fears of Covid-19, this time one the new delta variant. Asian stocks were mixes but weaker as well after Chinese industrial profits slowed by 21% from April to May.
U.S. Futures were also mixed as the S&P 500 was flat, the Down Jones fell 24 points while the Nasdaq 100 futures rose slightly. Stocks posted gains indicating investors started to relax over inflation fears with more investors believing the current price acceleration in the U.S. is not a sustained problem but instead a short-term movement.
OPEC+ members are meeting this week in Vienna to discuss oil production policies as world oil prices have risen to 2018 levels, caused in part by increasing tension between the U.S. and Iran. With the exception of small carve-outs like Texas and Louisiana, gas prices across the U.S. are above their 2018 levels.
A growing number of private investors are expressing concern over President Biden’s expensive programs, causing a pullback in private investment in the U.S. for May and June. “Private investors are worried that such high levels of U.S. public debt will cause longer term, but unseen, slow inflation that will see business profits shrink despite increased sales” said Mark Morgan, an economics professor with the University of Florida.
Transportation continues to preform well as the expected slowdown of consumer goods never materialized as more people started going out, traveling and returning to the office to work. But retailers have been hit hard with supplies of many items in short supply as odd supply chain bottlenecks caused by the pandemic continue to stretch into 2021 and are expected to resolve sometime in 2022. Not only are computer chips in short supply but so are many other common raw materials used in the production of so many household and consumer goods.