The Major Markets ended the week firmly in the red across the board.

The S&P 500 began the week with a slight loss on Monday, the index traded in a choppy pattern as we drew closer to Wednesday’s release of the Fed Minutes. As has been typical for some time, the market responded positively to the unchanged stance of the Federal Reserve board. While they still left room for the possibility of a June rate hike, it continues to appear unlikely at this point. They continue “to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.” And expect the “federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run

The Bank of Japan also released their policy statement late Wednesday night announcing that no action would be made to their interest rates but Kuroda said that they would “Add easing if necessary”. The yen surged 4% relative to the dollar following the news.

Back stateside, the market traded near 2100 on the S&P 500 Thursday before falling in the last 90 minutes of the session to close within minutes of the low of the day. The selling continued much of the day Friday until the market paired back some of the losses on the day in the last hour of trading.

Ultimately the S&P 500 ended the week with a loss of just over 1 1/4 %.

It was the NASDAQ Composite that took the largest hit of the major indices this week with a drop of 2.7% since last Friday. The action this week took the composite back into the red on the month and extended the losses on the year that much further.

This action was largely the result of poor earnings on some big names in the Technology sector. Apple, which has struggled all year to try to get and stay positive, announced a 13% drop in revenue and the sequential and annual plunge in Chinese sales.

The Technology Sector as a whole is still reeling after multiple weeks of losses this month. This week however represented the largest drop as 3.58% was taken off the index, putting the monthly return to negative -5.47%.

Precious metals had a strong performance this week with a gain of around 5% in both Gold and Silver. These two commodities which have fallen in price over the last few years added to their double digit gains on the year with Silver leading the way with a gain of 28.71% YTD.

Looking ahead to next week, while there are a number of economic reports released, but it will be Friday’s Employment Situation report that will have the most impact on the week along with the roughly 1500 earnings reports.

Many parts of the country have begun to see this year’s crop of mosquitoes. If you are wondering what the most effective type of mosquito repellent is, you may want to look at a 2015 study published in the Journal of Insect Science. This study measured the efficacy of a number of commercially available insect repellents and the attraction rates of mosquitoes.

In other words, how few mosquitoes were attracted to a hand treated with each repellant. So lower is better.

In the end, they found that DEET, a chemical developed in World War II which has earned a bad rap for fear of possible side effects, remains as the most consistent top performer to keep the bugs away.

A close second is a more natural, DEET-free spray developed with a lemon eucalyptus blend that appears to work almost as well as the 98% DEET alternative. Now you can keep this in mind the next time you venture into the woods.

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