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Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence

Volatile trade sent the major averages into the final hour with small losses on mixed news. The Mortgage Bankers Association or MBA reports that mortgage activity increased 2.8% last week as refinance apps gained 9.2% while purchase apps slipped 2.8%. The 30-year contract rate for a conforming loan declined fractionally to 4.13%.

As was widely expected the Federal Reserve raised interest rates ¼% at the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee or FOMC meeting earlier today. Also of note the Federal Reserve expects to begin slowly reducing its very bloated balance sheet following years of Quantitative Easing or QE in the post bust period since 2008.

Retail sales missed expectations in May falling .3% on weakness in gasoline, electronics and appliance sales. On a year ago basis sales increased 3.6% despite a.8% decline from April.

The May Consumer Price Index or CPI fell .1% in May on a large decline in energy prices. On a year ago basis prices increased 1.9%, a third consecutive decline as the .3% drop put the index back below the Federal Reserve 2% target.

Rounding out the day’s data. Business inventories fell .2% in April following a 5th consecutive decline from the outsize gain seen in November of last year.

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