The CDC has loosened its guidelines for mask restrictions, but the change may not be good news for some investors. CNBC’s Jim Cramer said the new guidance “also means you’re going to get clobbered if you keep owning the lockdown stocks.” He suggested circling back to “reopening plays.” In other news, gold saw further gains on Friday. U.S. retail sales were unchanged last month, following March’s revised increase of 10.7%.


CNBC/Tyler Clifford
The lockdown trade is dead on new CDC mask guidance, says Jim Cramer

U.S. health officials have loosened rules on masks for vaccinated Americans, but the new guidance sends a different message to Wall Street, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday.

“The CDC’s new guidance also means you’re going to get clobbered if you keep owning the lockdown stocks,” he said on “Mad Money.” “Instead, you need to circle back to the great reopening plays.”

The CDC, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, earlier Thursday announced that it no longer advises fully vaccinated people to wear a facial covering or stay 6 feet away from others in most settings. Face masks and social distancing mandates were put in place more than a year ago as a means to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

The news was welcomed by investors, helping stocks rebound from multiple days of declines, Cramer said.

“You need to understand that this phase of the bull market’s all about keeping inflation tame enough so that the economy can grow without overheating and forcing the Federal Reserve to slam on the brakes,” he said.

Keeping reading, here.


Kitco News/Neils Christensen
Gold prices push higher following disappointing U.S. retail sales numbers

The gold market is seeing further gains Friday as U.S. consumers decided to hold on to their cash last month.

U.S. retail sales were unchanged last month, following March’s revised increase of 10.7% according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department, released Friday; the data significantly missed expectations as economists were forecasting an increase of 1.0%.

Annually, the report said that headline retail sales numbers are up 51.2%; however, last year most Americas were confined to their homes due to government-imposed lockdowns.

Meanwhile, core retail sales, which strips out auto sales, dropped 0.8% last month, following March’s rise of 8.4%. Core sales also missed expectations, with consensus forecasts calling for a 0.5% rise.

The control group, which excludes autos, gas, building materials, and food services fell 1.5%. Economists were expecting to see a 0.4% drop.

The disappointing economic data is helping the gold market claw back some of its lost territory. June gold futures last traded at $1,835 an ounce, up 0.6% on the day.

According to some analysts, the latest retail sales numbers continue to show just how fragile the current economic recovery is. Despite the strong revision in March, consumers are still hesitant to spend their money.

Read the full story, here.


MarketWatch via Yahoo! Finance/Alessandra Malito
Retirement account balances hit record levels amid uncertainty

As cities make plans to open up and people get vaccinated, retirement account balances are also showing signs of hope.

The pandemic has not ended yet, but retirement savings are still ticking upward, according to the latest Fidelity Investments analysis of its retirement assets for the first quarter.

Retirement savers are also taking advantage of the fact they can contribute to an IRA in 2021 on behalf of the previous year.

Continue reading, here.


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