05/17/18: The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported today that its early-May survey of purchasing managers at manufacturing companies located in the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware indicates that manufacturing activity in that area of the United States will increase sharply during the full month of May.

Philadelphia-Fed-Manufacturing-Index-(05-17-18)

Meanwhile, The Conference Board reported that its index of leading economic indicators for the United States rose for the 20th consecutive month during April.

Unemployment Claims Remain Near Lowest Level since December 1969

Separately, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that new first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 11,000 during the week ended May 12, as compared to the prior week, but that the four-week average of such claims remained near the lowest level since December 1969.

Initial-Claims-for-Unemployment-Benefits-(05-17-18)

The economic developments mentioned above suggest that the U.S. economy will continue to expand at a healthy pace and that U.S. stock prices, in general, will likely trend higher over at least the next couple of months.