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The Markets (as of market close May 31, 2016)

Following an up-and-down path similar to what occurred in April, the indexes listed here ultimately closed the month of May higher (except for the Global Dow).  The month started with a run of positive returns, only to see much of the month's gains given back by the end of May.  Information from the Fed that interest rates could be raised as early as June could be interpreted as both a positive (improving economy) and a negative (higher lending rates), which seemed to flummox investors a bit.  Several economic indicators picked up the pace in May as employment remained steady, the housing market gained  some momentum heading into the summer months, and consumer prices increased along with mounting oil prices.

Long-term bond yields fluctuated during the month, ultimately closing at essentially the same yield as April's closing return.  The price of gold (COMEX) decreased by month's end, selling at $1,217.50 -- about $77 below April's end-of-month price of $1,294.90.

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The month in review