May 30 - Summary: Wall Street ends May with a four-month upswing; consumer, inflation data mixed; Amazon launches streaming music service; Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer buys Los Angeles basketball team. Lily Jamali reports.
The S&P 500 closes out May at a record high, with stocks up four months in a row. The Dow and the S&P 500 finished higher on the day, but the Nasdaq did not. For the week: Blue chips rallied 0.7 percent, the Nasdaq's gain was double that. The market stayed mostly steady on mixed economic news: U.S. consumer spending slipped in April, the first drop in a year, though March was revised to show the biggest gain since 2009. But a measure of inflation crept higher, bringing the year over year increase to 1.6%. Higher inflation could lead to higher incomes and a better labor market. New Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester: SOUNDBITE: LORETTA MESTER, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CLEVELAND, (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "So by helping policy makers set appropriate monetary policy, the explicit 2% inflation target promotes not only price stability but also full employment over the longer run." But for now, consumer are worried about incomes and that put a drag on consumer sentiment in May. Meanwhile, factory activity in the Midwest surged, confirming a bounce-back from bad weather. Just days after Apple's big Beats deal, Amazon flexing its music muscles, launching a streaming music service. Songs will be at least six months old, so it won't really compete with Spotify and Pandora, but it will be free to its Prime subscribers, taking a bit of the sting out of the recent price hike. Shares of Amazon however fell on the news. Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a $2 billion deal to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Ballmer's record setting bid topped other bids, including one from David Geffen, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, and Oprah. The NBA Board of Governors expected to officially OK the deal next week. Google began compliance with the "right to be forgotten" ruling in Europe, where the search giant controls 90% of web searches. It's made a web form available for citizens wanting request to have objectionable links about them removed from search results. French bank BNP Paribas could face a $10 billion fine -- according to the Wall Street Journal -- to settle charges it evaded U.S. sanctions against some nations. As for the European markets, Germany was slightly higher but France and the UK were down.