U.S. News

The NAHB Housing Market Index increased seven points to 37 in May. NAHB reports that most states classified home building as an essential business, helping to keep many residential construction workers on the job, while low interest rates should sustain demand as many states lift stay-at-home orders. NAHB Report

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Reserve is heading deeper into uncharted territory as it seeks to provide credit access to middle-market firms through its $600 billion Main Street Lending Program. As the Fed moves into the politically sensitive area of private sector lending, there are concerns that the Fed may maintain an overly risk averse position, diminishing the overall effectiveness of the program. WSJ

According to the Financial Times, the coronavirus pandemic is hastening the decline of the U.S. coal industry as overall demand for electricity falls amid the ongoing decline of coal’s share of the U.S. energy mix. Employment in coal mining decreased 12% in April despite coal mines being deemed an essential business, further stressing state finances in heavy coal producing states including Wyoming, Kentucky, and West Virginia. FT