The seemingly uninterrupted rally that bolstered stock prices for the first four months of the year came to an abrupt halt in May as all of the key equity market gauges we follow showed low to mid-single digit percentage losses. Despite the pullback, however, YTD returns for these same gauges through the end of May remained firmly in the black. The month was kicked off in a challenging way, when during an April 30 speech Fed Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the U.S. central bank was not considering a rate cut. This spooked markets to some degree, as they had been pricing in the possibility of a cut. Lower rates are often viewed as being a positive catalyst for stocks.