Highlights of the week ended April 21, 2017 and a look ahead to this week’s expected announcements and potential market-moving activity.

Last Week:

  • U.S. equities finished positive for the week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed 95 points higher, or rose 0.5%, to 20,548. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) index rose 20 points, or rose 0.8%, to 2,349. The Nasdaq closed last week 1.8% higher at 5,911.
  • Global Economy
    • Global economic data has been mixed more recently. Some notably weak items include U.S. bank lending, auto sales, March payrolls, while unemployment, Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) and Industrial Production continues to improve globally. While only a fraction of S&P500 companies have reported earnings for the quarter, some firms have attributed some of their growth to an improving industrial economy and higher activity levels. Industrial production, as shown below refers to the output of industrial establishments and covers sectors such as mining, manufacturing and public utilities.
    • However, global uncertainty has risen due to politics and geopolitics. Notably, the 1st round of the French Election took place this weekend, with neither anti-EU Marine Le Pen (21.4%) nor pro-EU Emmanuel Macron (23.9%) winning a majority vote – hence proceeding to the second round on May 7, 2017.

Look Ahead:

  • First quarter earnings season continues with results expected from Kimberly Clark, GlaxoSmithKline, DuPont, McDonalds & Starbucks to name a few. Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to grow 9% for the quarter. Economic data for the week ahead include, Chicago Fed Index, April Consumer Confidence, March Durable-goods orders, April Chicago PMIs and the advance first quarter GDP estimate.