Highlights of the week ended April 28, 2017 and a look ahead to this week’s expected announcements and potential market-moving activity.
- U.S. equities finished positive for the week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed 393 points higher, or rose 1.9%, to 20,941. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) index rose 36 points, or rose 1.5%, to 2,384. The Nasdaq closed last week 2.32% higher at 6,048, crossing the 6,000 threshold for the first time. It took the tech-heavy index 17 years to go from 5,000 to 6,000.
- Soft First Quarter U.S. GDP
- The U.S. economy as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a broad measure of the national output, grew 0.7% annual rate during the first quarter of 2017, the slowest pace of expansion in 3 years. The number was significantly below economist’s expectations and specifically so because of the mismatch with the strong consumer confidence data we have seen more recently. Americans cut spending on big ticket items during the quarter such as cars, which caused consumer purchases to grow at the slowest pace since 2009. However, business investment saw an improvement with nonresidential fixed investment growing a healthy 9.4% during the quarter. Meanwhile, the U.S. government cut back on its spending during the quarter, with defense spending down 4%, and spending at the state and local level down 1.6%.
Source: Strategas Research Partners
- First quarter earnings season continues with results expected from Apple, Time Warner, Blackrock & Altria to name a few. Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to grow 9% for the quarter. Other Economic data for the week include, personal income and spending for March, ISM manufacturing index for April, an FOMC interest rate decision and the employment situation report for April.